So what do you do? Are you a Children’s Pastor, Pastor to Children, Family Pastor, Director of Children’s and Family Ministry?
I have never been one to get hung up on a title, but I am a Children’s Pastor. I pastor children. I have noticed what seems to be a growing trend on many blogs about what a children’s pastor does exactly? Does a children’s pastor lead leaders and not teach children? Does a children’s pastor teach children as their main focus? Have a Confused you yet? Yes? Good that was my intention to make this first part a bunch of rambling statements. LOL!
My intent here is to start a dialogue that I’ve had with several others who serve in Children’s ministry. I have wondered aloud, what is happening to the “Children’s Pastor?” Have we become a bunch of “leader of leaders” that we don’t DO minister directly to children anymore? I understand that as the church grows it does seem more necessary for a person to shift roles from teaching children to leading leaders but is it possible to be successful doing both? Can you minister to children and still lead leaders?
It is a struggle for me when I go to conferences to listen to people talk about children’s ministry and growing ministries when only to find out that they who are speaking don’t actually do the ministry they just tell others how to do it. When your serving in a smaller church you must do both, at least that is my experience. I have spent many years in churches 500 or less and as a Children’s Pastor I would not only teach children myself, but I would train others do what I do. To me, that was my recipe for success. It won over parents who saw me loving and teaching the children the Word of God. It won my volunteers over as they saw me loving and teaching the children the Word of God. As I modeled how to do this before the parents and volunteers they learned how to do it for themselves.
If I had chosen just to “lead leaders” by being an administrator alone, they would not see and experience the things they need to grow and develop themselves as ministers to children. I firmly believe you can’t teach what you don’t do!
I see a trend that scares me and that I think will change again. Many churches went out to search and hire a Leader for children’s ministry. They found a person who is “high-capacity” and who is a major organizer but where they are weak is teaching children. They struggle with relating to parents and they can only tell others what to do, and when to do it.
I’ve been working with a couple of churches who have changed their search, they are now looking for someone who can minister to children and their parents and lead leaders in a balanced way. I want to be a balanced leader. I want to lead my team and help them move to a higher level of ministry. To reach children that I cannot. I want to help my team to come along side the parents and families who bring their children to our ministries. But I also want to share Jesus with children. I want them to know I AM THEIR PASTOR! I don’t just lead leaders, I lead children! I AM A CHILDREN’S PASTOR
So, My questions to start a fun dialogue, What is a Children’s Pastor? What are his/her duties? Priorities? Function? Can a Kids Pastor minister directly to children and be a leader or leaders or should we limit ourselves to more administrative than ministry?