Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Somebody once asked me, "What is your typical week like?"

I bristled.

Actually, I didn't bristle, but I do have a certain disdain for the question. I presume that the reason is curiosity: what does a "children's ministries director" really do? It's a hard question for me, because, proverbially speaking, I wear a lot of different hats. If you want to be really technical about it, I have two paid jobs at my church, neither of which is "children's ministries director." That's right--the thing that occupies a great deal of my time, thoughts, energy, and creativity is, in reality, a volunteer position! I'm fortunate, though, in having a paid job that gives me a certain amount of flexibility in carrying out the children's ministry. But to divide my week into what segments fall where? Uhhhh, that's a little hard to do.

6:15 a.m. Open the facility for the church DayCare. This includes retreiving messages, unlocking doors, getting out toys, double checking the schedule, etc. I also make the coffee, which is Biblical (there's a whole book in Scripture about it: He brews!). By 6:30, the kiddos start trickling in.

8:45 a.m. Teach one of the 4 year 0ld classes. Sociologists call this a "contra-typical career position." They've obviously never watched Kindergarten Cop or Daddy Day Care, otherwise they would realize that early childhood education is just bursting with near-middle aged bald guys who know the names of the four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and three Power Puff girls.

11:00 a.m. Class over. Time for what I affectionately (delusionally) call "me time." In the next 1.5 hours, I will eat lunch, catch up on the news, maybe go online, do some yard work (maybe), get a quick "power nap," run errands, etc. This isn't absolute...sometimes, I am needed later at the DayCare, sometimes I choose to just jump right into something else. And some days, when there is no class, I'm off even earlier, giving me even more "me time."

12:30 p.m. Job #2 is "Administrative Assistant." This is where the flexibility comes in. My mission is to serve the needs of the pastor and the church. For my pastor, it is a matter of removing obstacles and distractions (like screening phone calls, visitors, helping drop-ins, etc.). As part of my duties, I also handle publicity and promotion (the church newsletter, press releases, etc.). I carry out "missions" for the church adminstrator (finding out if any of the pile of old keys fits into any existing doors).
But the rest of the afternoon is pretty much up to me. When I'm not handling "official duties", I'm free to study, prepare, pray, call, research, and otherwise carry out things like children's ministries, sermon and lesson prep, etc. It's such an incredible blessing to have the time and freedom to do these things each day.

Weekends, of course, are a whole different animal. Obviously, it's a time to recharge, spend time around the house, dialogue with the occaisional cult member who chooses Saturday morning to come to my door, and so on. I enjoy the time with my wife. But at some point, I run down to the church to put together last minute items for Sunday and to set up the room for our children's program. Since we meet in the fellowship hall, everything we have is moveable. A lot of items are stored on the stage, so we have to take it all off the stage to put in its various places.
If all goes well, the process is fairly quick. If we run into trouble (such as the sound board not producing sound), then it takes a little longer.

And that brings us to Sundays, a day which deserves its own post. I try to arrive early (about 8 a.m.) to do any last minute chores. Our "Celebration Small Group" meets at 9 a.m. I gather the kids and dismiss them to their classes. Then I "hightail" it to the other side of the building to teach an adult Bible study.
At 10:00 a.m. is "Celebration Large Group." I facilitate and teach the kids during this time, unless I'm filling the pulpit for the pastor when he's away. After it's over and the parents have retrieved their children, we put everything back on the stage again.

And then Monday, it starts again.

That's it...a typical week. But not so typical. Every day the Lord gives a fresh batch of mercies and grace to meet whatever challenges come up. It is indeed an adventure! I get to work with cool is that!!!

And next week? Well, I'm taking a break from my "typical week" to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. As I have the time and free wireless, I'll probably blog about the sights. In the meantime, the adventure continues (cue Indiana Jones music and fade.....)


  1. Wow! I'm tired just reading that. Do you get a chance to get to the worship service? I struggle with that but know that it is important. It hasn't happened much this year. It helps that my boss (the children's pastor) is always checking up on me to make sure I'm getting in to worship.

  2. It's not as tiring as it first looks (okay, it can be at times!), but at least I can do some prep during my afternoons. My utmost admiration is for those on my team who have full time jobs and active lives, yet still come prepared and ready to do God's work on Sundays.
    I don't regularly attend the adult service (usually just when I'm filling the pulpit for the pastor). But I do have the advantage, among my other activities, of being the "tape archivist", so I can keep current with the teaching ministry (plus, I feed myself whenever I can from media messages, live church services on the internet, etc.)