For a long time I used to resent the children’s ministry at our church because I felt we were in competition. Whenever we had to share resources or space I would do my best to leverage the situation in my favor. All that would occur was unnecessary tension. It’s not that I didn’t get along with the children’s director at the time, I just didn’t see eye to eye with her. Finally, after receiving wisdom from a few friends and conferences I realized I needed children’s ministry more than I knew.
A healthy children’s ministry is the foundation to a strong student ministry. If they aren’t doing their job and producing young disciples it’s going to make yours that much more difficult. What that means is youth ministers need to not only focus on teenagers but see how they can invest in the ministry that is building up the next generation. To invest in the children’s ministry at your church be sure to:
- Cheer Them On: You know that student ministry can be a thankless calling, well so can children’s ministry. Show your support by stopping by the programs, complimenting the volunteers and giving positive feed back to the children’s director. If they see that you care then in turn they’ll care what you are doing too.
- Get To Know The Programs: If you are going to work with the children’s pastor you need to understand their lingo. What do they call their programs? Do they have a special term for their volunteers? What curriculum do they use? If you know the programs you’ll know how to approach them when you have a comment, question or observation.
- Meet Regularly With The Leadership: Meet regularly with your children’s team so that you can get to know one another. By sharing life together you’ll understand how to serve one another better and approach conflict. Take the time to share what’s happening in each other’s lives and grow as a team.
- Invest In A Similar Strategy: While ministering to kids is different than ministering to teens, you want to make sure that you are on the same page. There needs to be synergy from elementary school to middle school and on to high school. If your programs compete or collide, you’ll find yourself starting from scratch each year.
When you invest in your children’s ministry you invest in the future of the student ministry. Youth and children’s ministry need to come together to see how they can tackle the whole journey of childhood and adolescence. Work together, share a vision and continue to grow disciples.
How do you work with your children’s ministry?
Chris Wesley (@chrisrwesley)