I respect Bill because he is:
David: What are actions that children’s ministry leaders can take in leading up to their senior pastor? And how are these effective?
First and foremost, it requires relationships. You can’t lead up well
unless it’s to a person who knows you and knows your heart. That’s been
true with Sue and me.
When she has a big issue and says, "Bill,
I don’t bother you much, but this is one where I need to ask for some
time," then I trust her. So build a relationship that respects your
pastor’s time. Leading up also requires you to use influence and cast
vision so the person you report to can see a picture he or she might
not see now.
On a number of occasions, you’ve said, "Senior pastors, if you have one
ministry card to play, invest in your children’s ministry." What do you
Bill: Throughout the years, society offers
the church just a certain number of entrance ramps into the
"non-church" world. At times it’s been sports. Then it was marriage
enrichment. Today I believe the single remaining common interest or
entrance point for non-churched people into the life of the church is
children. No matter how lost a guy is, he still usually loves his son.
And no matter how off track a woman is, she still has a soft place in
her heart for her kids. This means we have a wide-open door to almost
every family in every community worldwide when we love and serve their
kids. If a kid comes home from a children’s ministry and says, "I met
some kids, I had fun and loved it, and I want to go back," most of the
time a parent will say, "okay," and then return to that church. From a
strategic standpoint, to reach families, it’s a wise investment. From
the perspective that a lot of volunteers are raised up, it’s also a
win. There are church-wide benefits on all sides of a thriving
In the early days of your church, you were not a big proponent of
children’s ministry. Today you’re a very vocal supporter. What caused
you, as a senior pastor, to make such a big change?
I admit I was a late-arriver to see the value children’s ministry could
bring to Willow Creek. It started when, occasionally, a mother or
father would share excitement over how much their kids learned in
Promiseland. [Promiseland is Willow Creek’s children’s ministry.]
Parents noticed that their kids were changing, and that grabbed my
attention. Then I would run into volunteers fired up about working with
children. I never really looked at children’s ministry as a place where
scores or even hundreds of volunteers could find their most meaningful
place of service in the church. I always thought most people would find
that adult ministry was the place to use their gifts. But a picture was
developing of kids’ lives changing—and a place where significant
numbers of volunteers were using their spiritual gifts.
These are just part of an interview done by Childrensministry.com for the rest of the interview CLICK HERE