I hear one statement a LOT as I travel and speak to Kids Ministry Leaders all over the country: “My Lead Pastor just doesn’t get it!” In some churches, there seems to be a real divide between the senior leadership and the Kids Ministry Pastor/Director.
Most Kidmin Leaders I talk to feel that the reason for the strain on this relationship is almost entirely the fault of the Lead Pastor. They forget that every relationship is a two-way street and haven’t considered the following three reasons why the Lead Pastor doesn’t “get” Kids Ministry.
1. He doesn’t know what’s going on in Kids Ministry.
Often, the Lead Pastor is not aware of all the great things happening in Kids Ministry. He doesn’t know about the salvations that are taking place every Sunday. He doesn’t know about how God is using the children at their schools to start Bible Clubs and reach their friends for Jesus Christ.
Why doesn’t he know? The reason he doesn’t know is usually because the Kids Ministry Leader isn’t communicating with him. They don’t tell him about everything going on. They are WAITING for him to ask.
I have news for you. Your pastor has an entire church to lead and keep track of. It is not his responsibility alone to probe and ask about everything going on in every area of Ministry. It is YOUR job to keep him informed. Believe me, he WANTS to know.
So, instead of assuming, “He doesn’t care.” Instead of thinking, “I don’t want to bother him with all the details.” TELL him when something great happens. Email him when a child is saved. Leave him a note about what God is doing in the lives of the kids.
I send my pastor email updates on meetings I have, the first time I hear of an issue or problem he needs to be aware of, and the moment I know of a possible hitch in his plans. He doesn’t have to respond, but he wants to be informed. The last thing he needs is to be blindsided by a situation he SHOULD have known about. Don’t say, “I didn’t want to bother you.” Let HIM decide what “bothers him.” The worst thing that could happen is he hits delete.
Communicate with your pastor, then watch how much he starts to “get it.” He can’t “get” what you aren’t making him aware of.
2. He’s not in your “Kids Ministry World.”
It’s a simple fact. The Lead Pastor is in the Sanctuary and the Kids Ministry takes place elsewhere. But, much of the time, that is not the reason the Lead Pastor is not in your “Kids Ministry World.”
Kids Ministry Leaders are sometimes guilty of creating their own “world” unto themselves. They are passionate about their ministry (and rightly so), but they allow that passion to lead to a single-focus. They get so wrapped up in their own ministry area, they begin to isolate themselves from the other staff and ministries.
This is what I call “Kidmin Tunnel Vision”, and I write about it more extensively in this post. Don’t create a ministry silo. A silo occurs when each part of an organization becomes self-contained, is independent from the others, and fails to coordinate vision, philosophy, and practices. It can happen in divisions of companies, and it can happen in churches—especially in kids’ ministries.
Instead of creating a “world” of Kids Ministry, look for ways to stay connected to your pastor’s vision, relationships with other staff, and what God is doing in the church as a whole.
3. He has the wrong motives.
Or at least, that is what we choose to believe. When we disagree with a pastor’s decisions, it’s easy to ascribe sinister motives to him. We think he’s stupid, or selfish, or manipulative. We see signs of pride or fear. Sometimes, we’re assigning our own hidden motives to him. Psychologists call it projection.
We need to nix that. Our pastors are doing their very best. Certainly, they make bad choices from time to time, but we can assume they’re doing all they can to honor God and lead with integrity. If we’re going to make assumptions, let’s assume our pastor has the very best motives.
Is your relationship with your Lead Pastor strained at the moment? Perhaps you need to stop pointing the finger at him – and turn it on yourself. Be open and honest with yourself…are you guilty of the three situations I have listed here? If so, it’s not too late to change.
Spend some time praying for your relationship with your pastor this week. Pray that God will help YOU do what is necessary to have a vibrant, growing relationship with your Lead Pastor. Watch how God changes you and your relationship. It’s amazing when Kids Pastors and Lead Pastors can work together in a thriving, growing way!