Children’s ministry leaders have a great deal of responsibility, and sometimes it’s difficult to keep up with every little task that needs performing. Here, however, is a list of things for leaders not to do when it comes to their ministry:
Don’t tell kids to sit still and be quiet in church.
Don’t place volunteers where they are not gifted.
Don’t teach rules without relationship.
Don’t baptize kids who don’t understand what they are doing.
Don’t do events or programs just because you’ve always done them.
Don’t correct or confront by email.
Don’t be afraid of feedback.
Don’t treat fifth-graders like first-graders.
Don’t neglect your time with Jesus.
Don’t surround yourself with people just like you.
Don’t talk more than you listen.
Don’t make parents wait in line.
Don’t believe your press reports ... good or bad.
Don’t do things that someone else should be doing.
Don’t be “super spiritual.”
Don’t refuse to change.
Don’t be defensive.
Don’t try to lead by title.
Don’t make change a surprise.
Don’t call it childcare.
Don’t skip your vacation.
Don’t equate "deeper" with head knowledge.
Don’t avoid the hard conversation that needs to happen.
Don’t forget to celebrate.
Don’t take shortcuts.
Don’t call first-time guests “visitors.”
Don’t compromise on safety and security.
Don’t get up to teach and not be prepared.
Don’t sweep stuff under the rug that needs to be dealt with.
Don’t make guests guess where to go.
Don’t ignore volunteer-to-child ratios.
Don’t rely on a DVD player to be your teacher.
Don’t be alone with a child ... ever.
Don’t ask volunteers to stay over and serve one more service.
Don’t skip adult worship.
Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Don’t get so immersed in ministry that you don’t enjoy ministry.
Don’t try an object lesson or game during the service without first making sure it works ahead of time.
Don’t say yes to everything people want to put on your children’s ministry calendar.
Don’t expect everyone to like you or what you do.
Don’t bore kids at church.
Don’t tolerate disunity.
Don’t use the word need when recruiting volunteers.
Don’t make kids feel like they are going back to school on the weekend.
Don’t require parents to serve.
Don’t fly solo.
Don’t get too comfortable with the way things are.
Don’t forget to say thank you.
What are some other “to don’ts” that need to be on the list? Share them with us in the comment section below.
Dale Hudson has served in children and family ministry for over 24 years. He is the director of children’s ministries at Christ Fellowship Church in Palm Beach, Fla. He was recently named one of the top 20 influencers in children’s ministry. He is the co-author of four ministry books, including Turbocharged: 100 Simple Secrets to Successful Children’s Ministry. Visit Dale at relevantchildrensministry.com.