Starting/Restarting Your Children's Ministry Career

Okay, I wanted this little series about Kidmin as a career to be highly practical. Last week was a lot of philosophy, but it was important foundational stuff for getting started. I understand that I might be speaking to two different audiences here.

  1. You might be thinking about going into full time ministry either as a young person fresh out of school or someone who is looking to make a career shift into full time ministry.
  2. You might be currently in ministry, but you want to make a shift. Your values don’t line up with the values of your church or your denomination. You’re looking to make a radical shift to a different kind of church.

I’m going to do the best I can to address both.

First of all, I feel I need to say this. Everyone truly can serve in a church they would choose to attend if they weren’t on staff. Secondly, everyone should serve in a church they would attend if they weren’t on staff. If your presence at a church is simple a job, how far you’re able to go will always be limited. Find that church with the DNA you love and make that the place you serve. I’ll be honest though. I have served at a church I don’t think I would have attended if it hadn’t been for the job. It wasn’t a bad experience by any means. I got tons of experience while still in college and the church I served at got a strong Children’s Pastor for more than 4 years. I don’t have any regrets, but if I knew then what I knew now, I probably would have made a different decision. I’ll have to talk about that in another post.

So, before you begin your search, you really need to search your heart. Who are you? What kind of ministry to you want to lead? What kind of team do you want to serve with? Decide those things before you begin your search. Last week I wrote about the problem with Kidim and the revolution it needs. If you see yourself in this fight to revolutionize Kidmin, then look for the kind of church that will allow you to be that kind of Children’s Pastor. Does that make sense?

You may ask, “But finding a church like that is really hard!” Yup. It is. You may say, “But there aren’t many churches like that.” You’re right, they are the minority. However, I’d rather wait 6 months to a year to find the church perfect for me than take a great job at a church I can only tolerate. I’d rather make some significant sacrifices to get to where I need to be.

Okay, I’ve written too much already. Seriously consider these questions. Who are you? What kind of Children’s Pastor do you want to be? When you know the answers to these, the next step will be a lot more clear.  

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Kenny Conley
Kenny Conley is the primary author of Childrens Ministry Online and the NextGen Pastor at Gateway Church in Austin, TX. In addition to creating the Illuminate Conference, a high quality kidmin conference designed specifically for volunteers, Kenny is a published author and speaker.