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Children’s Ministry Leadership: 7 Essential Qualities

4. Integrity

A conference attendee once asked me how to build trust with parents. My response was that it takes time. Trust isn’t a gift that people give you. It’s something you must earn through consistency over time.

Integrity comes from the core of who you are and what you believe. It’s about following through with your promises, admitting when you make a mistake and apologizing for it, making decisions based on principle rather than emotions, paying attention to the little things, and taking the high road when the low road would be an easy out.

Ask yourself:

  • Can people depend on me? Do I keep my promises? Do I follow through on my commitments?
  • Do I have a process for making decisions? Or do I make them in the heat of the moment or depending on how the wind is blowing?
  • Am I willing to admit my mistakes? When things don’t go as planned, do I take the blame rather than trying to pass it to someone else?

5. Empowering

A children’s ministry leader must be more about empowering than doing. Your calling is to empower others for the work of the ministry. It’s in your job description (check out Ephesians 4). This means enlisting people to serve with you, equipping them with the tools and knowledge they need to be successful, and then releasing them to run with it.

It also means getting past any insecurities you may have about other people getting the spotlight. Let go some of  control and gather people around you who are smarter and more gifted than you.

Average children’s ministry leaders empower only themselves. Great children’s ministry leadership empowers others.

Ask yourself:

  • Do I spend more time doing or empowering?
  • What am I doing that I need to empower someone else to do?
  • If I step back in the shadows, will everything run smoothly without me?

6. Optimism

It’s important to be positive and for people to see you smiling most of the time. Rather than saying, “The sky is falling,” you’re saying, “Let’s aim for the sky.” You see obstacles as opportunities to break out of your comfort zone. You see complaints as a gift for helping the ministry improve. When you tell your pastor about a problem you’re facing, you also bring along several solution suggestions. You point people to a bright future. You believe the best days of ministry are just around the corner. When volunteers leave a meeting with you, they leave encouraged.

7. “It”

This quality can’t be quantified. It’s outside of a person’s talents, abilities or charisma. This factor transcends any earthly manufacturing because it’s the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit. This comes from spending time with God and walking in obedience, surrender and dependence. It’s falling on your face and saying, “God, I’m desperate for your help. This task is too big for me. Nothing will happen without your anointing. Please fill me with your power and do what I cannot do.”

Ask yourself:

  • Am I spending time with God each day, asking him to anoint me for the tasks he has for me?
  • Do I lead our children’s ministry team in prayer on a regular basis?
  • Have I gotten so “experienced in ministry” that I don’t depend on the Holy Spirit’s power?

I challenge you to grow in each of these qualities. As you and your children’s ministry leadership team grow together, your ministry will grow as well.

This article about children’s ministry leadership originally appeared here.

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Dale Hudson has been serving in children's ministry for over 30 years. He is an author, speaker and ministry leader.  He is the founder and director of Building Children's Ministry. BCM helps churches build strong leaders, teams and children's ministries.  (www.buildingchildrensministry.com)