Monday, December 19, 2011


Effective December 31 (my birthday, by the way!), after 15 years of service, I will no longer be the children's pastor at my church.

To say I have mixed emotions is like saying Shakespeare was a good writer. It is the epitome of understatements. On the one hand (trying to look for silver linings here!), there is less on my plate now, freeing me to finish some other projects in the church office (I'm employed as the administrative assistant for the church. I did the whole children's ministry gig for free), giving me a little more couple time with my wife or releasing me to get some badly needed yard work finished. Plus there's the whole lack of stress thing, which anybody in ministry can tell you is a part of the whole ministry package. Okay, silver linings, check.

But then there's the other side. How do I just walk away from something that has been life and passion for a decade and half (and actually longer, since I regularly did children's ministries in high school, college, and other churches before coming to this current situation)? "Building His Kingdom, Reaching His Kids" was the theme of the first Children's Pastor's Conference I attended, but it's also been a theme of this ministry. I sincerely, honestly, truly want kids to learn about Jesus and have tons of fun! Since I'm officially on the "older" side of the age scale, I've been impressed with the contagiousness of kids' energy. I don't know how to explain it, but for some reason, any aches, pains, and lack of energy vanish from the time I walk in the door to the time I leave. I'll be doing dance moves and goofy characters during the ministry time, only to feel like every bone in my body has been twisted out of shape when I leave. How can I leave a ministry that constantly demands the very best of my adaptability and creativity and gives me avenues to exercise and apply infectious joy? And then there's the smiles, the laughs, the tears, the high fives, handshakes, and hugs. Why am I leaving all that?

I will not bore or trouble you on a public blog with the internal matters of church politics and demographic targeting. Let me be general for a moment (understanding that nearly all churches encounter this with any ministry, not just kids): when the leadership of a church does not share or support the vision for children's ministry, there are few options left. Children's Ministry is a function of the local church and, as such, is under whatever board controls the vision and direction of that church. That's the way it is and that is the way it should be. That does not mean I agree with the specifics of the board's actions and reasonings. I have expressed the specifics to my pastor, but there are very few others with whom I will share the proverbial "nitty gritty." If you are local and curious, I will direct you to the elder board for their take. Causing a ruckus will serve no one.

So I'm resigning. I'll still be at my church for the foreseeable future as I'm still employed in the office. And just because I'm leaving my unpaid position does not mean I'm leaving "children's ministry." I will still be in San Diego for the 2012 Children's Pastors' Conference. I may even have time to blog more and share at least some of the thimble-full of knowledge and experience I may have gleaned over the last 15 years. I may make myself available once again for pulpit supply and guest speaking, seeing as my Sundays are not as tight as they once were. I don't know yet specifics yet, as I'm still in the praying, grieving, and "what's next" stage. But one thing that has been resounding around my brain is this: as important and integral as children's ministry is to my life, it is not God. Think about that--in whatever area of your life is important--that area is not God. God is God...and I serve Him.

Thank you for your prayers and support. And as rule #3 says in our Sunday morning kidmin: "Learn about Jesus and have tons of fun!"


  1. Wow, changes of direction are not always in themselves very fun. But God's hand NEVER errs despite man's tendency to go astray. May His name be glorified! And may you find & rest in His abundant peace!

    Stu (six months unemployed & counting)

  2. Thanks, Stu. I'll be praying for provision and direction in your life as well. I've been down the long-term unemployment route fun. But you're right: God's hand never errs.

  3. Sad to hear of the update, but praying God will use this next season in your life and in the church for some growth and refining and reflection. I look forward to catching up and learning more in person at CPC - perhaps there is a full time children's pastor position in your future?

  4. Your myriad contributions to children's and adult ministries have been, and I am sure will continue to be, both spirit-filled and fruitful. God has blessed many lives through your efforts, and I am supremely confident hat He will bless many more in the future. I hope you know how much we love you. I am always ready, my brother, to stand back-to-back, shoulder-to-shoulder with you, in service to our Lord and Savior.