There is an old saying, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.”
This is very true in ministry.
If you are not careful, you can go through years of ministry and never have a vision that drives you.
You see, church does not have to be boring or mundane from Sunday to Wednesday to Sunday and all over again.
When I started in Children's Ministry, I felt somewhat lost at the time. I was brand new to ministry in general and especially with children. I did not understand the importance of policies or a protective plan for children. As I trained and prepared for the ministry, I learned an essential key to simplicity. That key is to use (with permission) other leader's and church's ideas, handbooks, policies, and procedures. I asked many churches along the way if I could get a copy of their preschool and children's ministry policies, and they were always willing to give me a copy. They would tell me, “Make them your own.” They are yours for your ministry. So that is just what I did. I would make several copies and sit down with my leadership team, small group director, preschool coordinator, and whoever else served in leadership roles in preschool and children's ministry, and we would make them work for our church.
While talking with pastor Joel Hayworth today, I asked him, “What has sustained you most in life and ministry?” He shared, “I learned spiritual disciplines while I was in the fourth grade. These disciplines carried me through junior high, high school, and college, through good times and difficult times. I learned how to have a daily quiet time, Scripture memory, and service at a young age.”
If you are a children’s pastor/leader, you, like me, want children to walk through life with a solid, faithful foundation that will sustain them through the storms of life. Children today face challenges that many of us never faced at their age. Our culture is bent on their destruction. Without a solid faith, it will be difficult for them to withstand the tests they face. However, they have a Savior who will maintain them and give them a solid footing—Jesus Christ. He is our source of strength and power. He is the center of our target and the goal of our salvation (Hebrews 12:1-5).
Teaching children how to spend time at the feet of the Master daily is so important. Through these times, they learn not to depend on their own strength, but His. They learn to tap into the power of the One living in and through them. When children learn the habit of daily Bible study, Scripture memory, prayer, and service, they learn the keys to enduring faith.
One day I had a fourth-grade girl approach me and ask if she could help out in the children's ministry. I immediately put her in charge of our resource room. Right away, I knew that her gift was administration/organization. I could give her something, and she would get it done. Later when she was in sixth grade, she became our Bus Ministry Director. She made phone calls to about 30 children each week. She also served in several afterschool clubs and grew even more as a leader. She continued to serve throughout high school and college. She now has more than 11 years of ministry experience, and I would choose her among most adults because she is a confident, capable, and fruitful leader. It all started during her preteen years.