Being an effective children’s ministry leader involves much more than being able to teach kids. If you really want to succeed, here’s 10 skills to focus on.
1. Time management
Children’s ministry is very time consuming. Sunday always returns and you’ve got to be ready. Add to that events, volunteer management, guest follow-up and a host of other responsibilities, and you’ve got a full plate.
And many children’s ministry leaders serve in a part-time or even volunteer role. They are juggling a full-time job while giving as much as they can to their children’s ministry role.
With this comes the necessity of managing your time well. If you struggle in this area or want to improve, there are lots of great time management books and online resources that can help you.
Your success as a children’s ministry leader hinges on your ability to delegate. Narrow what you do to the few things that will have the most impact and give away the rest. If you don’t, you will become the lid that holds the ministry back.
3. Conflict management
There will be conflict. You can count on it. Volunteers will have disputes, parents will get upset and ministry staff will have disagreements. Managing these conflicts takes skill. Most people are not naturally good at it, but the good news is it can be learned. Read all you can about managing conflict and hone this skill. You’ll need it.
Hearing refers to the sounds that you hear, whereas listening requires more than that: it requires focus. Listening means paying attention not only to what is said, but to how it is said as well. In other words, it means being aware of both verbal and non-verbal messages.
5. Inspiring and motivating others
A vital skill for a children’s ministry leader is being able to inspire and motivate others. This means conveying passion for a vision and direction. It’s leading from the front. Your team will never be more inspired or motivated than you are as the leader.
This includes not only communicating with kids, but with volunteers and parents as well. It is essential to be able to communicate vision and direction to those on your team. Communication skills are one of the easiest things to improve. Ask people to give you feedback on your communication. Video yourself, watch the tape and look for ways you can improve.
7. Leading change
It takes skill to lead change. You must know how to prepare people for it and then lead them through it. The ability to manage change and make it happen smoothly is a skill you will want to master.
8. Connect with parents
If you really want to influence kids, then you’ve got to be able to influence parents. Be “fun” when you’re with the kids, but don’t become known as a “big kid’ who can’t connect with or relate to parents. You must earn their respect if you want to influence them.
9. Team building
If I had to pick one skill above all else in children’s ministry, it would be team building. The success of your ministry rises and falls on your ability to build a team. Make this your number one priority. Master this skill and you will shine.
In addition to motivating people, it’s also important to be able to help others learn, grow and become more effective. Once you learn this skill, you will begin to develop leaders of leaders instead of just doers. This will allow you to multiply yourself.
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