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7 Surprises for New Children’s Ministry Leaders

children's ministry leaders

As a new children’s ministry leader, director or pastor, you may think you have everything under control and know what to expect.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. You’ve got some big surprises ahead of you.

Here are a few surprises that you may face and how to be prepared to deal with it.

Surprise #1 – You will be leading adults as much or even more than children. This is the ironic thing about being a leader in children’s ministry. Your first responsibility is to lead the adults who minister to the children.

Spend time reading and preparing to lead adults well. You can be great with kids, but if you can’t lead adults, you will have a rough go at it. And remember this — your success in children’s ministry will rise and fall on the strength of your volunteer team.

Focus on building a solid team and equipping them to do the work of the ministry as stated in Ephesians 4. Remember this — it’s not about what you can do — rather it’s about what you can empower others to do.

Surprise #2 – People don’t care about your title. They don’t care if you are a “pastor” or “director” or “leader.” They will not follow you solely based on what your title is. Rather, people follow someone that they love and respect. And that has to be earned. The longer you serve with excellence, the more people will want to follow you.

Surprise #3 –  You can’t be involved in everything. Provide vision and direction and let your team run with it. Don’t fall into the trap of micromanaging. Don’t tell everyone what to do. Rather, trust them to make the right decisions and complete the task. Reassure your team members that mistakes are part of the process, and that taking risks is often better than indecision.

Surprise #4 – There will be conflict. Anytime you have various personalities serving together, there will be some conflict…even at church. People will question your leadership.  People will question your motives. People will question your decisions. And sometimes it can get ugly. Yes, sheep do bite at times. Enjoy your honeymoon stage and prepare yourself for the conflicts, disagreements and attacks that will enviably emerge.

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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)