WEEKLY KIDMIN QUESTION:
"What has been the biggest change in your Kids Ministry philosophy in the past 20 years?" - submitted by Jon Warneke of Polson, MT
It's hard to believe I am even qualified to answer this question, since to do so means I would have actually had to BE IN Kids Ministry for nearly 20 years. It's true though - I am officially an OLD MAN!
I began my Kids Ministry life in 1992 as a sophomore in College serving at a local church. I had NO idea what I was doing when it came to leading kids on their spiritual journey. I started leading Kids Church with just a couple of volunteers. I grew up putting on shows, acting, performing, etc. I knew how to draw a crowd, so the entire Kids Ministry pretty well consisted of...ME doing MY thing.
It’s one of my biggest regrets. I was having a great time. I enjoyed singing, acting, teaching, and praying with the kids. The problem is I spent a great deal of time running the Kid’s Ministry as a “one man show.” I wondered why I couldn’t get people to volunteer in Kids Church. It was because when they came, I never trained them and never let them flourish.
Sadly, I allowed my Children’s Ministry to become “personality-driven” instead of TEAM-driven. Why did I do that? Because I was convinced it was easier to just do it myself than to try to train someone else to do it. And, that is true – in the short-term. It takes a lot of work and commitment to train and build a team that is effective. Sadly, my first decade of Kids Ministry wasn’t half of what it could have been if I had learned this lesson earlier.
Don’t try to do it alone. There are many individuals that God is calling to work with kids in your church. You have to pray for God to call them, receive them when they answer the call, and train them so they can be effective in that ministry.
Ten years ago, you could have walked into my Children’s Church service and I was on stage nearly the entire time. Now, on any given week I’m on stage no more than 15% of the time, and many weeks I am NEVER on stage.
If you are trying to do the work of the ministry alone - shame on you. Jesus needed a team to accomplish His goal, what makes you better than Him? You are depriving people of the opportunity to serve out their God-given assignment to minister to the kids in your church and community. Don’t be a superstar – build a team!
P.S. Congratulations to Joseph Mater, the winner of our $200 drawing for my first post!