How many times have you thought, “My pastor just doesn’t get it” or “my pastor just doesn’t care about kids’ ministry”? Do you struggle with feeling supported by your pastor?
I think we all do from time to time, and some of us feel that way all the time. Most pastors are not wired in a way where kids are their first priority. But most pastors are the same in that they really do want your ministry to succeed. They want the kids in church to know Jesus.
So, how do you bridge the gap? How do you increase the value of children’s ministry in your pastor’s eyes? How do you win support. Here are seven things that we can do, but beware, they all focus on what we need to fix in US!
1. Remember that it is your job to serve him, not vice versa. I was shocked last year to hear someone say that the reason their church didn’t have nursery volunteers was because the pastor didn’t develop volunteers well enough or talk about nursery from the pulpit. Your pastor’s job is to preach God’s Word and lead an entire church. His job is not to make your job easier. He might, and that’s great. Your job is to make HIS job easier. You exist so that he can do what God has called him to do without worrying about the babies in the parking lot.
2. Follow his vision. Know what his vision is for the church and replicate that throughout your children’s ministry. If he values discipleship, make sure your programming reflects that. If evangelism is his passion, have a plan for kidmin evangelism. Along with this, make sure you know his vision for kidmin. What would he like to see? What does he consider a success? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, ask him asap.
3. Tell him all the wins. Wow, we can whine in children’s ministry. And most of it we probably have a right to whine about. But our pastor doesn’t need to hear it. If you only tell him all the bad, why would his impression of your ministry be good? Tell him what God is doing! Tell him great stories. Brag on volunteers. Brag on parents.
3. Don’t be needy. As much as you can, solve your own problems. Take care of your own world. Make sure that when you do need to ask for help, it is such a rarity that he can’t help but listen. On the flip side, pastors generally don’t like surprises, so if an issue comes up that he needs to hear from you first, make sure he hears it from you first!
4. Don’t be silly. Seriously, dress like a grown up. Talk like a normal person. Enough said.
5. His problems are your problems. What can you do to make his job easier? Is there something that is bugging him that you can help fix? If you hear him talking about something he would like to see happen, jump in and help make it happen.
6. Love people. Spend less time complaining about people and invest your energy in loving and serving the people of your church. By loving the people of the church, you are serving your pastor.
7. Be his biggest fan. Don’t talk bad about him to others, either staff or congregation. Ever. Enourage others to support his vision. Be his cheerleader.