Children’s Pastor: Help Wanted

13 06 2008

HelpWhat are most churches looking for in a children’s pastor.

1. Education
2. Experience
3. Passionate about God
4. Passionate about kids
5. Organizational skills
6. Vision
7. Works well with volunteers

I think that church should look for:

1. Passion for God
2. Education
3. Passion for kids and families
4. Chemistry with staff especially with the youth pastor
5. Ability reproduce themselves in others
6. Vision to attract leaders
7. Ability to sell vision to leaders.
8. Able to recognize gifts and abilities of others. Know how to place who where.
9. Creativity
10. Ability to fail well.

Trying to keep this post short this time but head over to Children’s Ministry online Kenny has a much better list than me check it out.





Why are Children’s Pastors so lame?

12 06 2008

hand-1
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.





What does it take to be a children’s pastor?

10 06 2008

Photo 59In my previous post I was talking about the lack of desire from young people to be a children’s pastor. Of all the teens, young adults and especially those in Bible college I have asked what they want to do in the ministry almost all say youth pastor. I don’t say this in a bitter way at all because I was one of those who said the same thing I want to be a youth pastor.

Before I post my thoughts I do want to back up a bit. At age 13 I had a dramatic experience and knew that God was calling me to full time ministry. I went to four years of bible college took classes to prepare for youth ministry. I did a youth pastor internship for a summer in the church I currently serve as a children’s pastor.

My pastor approached me at bible college and asked me to work full time at the church with the youth. I moved out to utica right out of bible college. I arrived in Utica helped my friend Mike Servello start the youth group. I was here for about a month when one of the pastors sat me down and explained to me that I was in charge of all the kids ministries.

Honestly I was devastated. I felt I was called to work with youth. I just moved across the country. I prayed and asked God if this is what you want me to do then you have to give me a passion for it. It didn’t happen overnight but it did happen. I now feel so passionately about kids ministry that given a choice I will always choose kids ministry.

To be a children’s pastor you need the following:

1. Passion for God
2. Need to be very administrative. You can’t be a children’s pastor without some level of administrative ability.
3. You must be more kingdom minded than department minded.
4. You have to realize that what you do may not be seen by man and be genuinely ok with that.
5. You have to know how to recognize the gifts that people have and know how to implement them.
6. You have to know how to reproduce yourself in others.
7. You need to be able to communicate truth and vision to adult and kids in a simple manor.
8. Work well with the youth pastor. I love our youth pastor. He loves God, so do I and loves Guess again so do I. Check out his blog.
8. You need to have ADD – well that may not be a requirement but it does help, and most children’s pastors I know have a touch of ADD if they were really honest.

Let me know what i am missing.





So you want to be a children’s pastor?

9 06 2008

pic285_ov48bh
I have been thinking about a few things the last week or so. I have been talking to some good friends of mine as wells as pastors I know in the region they are all looking for children’s pastors. It got me thinking, why is there such a lack of quality children’s leaders? I realize this may be a perception thing on my part but I don’t think so. I think children’s ministry is 20 years behind youth ministry but is catching up.

Let me know what you think?

This week I want to discuss and get your take on the following:

1. What does it take to become a children’s pastor.
2. Why most children’s pastors wanted to be youth pastors.
3. What churches are looking for in a children’s pastor.
4. Misconceptions that keep people from pursuing children’s ministry.
5. What makes a children’s pastor last.





Be Attitudes: BE COURTEOUS

21 05 2008

raterq4As someone from New York I never would have used courteous to describe it. But hey I found this clipping on the internet and we all know that if it is on the internet it HAS to be true. But since New York is the most courteous place on the planet that leads me to our second value in Uptown.

In Uptown our Be Attitudes are:
1. BE SAFE
2. BE COURTEOUS
3. BE ENGAGING
4. BE CONSISTENT

Being courteous. The reason this is our second value. Why courteous? Because like safety, being courteous deals with initial impressions given to new guests and longtime guests alike.

