This past weekend I had the privilege of being the keynote speaker at the Power Up conference in Southern California. I was so blessed to meet two incredible individuals, both over 80 years old and STILL actively involved in Children's Ministry. What truly blew me away was that even after 60+ years in Children's Ministry, they were both at a Conference ready and eager to learn.
At this same conference, they honored a couple, Ron and Judy Radachy (pictured above), who had served 35 years in an inner-city ministry in Hollywood, CA. It was such a blessing to see two people who had invested their lives in ONE place. Their stories were astounding!
There's something to be said about longevity in ministry - especially longevity in ONE place. I see a lot of church hopping in Children's Ministry today. I have been the Kids Pastor here at First NLR for over 14 years. In that time, I have several Kidmin friends who have been in four and five different churches. While, I understand there are times that God calls us on to another place, too often I see people leaving for petty reasons and/or perceived "greener pastures."
Probably all of us in ministry have heard the stats, and they are troubling. The average Children/Youth Minister only stays at his current church for about 18 months. Some studies have stated that it may be more like 3 years, and others I have seen say it’s more like 9-11 months. But suffice it to say, the tenure of the average Children/Youth Minister is way too short.
When you move on too quickly, you miss out on the incredible benefits of longevity in ministry:
Longevity in ministry may be rare, but I believe that is slowly changing. As Kids Ministry Leaders begin to recognize the benefits of longevity, this will begin to become the norm instead of the exception.
What about you? What are some benefits to longevity that I may have missed?