Remember? Remember when you first got in to children’s ministry? Remember the calling God gave you? The burden you had for children? The awesome responsibility you accepted? The urgency you felt? Back when it was about reaching lost kids and discipling those who had accepted Christ? Remember when the stories were about changed lives and your conversations were mostly about the kids rather than the problems? Remember when you spent a ridiculous amount of time on some minor, but fun aspect of the ministry just so you could see the faces of the kids light up when they arrived? Remember when you didn’t even notice how exhausted you were?
You went into children’s ministry because you wanted to be a shepherd of children – and all too soon you became more sheepherder than shepherd. Just getting the kids where they need to be and hoping to have a reasonable adult-to-child ratio became a weekly battle. Managing volunteers, appeasing parents, buying supplies, keeping the senior pastor as well as the janitor happy, answering voice mail, e-mail and snail mail and countless meetings gradually took over. Before you knew it, being a minister gave way to being an administrator. And somewhere the kids got lost in the shuffle. Oh, the kids, are fine. But you feel your heart for ministry fading and you secretly miss when you were just a volunteer and not in charge of the whole operation.
It doesn’t have to be that way!
Children’s Ministry has gone nuts. Seriously. It’s less than a hundred years old and yet we’ve made it into an empire more daunting and menacing than the Galactic Empire! How did the Church survive for so many generations and produce such godly saints without all the trappings of our modern ministry? Perhaps all our advances are a part of the problem. Could it be that all we have created to help has in part become a hindrance? An entire industry of resources and programs (and websites!) has exploded and what do we have to show for it? Just statistics that seem to suggest that kids are worse off spiritually than ever before. How can this be?! Where have we gone wrong?
We forgot our calling to be Shepherds.
READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE ON KIDOLOGY.org for some very thought provoking and practical tips on how to get back to being more a shepherd than a sheepherder.
I may have to frame this article. It was exactly, exactly what I needed to see right now. You’ve no idea.
– Jennifer R.