Okay, don’t give me grief on the title. I know there isn’t a perfect children’s pastor, and the perfect children’s pastor for one church could be a horrible children’s pastor for another. It’s not that cut and dried…but go with me here for a minute.
Children’s pastors come in all sorts of shapes and sizes to fit churches of all shapes and sizes, but what do you think are the characteristics of the “perfect” children’s pastor? And when I say the “perfect” children’s pastor, I’m referring to the kind of children’s pastor who is the solution to some of the problems discussed in my post from yesterday (and comments). You may or may not agree with me, but kidmin has bad PR in the church today, which I believe is part of the reason there is such a shortage of great children’s pastors. We need more children’s pastors who will change the landscape of children’s ministry for the average church. What does that children’s pastor look like? What are they good at? What is his/her skill set? What are the essentials?
I’ll start with a few.
The “perfect” children’s pastor is a strong leader. He/she spends as much time (or more) investing, ministering, praying for, and building into other adult leaders as he or she does kids. The “perfect” children’s pastor understands that he/she must multiply, or he/she will fail.
The “perfect” children’s pastor is well rounded and well versed in multiple disciplines. He or she is educated. He/she doesn’t have to have a specialized degree (although that doesn’t hurt), but he/she should be able to hang intellectually with the parent, volunteer, or fellow staff member who is highly educated. Newsletters, blog posts, and e-mails from this children’s pastor aren’t riddled with grammatical errors and typos. He or she is a strong problem solver and can push through the most difficult problems. This “perfect” children’s pastor has a strong understanding of the Bible and theology. He doesn’t necessarily have a seminary or Bible school degree, but it’s obvious he or she has read and knows the “good book.” He or she also has his/her finger on the pulse of what’s happening socially. He or she is current with language, dress, and what’s currently popular. He or she is a student of culture and doesn’t come across as someone who is trying to fit in but actually does fit in and understands those in the culture.
The “perfect” children’s pastor is innovative and a risk taker. He or she doesn’t do what he or she has always done. He or she constantly evaluates past events and programs and makes revisions based on success, changes to the culture, and a wide variety of other factors. He or she doesn’t change just for the sake of change but is willing to do anything to see ministry success. The “perfect” children’s pastor has a little bit of a rebellious streak in him or her. He or she is not satisfied with the status quo and will not stop until what is no longer relevant is overthrown.
The “perfect” children’s pastor is a communicator. He or she is as comfortable talking to a room full of adults as he or she is speaking to a room full of kids. He or she desires “face time” on the main stage not just to recruit but because it’s important to make that connection with the adults. He or she returns e-mails and phone calls and doesn’t hide behind e-mail or text messages to have difficult conversations with parents, volunteers, or staff.
Okay, that’s just a few. I’d love to see what you think are the key characteristics of the “perfect” children’s pastor.