We had hit the end of our midweek program, and I was completely exhausted.
I hate to say it, but I was praising God that it was over.
Nine months straight of Wednesday evenings, and I just wasn’t seeing a lot of fruit for such a labor-intensive program.
For all the work we were doing, it wasn’t making much of a difference in the lives of the kids in our church.
I wasn’t experiencing much joy in this journey either.
Fast forward five years to May 2002.
I was called to a children’s pastor position in Fort Worth, Texas.
The summer was wide open for me, so I decided to try a new leadership ministry for preteens which I called Leaders In Training (L.I.T.).
The difference in the ministry was the idea of equipping the preteens for ministry.
We offered two training tracks at the time—puppets and praise team. We also trained some of them to run tech.
The goal was to train them for ministry and to disciple them through teaching disciplines for walking with the Lord daily.
We met on Sunday evenings to train and to have small group Bible study. They did ministry on Wednesday evenings.
The kids loved it, and I loved watching them grow and flourish in their faith.
We challenged them to make Christ Lord of their lives daily. We prayed for them and with them and showed them how to pray.
We taught them how to share their faith, and three of our preteens led kids to Christ that summer!
We trained them how to serve and then released them to do so.
I was having the best time of my life because I began to see fruit from our labors.
Ministry truly became a joy, and I was thick in the middle of it.
I looked forward daily to spending time with our preteens. They taught me so much.
They were quickly developing into confident ministers in our church.
I decided to take it a little further.
We trained them for ministry, and then what they had learned to do at the church, we took them out and they did in a local apartment complex.
It was like children’s church on steroids!
It stretched their faith, but they loved ministering to kids in our community.
What they learned at church was easy to do in the community, and that is the way Jesus would have wanted it.
Ministry is overwhelming at times, but I found true joy in ministry when I chose a new path of discipleship and training young preteen leaders to be young ministers in my church.
That summer became a new norm for me, and I have never turned back to the old way of ministry.
Take some time to evaluate what you are doing:
- Find ways that you can serve alongside the children and preteens in your church.
- Focus on what is most important—making disciples who love Jesus and walk with Him daily.
- Train and release kids to minister. You will find great joy in watching your younger brothers and sisters in Christ flourish in their gifts.
- Learn to share ministry with others so that they can experience the same joy as you have.
- Rest in the Lord and seek His face. There are a lot of good ideas, but you only want God ideas.
I am Clint May.
I have been in children’s ministry for more than 30 years now.
I must say, my greatest joy has been when I took this new path about 16 years ago.
I now work full time with L.I.T. Ministries.
My passion and the passion of L.I.T. is to assist the local church to take this new path of ministry as well.
The children and preteens in your church are looking for purpose and identity in Christ’s church.
We are here to help you help them find it.
This is not an easy path, but it is a path of ministry in which you will see much fruit and have great joy.
If you would like to talk with one of us on how to get started, click here.
For more information about L.I.T. (Leaders In Training), please click here.