playground

I Want What They Have: Dealing with Ministry Envy

Environments / Leadership //

Ever walked into another church and got really envious?  Wow!  Look at what they have!  Why can’t I have that?  I have to confess that I felt that way last night.  I went over to a friend’s church to help with a district event and I got to see their awesome newly built children’s space.  I went on a tour and just stared in amazement of all she had.  Their entrance was amazing!  A huge lobby (just for the children’s ministry) with a nice welcome desk and new check-in system.  When you go through the doors to the left, you will enter the children’s worship space, complete with a stage and sound booth.  This is a huge room with lots of space for worshiping with kids.  And what makes it so great is that it’s all her own and she can decorate the stage and leave it.

If you go to the right when you go in the main doors then you will walk into the large children’s indoor playground.  This is a kid’s dream!  The kids last night played and played in that room.  I have to admit that even I went up in the large play structure and slid down the slide!  So much fun!  Classrooms for all ages lined the 2 floors.  Many of those classrooms had sinks and bathrooms in between too.  They were decorated just for the children’s ministry.

I think my favorite thing was that she had not one, but two storage rooms!  One room was so neatly organized with labeled bins of everyday supplies.  The other storage room was also neatly organized with bins full of seasonal items and VBS supplies.   Such huge rooms with work counters, sinks, and refrigerators!  I was in an organized Children’s Director’s heaven!

As I left last night I had to ask God for forgiveness.  I was envious of what she had.  I wanted all those rooms so I wouldn’t have to share space any more.  I wanted the freedom she has to do what she wants to each room.  I wanted that storage space.  I am a middle child so I am used to sharing space.  I had to share a bedroom with both my older sister and younger sister.  I don’t think I got my own room until my older sister went off to college.  So, for pretty much my whole childhood I shared space.  You think I would be used to it, right?

After I prayed and then began to think, I realized that I’m o.k. with what I have.  God has provided our Children’s Ministry with a hallway full of classrooms that we share with our preschool.  God has given us a Fellowship Hall as a large group meeting space on Sunday mornings for Kidz Church.  God has provided me with 2 storage rooms for all the many supplies that come with Children’s Ministry.  Our main storage space is on the kids hall (a classroom not used by the preschool).  It has many cabinets full of organized items.  The second storage space is the unfinished basement at my house.  And let me tell you it’s totally full!  Lots of bins filled with seasonal items and many years of VBS materials.  I actually have a ferris wheel in my basement.  It was a VBS prop one year.  God has provided all that I need in order to do ministry with the kids in my church and community.  Thank you, Lord!

Do I still want my own space?  Sure.  If my church came to me tomorrow and said they were given a huge donation to build a children and youth building, I would be so excited and ready.  However, until that day comes, I will continue to give thanks to God for every single thing he has given me in my children’s ministry.  I will also continue to ask for forgiveness of the envy I feel when I see others who have more than I do.  I’m sure it will happen again, but I will do my best to give thanks instead of feeling envious.

Do you struggle with ministry envy?  Remember to give thanks and focus on all that God has given  you.

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About the Author

Vanessa Myers has been in the ministry for 13 years serving in Youth Ministry & Children’s Ministry and currently serving as the Children’s Director at Dahlonega UMC. She has found that children’s ministry is her passion. She enjoys sharing the love of Jesus with all children, teaching the kids the Bible stories in fun and exciting ways, and planting seeds in the spiritual lives of these children. Vanessa has found another calling to be one of encouraging other Children’s Ministers and loves to write and share her experiences on her blog. Vanessa and her husband, Andrew, have 2 daughters and live in Dahlonega, GA. You can follow Vanessa on Twitter at: vtmyers0921.