Every church has someone who is in charge of the children's ministry, regardless of where they are on the org chart or payroll. They are not in it for the money or the glory.
They obviously love Jesus and our kids—so I'm going to love them back today through this letter, which I hope you will make sure they get.
Dear Children's Minister,
I love you and so do scores of other pastors, parents and church members. Here are nine reasons why:
1. You love our kids like they are your own. You don't just love your job, you also love our children and treat them like they are your own family.
2. You minister mostly behind the scenes. No one really knows how hard your ministry is because you operate almost entirely outside of the limelight. The Wizard of Oz was a poser; you are the real deal.
3. You give your pastor candy. I have a handful of children's ministers who can testify that I'm not speaking hypothetically here. I claim several obscure Scriptures about the Levites to justify my crimes, yet you loved me anyway. I love you all right back!
4. You adapt to constant changes in the law. This has been the biggest change I've seen in the last three decades of ministry. In my opinion, these changes are good because they benefit the children. In the first church I pastored, the baby room had an old floor heater which was an accident waiting to happen. Today, facilities have codes and background security checks are normal and necessary for the safety of our children. Jana Magruder, director of LifeWay Kids, recommends Ministry Safe as a helpful resource.
5. You juggle family, church and school calendars. Most of the children's ministers I have served with were also raising their own children. I appreciate how much of a challenge it is for you to win at home and at church.
6. You recruit and equip a zillion workers. It takes a very determined person to recruit an endless carousel of workers and teachers for your ministry. The retention rate is much lower for your ministry, yet you step up to the plate all year long.
7. You work way more than you are paid for. Many of you serve with distinction even when your salary fails to keep pace with the growth of your ministry. Pastors, you can help to stabilize this position and reduce turnover by initiating incremental changes. I can't think of one growing church that has not prioritized their children's ministry, starting with the staff.
8. You make the ministry staff better. Every staff has a personality, which you contribute to in a way that is very important. You bring a special measure of grace and class to the staff meetings. Also, those of you who are female represent the majority of church members, which helps bring a balanced perspective to our planning.
9. You are legit missionaries. In addition to hosting VBS, seasonal events and more on church campuses, you are also blazing trails in schools, parks and at community events. Blaze on!
I would love to hear from you why we all love and appreciate our children's ministers.
Mark Dance serves as associate vice president for pastoral leadership at LifeWay Christian Resources. For the original article, visit lifeway.com.
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