It was a hot Summer afternoon in Dallas, Texas in 1993. I had a flat tire – and no spare. I locked my car, left it on the side of busy I-35E in the middle of rush hour traffic, and started running to the closest service station about 1 mile away. I got there, bought a cheap spare tire, and rolled it back down the hill to my car. I had only been gone approximately 20 minutes.
When I arrived, I found my back window broken with glass all in my back seat. I looked inside to find that my brand new in-dash CD Player was GONE! Twenty minutes – in broad daylight, on a busy highway, in plain sight – someone had stolen the most important thing in my car. I was angry, to say the least.
Have you ever felt that way? Ever had something stolen from you? It hurts. You feel violated. You feel cheated. It makes your heart sink. You would never do anything like that to someone else…or would you?
Every week, almost daily, well-meaning Kidmin Leaders are stealing from others – all in the name of ministry. They are stealing something that can not be replaced. It’s not money. It’s not possessions. It IS opportunity. The opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others and use their talents to build the Kingdom of God.
“Wait a second, Brian! Those are harsh words! How am I STEALING from others?” Well, you steal from others when you insist on being “THE MAN” or “THE WOMAN” doing all the up-front ministry in Kids Ministry. Too many Kidmin Leaders are on stage or up in front of the classroom nearly 100% of the service/class time while many capable volunteers are sitting in the room (sometimes in the back of the room) never being allowed to participate in leading.
Men and women who have been gifted and called by God to join us in working with kids are all around us. When we demand to do it all ourselves, we deprive them of the joy of fulfilling their God-given potential.
I understand – you love what you do! You feel called to preach to kids, to enlighten them on the things of God. You love teaching, speaking, singing, doing characters/puppets – so you do all of that…yourself. There are a lot of reasons why you do this. None of them are because you want to STEAL the opportunity from others.
- You think you’re too busy to train others to do the work
- You’re convinced nobody can do it as well as you can
- You think, “It’s faster if I just do it myself.”
I believe there are people in every church who are waiting for us to ask them to join us. If we wait until they beg us to allow them to be up front, we may be waiting a long time. People want to be personally invited to invest their time and talents. Don’t assume people are reluctant. Most people are eager to help, but they want you to ask them. They want to use their gifts and talents, and they want to feel needed. They’re just waiting on you to ask them, so man up and ask them! Get your ego out of the way and share the spotlight!
Let’s be painfully honest: One of the main reasons kids’ ministry leaders insist on doing it all themselves is that their egos won’t let them share the spotlight. They enjoy the thrill of being on stage. They get an adrenaline rush from being “the man” or “the woman” who’s indispensable.
This can’t be you, can it? Maybe not. I denied it, too, until about 9 years ago. Before I made some drastic changes, it was absolutely true for me.
Take an honest inventory of your heart and motives. Ask hard questions, and let God’s Spirit reveal your hidden desires. Is your ego keeping you from building a team? Whatever the reason – repent and change. Stop stealing the opportunity to make a difference from those God has called to work alongside you. You are called to LEAD! Start leading your team into new heights! Bow out of the spotlight and let others SHINE!
How about you? Do you have a tendency to be up-front the entire time while others sit in the back…waiting? Have you been “stealing” from others without realizing it? What is ONE thing you can do THIS WEEK to begin to change? Share your thoughts in the comments section of this post. Let’s help each other take a step up in this area! Let’s help each other STOP STEALING!