Children’s ministry is the ultimate thrill ride. As a children’s minister, I live in a constant bubble of excitement. What’s not to love about an office filled with colorful props, helium tanks and tons of cardboard? However, I would be wrong not to confess that sometimes I get discouraged. (I know, the shame of it all, right?) Once I go home and take off the cape (yes, sometimes I wear a cape) I’m just me again.
I am the girl who lost her temper with a demanding child. I’m the one who forgot to return a parent’s phone call and totally spaced out on the whole “stop and buy snacks” thing. On top of that, I have my personal issues, my struggles, my fight against the enemy. I struggle to be like Jesus, to serve him, sometimes forgetting that it’s not through my works but by faith in Him that I am successful.
And that’s another word that gets in my head—success. I admit that at times my idea of success gets skewed. Instead of counting hearts touched, I count heads, like a disobedient David. Whatever your reasons or mine, we have to learn how to deal with discouragement. When I get to feeling discouraged I look around for affirmation but it’s not always available. Sometimes you have to do what David did, and in this case, that’s a good thing. Encourage yourself in the Lord! Here’s a few ways you can do that.
1. Get excited about your personal devotion time. Always remember this, when you’re feeding the sheep out of your own manna basket you can get hungry. At times, I’ve gotten discouraged because I neglected my personal devotion. Studying for a message and studying for your own personal devotional time are two different things. You have to make time for both.
2. Open the scrapbook. Keep all those cards, notes and craft items that your kids give you. Re-examining those treasures is an excellent way to encourage yourself.
3. Measure your success differently. Discouragement can come when our thinking about ministry doesn’t line up with God’s. Remember what He says about His ministry: “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” (James 1:27) And also, “But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” (Matthew 19:14)
4. Find someone you can encourage. There’s probably no better remedy for discouragement than to encourage someone else. Feeling down? Find someone to help.
5. Allow yourself to dream about the future. Getting stuck in a rut can put a damper on your zeal. Give yourself permission to dream again. Think big! Believe God like you’ve never believed before and pay attention to those forgotten dreams. All things are possible!
Read more from Mimi by following her blog at Tools for Kids Church.
- 10 Ways To Overcome Ministry Discouragement
- 8 Ways to Rediscover Your Passion for Ministry
- 5 Ways To Turn Your Children’s Ministry Around