Being a children’s pastor for eighteen years has brought so much joy into my life! From the glue sticks to the creased Bibles to the beach balls, I love every aspect of ministering to kids. It has been a blessing to teach hundreds and thousands of kids about Jesus. However, there are some things that drive me crazy.
When I hear or see these things, I want to say, “NOOO!” Of course, I don’t usually do that. I’d rather kerplunk along and continue to minister to kids. But in an effort to encourage other children’s pastors, I am going to share my 10 things that drive me crazy and hopefully, we’ll find humor and maybe a solution.
1. Hearing a parent say, “You don’t have to go if you don’t want to.” You may think it Mom or Dad, but don’t say it. Once your nervous child realizes you’ll let him off the hook and let him play “hookey,” he’ll never want to attend children’s church.
2. Parents that don’t pick up their children in a timely fashion. I love your kids but once the class is over, I want to spend time with my family too. (After I clean the facility of course.) Please come get your children when church is over. If you want to have lunch with the pastor or visit the coffee shop, take your kiddos too.
3. Kids that don’t say “please” and “thank you.” Perhaps it is just how I was raised (I come from a military family) but we never uttered a phrase to an adult with the use of a sir, ma’am, please or thank you. Sometimes several of those! Answering an adult with a “yeah” or “huh?” isn’t appropriate. Don’t worry Mom and Dad! I’ve got your back on this one. (I give Bible Bucks for kids who show their best manners.)
4. Volunteers that don’t show up and don’t call. I won’t dwell on this too much because we’ve all experienced it and there really isn’t too much you can do about it. (Other than remove the volunteer from the roster.)
5. When I don’t test an object lesson before the demonstration and it fails. I wrote down the wrong measurements for a recipe that was supposed to bubble up. That was an epic fail. I’ve learned to test my object lessons before I present them to the class.
6. Volunteers that don’t worship. Lead by example anyone?
7. Parents who say “Let me pray about it” and never get back with me. (Please just tell me no.)
8. When other church members say, “Where have you been?” (I’ve been in the children’s department.)
9. Volunteers who want to chat during the service. Come on guys! Work with me here!
10. When I don’t pray or prepare adequately. As I mentioned, I’m only human and sometimes I have difficult weeks where I don’t put my time in with God. I hate how that feels. That’s definitely my top 10 thing!
~~ Thanks for all the feedback on this post. You’re encouragement helped me write a follow-up with 6 more things to add on the list.
Read more from Mimi by following her blog at Tools for Kids Church. Don’t miss our other articles on leadership, parents, and volunteers in your ministry.