This post is a playful way to make a point. I wrote it as an open letter to all pastors on behalf of all kids ministry leaders. It is inspired by true events and stories I’ve heard from the world of kids ministry.
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We need to talk.
I’ve noticed a breakdown in the way our staff operates and I think we need to deal with it. And soon.
You know I’ve been working at this church for several years now. But it didn’t take long for me to find out we have a problem. My first day started off simple enough. I spent a few hours setting up my office and asking God for direction. I read over my job description and made a few check lists. Then I asked you what I should be doing next.
I’ll always remember the look on your face. You said, “You’re the Children’s Minister, that’s why we pay you. Figure things out and let me know if you have any problems.” Then you turned around, went back into your office, and closed the door.
From that moment until now I have had almost zero supervision.
I know this is somewhat normal, especially in smaller churches. I’ve even heard of volunteer ministry leaders who never talk to their pastors at all. Many people are leading children’s ministry with little or no pastoral supervision. As long as they don’t make trouble, they are invisible.
I know you are busy. I know you have enough worries and don’t want to micromanage what we’re doing in kids church. I really do appreciate the trust and freedom I’ve been given. At the same time, I think this supervision issue can hurt the church.
There are many smart people in kids ministry who make stupid mistakes. If nobody is there to offer correction, things can get really far off track. Sometimes I need to bounce things off you. I need to answer hard questions. I want to see the big picture. I need you to pray with me about this ministry.
Honestly, I’m feeling a little discouraged. When this ministry is ignored it often feels like it doesn’t matter. I feel like I don’t matter. I guess I would even call it neglect. I’m not sure it would be spiritually healthy for me to continue feeling this way. I don’t want to become bitter, but I’ve been having moments.
Besides, too much independence of any one ministry is not good for the church. Sometimes I’m not sure if my vision matches yours. I don’t want to be the cause of friction within the congregation. I would love to share in a coordinated ministry plan that avoids competing interests or missed opportunities.
Here are two simple ideas that could help us address this situation. I’d love to hear what you think too.
What if we meet together at least once a month. I can give you an update on our ministry and we can write down some ministry objectives for the next few months. Then we can pray together for the families in our church. If the schedule works out, we could include several of the key ministry leaders.
I would love for you to experience our programs at least once. I know this is hard with all your leadership duties, but maybe you could pick a special Sunday once per year just to come back for kids church. This would show the congregation that kids really do matter to you. In the short term, you could stop into a few Sunday School rooms and pray with the children.
I hope this does not come across as criticism. I really want to do what’s best for the church. I’m praying that we can have an open dialog about these issues. Thanks again for your all your support.
Your Partner in the Gospel,
The Children’s Ministery
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