Those that lead in children’s ministry are typically expected to “do everything” – even if they are not gifted in certain areas. In fact, a common notion is that a “good” Children’s Pastor is one that teaches, administrates, leads, takes out the trash, trains teachers often, is at the church 6 days a week (at least) and still has quality family time.
Unfortunately, this type of standard is just impossible to uphold. What happens is that many children’s ministry leaders end up spending much of their time doing things that (a) they don’t like doing and (b) they don’t want to do. This is a recipe for disaster and ministry burnout.
Why? Because that is the expectation. If a Children’s Minister is not doing something that another person in the church expects them to be doing that Children’s minister can be mislabeled as “lazy” or “uncommitted” or even “worthless.”
I don’t have the final answer to this quandary, but I can offer some advice for those that struggle in this area based on my, somewhat limited, experience:
a. Do first what you like doing and what you do well in – Whatever that is, make it a priority. For me, it’s teaching. Therefore, I try to create as many opportunities to teach as possible. That can be somewhat challenging as the bulk of my “job description” is administrative.
b. Delegate what you struggle with and do not like doing – Let’s face it: you’re not going to do something well that you don’t like to do. There are times you’ll have to do part of your job that you don’t like, but for the most part, find those people that enjoy that type of work and hand it off to them. Both of you win in this situation.
c. Take criticism with a grain of salt – The second you start delegating, you’ll begin to get criticized. At my church, there are people who know much more about certain areas of my ministry because not only have I delegated responsibility to them but I’ve also delegated certain levels of authority. When criticized, (a) think about who the criticism is coming from, (b) think about what it is they are saying, (c) think about possible solutions – ask them if they know of one!, (d) pray and ask God to show you anything that you are doing wrong, and (e) move on.
I’m convinced that the Evil One wants to make ministry leaders fell inadequate – especially when they don’t have “control” over every little area of their ministry. Don’t fall victim to that type of spiritual warfare. Do what you do best and delegate the rest. Of course, not everything will be delegated but set a goal of fill about 2/3 of your daily job duties with things that you are good at and enjoy.
What about you? Where are some areas that you’ve discovered that you should delegate? Where are some areas that you’ve discovered, “I need to do more of that”?