Dear New Children's Pastor

Dear New Children’s Pastor,

Welcome to the ministry.  I know that if you’ve taken this job, then you are probably comfortable NOT being in the spotlight.  And that’s a great thing, because you will NOT be in the spotlight.  (Unless of course your volunteers don’t show up, but then that’s another letter.)  You’ve taken the job because on some level you love working with children and serving families.  You are probably a person that is comfortable leading children to the feet of Jesus week after week after week after week.  For that you will get the limelight in heaven for eternity, so just wait.

I do have a few things to say to you, so sit down and take a listen.  And by sitting down, I mean put your tush in a chair and hold on tight.  There are three things that need to be said to you, and I don’t want you getting so offended that you step backwards and hurt yourself.  Are you sitting down?  Are you ready?  I’m going share three goals for your new endeavor.

In order of importance let’s start with possibly the most important goal I will give you in the history of forever.

Goal #1: Do Not Suck!

That’s a harsh word for some of you.  Not a word I’d use from the stage in front of children, but I want you to heed the advice.  Before you can make your Children’s Ministry into the beacon of excellence that brings Children’s Workers from the bordering states to come and observe your greatness; you have to stop sucking first.  If you have leaders that stink, move them out.  If you have elements of your environments that are terrible, then change them.  It is good advice that you need to take a cautious approach with many changes in a new arena, but trust me…if it really stinks, everyone will know it.  And when it really stinks it needs changing!  So remember, Goal #1 and get busy at not sucking.

Goal #2: Love People!

If you don’t have a ministry budget dedicated to taking people to lunch then get one.  Take them to lunch, bring them breakfast at work, invite them over for dinner, mail out thank you cards (hand-written and not from your Assistant!), and take time each and every week to love on people.  Consider yourself in a never ending race for Mayor, and spend time lending a listening ear, hugging babies, and never turn down a chance to praise the people that will make this dream of yours eventually happen.  If I meet another Children’s Pastor that doesn’t leave his office and interact with the people at his church I’m going to lose it.  Love People, Love People, Love People!

Goal #3: Find the Answers!

You do not have all the answers.  Go ahead and read that again, You do not have all the answers.  However, there are many that do have the answers and you just need to find them.  Many of your answers are waiting out there in books, blogs, and magazines.  Become a voracious reader of everything related to parenting, children, teenagers (because your kids will eventually be here!), grandparents, and church children’s ministry trends.  Don’t ever be caught being stupid when it comes to what your job is.  If you don’t know the answer, then admit it and start looking for it somewhere else besides your own brain!  Find the answers!

I know that you have it in you to meet these three goals.  If you can get the ball rolling on all three, then the doors will start opening up for you and true ministry will happen.  It’s my prayer that each and every day on this new job, you will be growing as a leader, pastor, and lover of people.

Now stop reading and go do something productive.  Seriously, go!

Sincerely,

Jonathan Cliff

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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11 thoughts on “Dear New Children's Pastor

  1. dude, do you know that today is my FIRST day as Director of Children's Ministry? How stinkin' awesome is this post on my first day?!

  2. Hey Jonathan. Thanks for posting something that's honest, straight forward, and practical. It seems as though we often get so caught up in thinking and talking about Vision and mission and assimilation and big words no one understands anyways and find ourselves missing the point. I've only been in children's ministry for a couple of months, but was a worship pastor for years before this and I think this advice applies to all areas of ministry. Thanks for the reminder. Keep it up

    Kenny – kidsharbor.tumblr.com