Ministry is the same way (or should be). When I first began as a regular children's pastor, I already had about 19 years of on-again, off-again children's ministry opportunities. I knew the basics of what to do with kids, but I didn't know much about modern children's ministry. Fortunately, there were a growing number of resources becoming available. I discovered our local children's ministry network held an annual conference, which I began attending. I became a voracious reader and took advantage of opportunities to pick the brains of the movers and shakers in Children's Ministry. And then I found out about INCM's Children's Pastors Conference, which ignited a firestorm of ideas, wisdom, creativity, and possibility. I was the Children's Pastor, but I was always very much a student. And after 19 years of periodic ministries and 15 years as Children's Pastor, I was better than I was the day before, but not as good as I could be the next day.
But late last year, the proverbial wheels came off the trike. Agree or disagree, our church board wanted to do things differently; thus, nearly overnight, I was no longer Children's Pastor. There's a lot that can be said about the process and claims and reasonings behind the move. But ever being the student, I always ask myself, "What can I learn from all this?" "If I could do it all again, what could I improve?"
So the next few installments will contain items I could have done better. And it's not that I didn't do them at all, nor is it that I did not excel once in a while in an area. But consistently, over all, what could I have improved? Here are the four items (I'll add links as the items post):
- Item #1: Find better ways to deliberately connect with parents
- Item #2: Seek stronger ways to intentionally build leaders
- Item #3: Get the leadership on board
- Item #4: Do a better job at kid relationships.