The Mediocre Kidmin Leader

If it’s one area in the church where mediocrity is accepted more than not, it is children’s ministry. Unfortunately, many children’s leaders become leaders because a lead pastor is desperate, and they throw someone in there to “help out,” which soon becomes a part-time or full-time job.

There are still many lead pastors out there who view adult ministry as real ministry and children’s ministry as children’s childcare or children’s babysitting. Some pastors will think “give them a nice story, play some games, color a page—what’s so difficult?” Well, that model isn’t difficult, and that model will breed a mediocrity in ministry and in your children’s leaders.

I believe there are many children’s leaders and pastors out there who want the best for their ministry, but because mediocrity is accepted—mediocrity is given. It’s important as children’s leaders that even though your lead or senior pastor isn’t expecting much, you still give it your all. Whether you have a budget of hundreds of thousands or absolutely nothing, we still need to give 110%. Because at the end of the day, we’re raising up the next generation of leaders. If nothing else, they expect us to give our all.

Go above the expectations of your lead pastor and give your all. Don’t forget you get back what you give. So if you become a mediocre leader, don’t expect your team to go above and beyond. In short, mediocrity breeds mediocrity!!

“Only the mediocre are always at their best.” – Jean Giraudoux


Mediocrity is dangerous. It goes beyond fooling yourself. When I hear stories of a kids’ pastor not giving it their all, I do not necessarily think of the mediocre kids’ pastor. Instead, I think about the children who are being affected. I think about the poor experience they are having, the lack of passion, and lack of commitment to raising up the next generation.

Mediocre people think they’re always at their best. They often cannot find much room for improvement or do not push themselves forward. If I ever find myself thinking that there’s nothing else I can do, I question my motivation and do a quick mediocrity check. I think there’s always room to do even better, if not for my sake, for the kids and volunteers I lead.

Help fight mediocrity by:

1. Don’t settle.
2. Always pay attention to the details.
3. Experiment.


Mediocrity is doing things the easy way. It’s not taking the time to give it your all. Mediocrity looks at children’s ministry and says, “Let’s just plug in the video curriculum…it’s easier that way.” Mediocrity is sacrificing what’s best for our kids for our convenience.

This past week has been a great test of what kind of leader I am and what kind of leaders my team are. We literally had three major projects due this week. It’s been one of those testing weeks. We could’ve easily looked at our situation, due dates, all the extra things that were placed in front of us that were not planned, etc, and tried to find the easiest way to do them. We could’ve cut corners, not completed projects, etc. Instead, we got together and decided that the long hours (70+ for some of us), completion of the details, the tough phone calls to “make it happen” was all worth it.

In our ministry, we do not settle for mediocrity. We don’t do things the easy way because it’s convenient. In fact, if you’re in ministry for the convenience, you may want to reconsider what you’re doing. Ministry is anything but convenient, and it’s not always easy. I’m all about work smarter and not harder, but not work convenient JUST because it’s easy. Mediocre kidmin leaders look at their schedule first before they look at the impact on the kids. Please hear me out, I’m not knocking on those who work full or part-time and are leading kids’ ministry on the “side.” I did that for over two years, and I know it’s not easy. I’m talking about the heart. You may be doing something that other people view as easy, but because you’re working 50+ hours a week at your job, that’s the best you can do at this moment. That’s not mediocre unless you know you can do better but you choose not to because it’s inconvenient.

Don’t be mediocre. Stand out above the crowd and set the standard of excellence in your church!!

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Justyn Smith is married to an amazing wife and is a father to five children. He is the children's pastor at South Hills Church in Corona, CA and has a passion to help other children’s pastors become great leaders in their local church and ministry. He consults, writes, and is a frequent conference speaker. Justyn is the host of Celera Kidmin (click for more info) and has recently been named one of "Children's Ministry Magazine's" Top 20 to Watch. Twitter: pastorjustyn Facebook: