This is the second of a 5 part series on things I’ve learned while being a Children’s Pastor over the last 20 years. See the first post here. Again, these are in no particular order.
A second lesson I’ve learned is this:
Being a Children’s Pastor is not primarily about the kids.
OK, let me qualify this statement: our end-goals are ultimately about the spiritual formation of children, but what I do as a Children’s Pastor to meet those goals should be primarily adult-focused.
Specifically, as a church leader my role is to equip others. Here’s what scripture says:
Their [church leaders] responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. Ephesians 4:12
I’ve been blessed to lead children’s ministries in churches from 250 to 7000 set in many different environments. It doesn’t matter – my job is to equip others to do the work of the ministry. Says so right there in Ephesians.
Our tendency, however, is to get so caught up in the minors that we forget about the majors. We worry about curriculum and resources and program and facilities and…and…and. These are all important – critical non-negotiables, in fact – but they aren’t the most important elements for my focus (and, yes, the smaller the church the harder it is to remain focused on the important things). Aside from growing myself as a spiritual leader, my most important responsibility is to equip others to do the work of ministry. In my opinion, that means two things:
- Developing your team around you (staff and/or core leaders) – Your ministry will only grow to the level that you and your team can take it.
- Equipping parents to disciple their children – Spiritual formation of kids in your ministry will primarily happen only to the extent of their parents investment in that process.
So I need to daily ask myself questions such as:
- What have I done today to grow myself as the leader of this ministry?
- Who and how have I equipped someone else today to do the work of the ministry?
- What can I equip someone else to do so that I am focused on what only I can do?
- How is our ministry intentionally designed to partner with parents in equipping them to disciple their own children?
I’ll share the third lesson I’ve learned in 20 years as a children’s pastor in the next post. For now . . .