Thursday, January 16, 2014


The category is Hard Lessons to Learn.  The final answer is, "Without this element, your children's ministry will likely go downhill."

What is, "The Support and Backing of the Church Leadership."

It's true.  You can attend all the classes and conferences to learn all the latest techniques, you can have a blast with the kids, you can be well loved and well admired by parents, and you can have the best, most dazzling program that the church has ever seen.  But if the elders, deacons, pastoral staff, or other governing body isn't behind the work, you will face a tough road.

When you sense that maybe you are not getting the support of the church leadership, what can you do?  Here are a few suggestions:

1Be the best.  It's tempting when you learn that the board doesn't back you to respond by cutting back your efforts.  Don't.  Your job is to glorify God and reach kids and that requires our very best, no matter who notices, doesn't notice, or even works against it.

2.  Make sure your program lines up with the church's mission.  It's important that your pastor and leaders know that the children's department is a vital part of the church, not a competitor.

3.  Share the wins with the leadership.  A testimony of how little Toby trusted Jesus in Sunday School, or how five pre-teens expressed interest in the mission field will often encourage the board as the vitality of the work.

4.  Meet regularly with your pastor. Make it a part of your schedule. If you can turn your pastor into a raving fan, he can become the biggest cheerleader before the board.

5Be willing to change. Read between the lines of the comments and mine the beneficial nuggets that will help propel your ministry further.

6.  Ask.  The apparent lack of support could be a matter of misunderstanding or lack of communication.  You may just have to lay your concerns before the board and trust for a turnaround.

7.  Be prepared for rejection.  Sometimes, a lack of support is just that: the board doesn't support you. It could be driven by church politics or marketing, or it could be a lack of understanding about what children's ministries is all about.  Sometimes you can't do anything.  It may be that the Lord is directing you into another area of ministry at your church or another church.  Be ready.

Above all, throughout all, pray.  Keep your eyes on Jesus.  Sometimes it sounds trite, especially when you hear the whisperings from the leadership about what you're doing.  But the Lord's peace will embrace you through the difficult decisions.

Lack of support from the church leadership is a hard lesson to figure out.  But even when your ministry appears to be in jeopardy, you can always lean on the Lord as you go through the storm.

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