I used to be jealous of our children’s ministry because I thought they were getting all the attention. Space in our church needs to be shared; therefore, everything needs to lean towards “CHILD FRIENDLY”. Just like the teenagers I serve I would grow embarrassed by the “KID-LIKE” décor that filled the walls. I would wonder, “Do teens want to come back after seeing that?”
I eventually matured and realized that as a youth minister I need the children’s ministry in order to succeed. They are the future teens you will mentor. They are laying the foundation for what you do, and if they fail your job will be that much harder. So, what does that mean?
YOU NEED TO INVEST IN THE CHILDREN’S MINISTRY
How are you supposed to invest in the children’s ministry in order to create a better student ministry?
GROW WITH THE CHILDREN’S PASTOR
Not sure what the relationship you have with your children’s pastor looks like but it needs to be healthy. This means getting to know them as a coworker and a person. Schedule a weekly or biweekly meeting where you can discuss obstacles, share stories of success and challenge one another. The more you get to know them the more you begin to trust them.
SPEND TIME IN THE MINISTRY
I found that much of my frustration with the children’s ministry was due to old expectations. I always compared it to the misconceptions I had about children’s ministry. All this did was create suspicion. By observing the children’s ministry you will see how it is serving your student ministry. You will also be able to give your children’s pastor an outsider’s perspective.
ENCOURAGE YOUR TEENS TO SERVE
Just as you need multiples of volunteers, so does the children’s ministry. One thing you can offer them that they can’t offer you is a teenage workforce. Encourage your teens to give what they have been given. Your teens will not only be youthful and energetic, but a positive role model for the kids.
PUT THEM FIRST
While you may want a bigger budget, make sure it doesn’t come at the expense of the children’s programs. On top of finances, help them recruit leaders and help them communicate to parents about what they are doing. By serving the children’s ministry in your church, you are building the foundation of your future teens.
It’s easy to grow jealous of others if you are only focused on yourself. The way that your ministry will grow is if you learn how to grow with others on staff. After your pastor the best place to start is with the person running the children’s ministry. It’s not only your future but also your foundation. Help them succeed.
What are you doing to invest in the children’s ministry at your church?