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9 Priorities of the Children’s Ministry Leader

Priority #1 – A growing & healthy walk with God.

Seems obvious, doesn’t it? After all, isn’t that what we’re all about – helping others to develop a growing & healthy relationship with God?  Yes & yes. It should be obvious, and it is what we’re all about.

But that doesn’t mean it is always a priority.

One of the unique challenges about being a church leader is that much of what would normally be done to grow a person’s spiritual life is actually our job. We are paid to be at church. We are immersed in the world of “spiritual things”. We work at helping others know what that means & develop their own spiritual lives.

And sometimes this results in our own spiritual life becoming just that: work. We get so focused on the path to spiritual growth for others that we let our own path grow up with weeds. I can’t tell you how many leaders I’ve talked to where this has become a problem. And I have been guilty of this, also.

So what is the answer? I wish there were a simple formula. But there’s not. It takes an on-going commitment to personal spiritual growth. It takes a recognition of the difference between my own walk and my work. It takes a plan to do the things you need to do in order to grow personally.

That plan looks different for each of us, but generally speaking, it must include:

  • Daily Bible intake. And this means for the purpose of personal spiritual growth, not for preparing your next lesson.
  • Regular time in prayer. I have learned that prayer is a way of life…an on-going practice throughout my day. I want to be in continual conversation with God just as I would if one of my friends was hanging out with me throughout the day. It also should be intentional, specific and, at times, shared corporately.
  • Corporate worship. Yes, you need to be in church. I know – and I’ve been there – your church only has one service; you have to lead during both services; you don’t have enough leaders to be able to attend the services – I’ve heard (and made!) all the excuses. None of them fly. Find a way to be in church on a regular basis. I can address this more thoroughly in another post, but here are 4 compelling reasons to make sure you are in service:
  1. Because you need it for your own spiritual health. Is this not obvious? Why would being in service be important for everyone else but not for us?
  2. Because you need to set the example for your family, and for their spiritual health. Is it ok for your kids to believe that not being in church is ok?
  3. Because not attending church yourself implicitly gives your volunteers permission to not attend church. Again…is that the message we should be sending as the leader of our ministry?
  4. Because you need to hear the heart of your pastor. Church is where this happens in a public setting. Yes, you hear from him privately, but as part of the body you need to hear his heart – his passion, his instruction, his vision, etc. – publicly, just like the team that you lead does. How can you align your ministry with his leadership if you are not consistently hearing his heart?