Why are Children's Pastors so lame?

I want to attempt to answer my own question, Why do most young people going into the ministry want to be youth pastors? But first a couple of your responses.

From jonathancliff.com He had lots of other great thoughts check out his whole post here.

Why most Children’s Pastors wanted to be youth pastors?
Because it’s when we’re teenagers or college students that we really start trying to live out our Christian walk; and the first ‘church’ relationship we ever had was with our Youth pastor. Therefore, making the youth pastor role the coolest one we’ve ever known! On a side note… it could also be that children’s ministry leaves a bad memory for many…

Sarah Thompson had the following to say on her blog.

Did I see that excitement and passion in Sunday School? Nope! Did I see it at Youth Group? Absolutely! Youth Group is where the action happened. It’s where I saw God turn up.

Reasons why do most young people want to be youth pastors and not children’s pastors

1. Teens are more social and youth groups have become more small group socially connected in and out of church.
2. Teens are thinking more about the future and what they want to be is by in large decided more in High School than elementary school.
3. More churches value youth ministry and more time and energy are put into that age demographic
4. College’s and Seminaries have many ministry tracts focused on Teen ministry and very few focusing on ministry to kids.
5. Most kids have a negative or neutral children’s church experience.
6. Youth pastors are just to cool. They are our youth pastor is no exception up on culture, fashion and are typically great communicators.
7. Teens think to be a youth pastor you have to be a retired female teacher or ex-christian school male principle.

What can we do solve this problem.

1. Start off by doing what we can do.
2. Focus on the power of the Holy Spirit and the power of relationships with others.
3. Have small group leaders that take ownership beyond sunday morning.
4. Make every sunday powerful, exciting, different, and FUN.
5. Push the value of kids in every forum God give you.
6. Recognize the gifts and callings God has given kids in your ministry and help the parents develop those gifts at home and in the context of church.
7. Take fashion and culture advise from your local youth pastor. Just kidding sort of.

I would like to add that for me one way I know I am doing my job is when kids that grew up in my ministry that thrive in the youth ministry. I rejoice because I know I had a small part in seeing that kid become whoever God has for them. I truly believe that youth and children’s ministry are inseparable.

8 comments On Why are Children's Pastors so lame?

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  • I like it. Sam, I feel like you’re pushing the envelope here. The CM world is filled with Fuddy Duddy Children’s Pastors. As a result, people don’t want to serve in their ministry because they are… weird! The majority of the kids like them, but once they start getting into the 4th and 5th grade, they start disconnecting because even the kids start noticing that their Children’s Pastor is… weird.

    Your comment about CP’s getting fashion advice from the YP is not far off… at all. It sounds really carnal, but I think the way a CP dresses, talks and acts is incredibly important to leading volunteers and leading kids.

    As a CP, we need to do more than just inspire kids, we need to inspire the adults serving in our ministry. I don’t want my leaders to only appreciate my heart and passion for the kids, I want them to appreciate my heart and passion for them. This is going to be hard for me to do if my leaders are unable to relate to me.

  • Kenny,

    thanks for all your insight. I agree too much fuddy and to much duddy. I think that is another area where we can learn from YP’s they embrace culture and use things from culture to communicate the lifechanging truth of God’s word. Jesus did this all the time. He understood the power of proper context. Use what your audience knows and understands, fishing, farming, ect to communicate the truths of the kingdom. For some reason we as children’s pastors spend all of our time preaching the evils of Disney while clutching to our flannel graphs and puppets.

    Thanks for all your great thoughts that you have added to the conversation.

  • Preach it Brother Sam!

  • So true that we need to be culturally relevant. I’m all about finding out what’s going on in a kids world and using their language and culture to communicate the truth in God’s word to them.

    But what about in small churches where there just isn’t that hip young adult to be that funky culturally relevant person?

    Either way, I think every kids pastor needs to have vision. Vision is attractive (it’s the thing that has got youth ministry to where it is today). When people get working around a vision together it forms community. Community is attractive ‘cos people love to belong.

  • Thanks for your thoughts
    I think that we are starting to see a change in Children’s Ministry. No longer are we seeing the older generation leading sunday school as it was but we are starting to see hip young people getting involved.
    Churches are seeing the need for relevant people to be involved in the leading of childrens programmes and children’s programmes are moving into being week long ministries.

    Children are the now generation not the furture generation if we start to remind ourselves of this then we will see a move in the people leading childrens ministries around the world.

    I’m only 25 but sometimes I have to remind my self that I need to learn what Children today think are hip and become relevant for a generation who are technologically advanced.

  • Great post. For me the thought that I would be a youth pastor was simply a generational thing. You see, when I was a kis children’s pastor didn’t really exist. I’m sure there were some in really large churches, but certainly not in most churches. So, when God called me to ministry kidmin wasn’t on my radar because I knew He was calling me to full time, vocational service and I had never seen that in kidmin.

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