We believe that being courteous will go a long way to battle the presuppositions about church and God. We want every kid to know that God loves them and has a plan for them.

How can we practically “Be Courteous”

1. Smile all the time!

2. Greet each guest by name. Try to greet each parent by name.

3. If any guest needs anything we show not tell

4. We are committed to go the extra mile to create an environment where lifechange is possible.

What are some ways you have found to demonstrate courteousness in your life and/or ministry.





Be Attitudes: BE SAFE

20 05 2008

Safety.Jpg.W300H388I am very happy to finally be hanging up my hardhat. General contracting is not for me. With most of the details being finished up in the next few weeks I want/need to focus more efforts on the values/vision/ and overall logistics of our kids ministry. This week I am going to be going into our Be Attitudes which are the values that we need to live and breath each weekend.

Our Be Attitudes for Uptown are:
BE SAFE
BE COURTEOUS
BE ENGAGING
BE CONSISTENT

Today I want to talk about safety. When working with kids you can never be to safe. My perspective is safety has to be paramount in all we do. If Parents don’t feel their kid will be safe they will not bring them if kids do not feel safe they won’t stay. If kids don’t come or won’t stay nothing we do matters life change in our context will not happen.

I thought I would post what some of our safety procedures are and could feedback as to what you guys do or don’t do.

1. Check-in – We use Fellowship One. I researched all the church databases out there on the market a few years ago and Fellowship One was just getting started but were already BY FAR the most kid focused/ kid safe program out there. Each family each week gets a randomly generated alpha numeric code printed on a sticker that the parents have to match to the kiddo sticker. Very safe and very fast.

2. In the hall. No person is allowed in the wing were our kids classes take place without a Fellowship One name-tag. The only people that are allowed are approved volunteers, children of the appropriate age and parents.

3. All workers must fill out an application and have a background check performed.

4. We never change diapers or assist kids in the bathroom.

5. Kids are not allowed to leave their environment until a parent or guardian picks up their child by displaying their matching name-tag code.

PARENT RECIPT
Picture 1

CHILD NAMETAG
Picture 2

6. We do tours for adults wishing to see our children’s ministry environments AFTER all the kiddos are gone.

7. Every environment has a walkie talkie to page parents or to contact security.

Some people have not liked these changes. But I am committed more than ever to BE SAFE.

Your turn. What do you do or would suggest we do to keep our kiddos safe.





I love Hillsong!

2 01 2008

cdhillsongkids_telltheworldI love Hillsong. I am so excited I just got the new Hillsong Kids CD and DVD. I love, love, love it. It is differnt from the other DVD’s they have made (I am not talking about the fact the name doesn’t have super in it anywhere) and I love it even more.

I am so greatful to Dave, Julia and the crew at Hillsong Kids. I am so blown away so often by the level of commitment to excellence, the power of the Holy Spirit and the example All things are possible in children’s ministry.

Every time I get the new Hillsong kids dvd I so want to move to Australia to just be a part of the great things God is doing. The fact we usually have about 2 feet of snow on the ground at the time doesn’t help.

If you work with kids you MUST get the CD and the DVD it can and will help you be more effective, creative and intentional about reaching this Generation for Him.

Hillsong, we are so blessed by what you do. Thank you so very much.

My top 5 favs from this album are:

1. I’m Not Ashamed
2. Lean on You
3. Yours Alone
4. My Number One
5. You’re the Answer





One Last Thought On Serventeerism (Volunteers).

19 11 2007

Thankfulness

thank_you
I  thought I was done with my posts about volunteers. Then I read a post from Gina McClain’s blog. She had a link to another blog about thank you notes.
I started thinking that one very important ingredient I had neglected in my posts on the recruitment of volunteers is thankfulness. We need to be thankful to those who are serving as well as to God for seeing our need and filling it before we even realize we need it.

Just a few thoughts about writing notes:

  1. Hand write them.
  2. Be specific in your thanks.
  3. Be sincere in what you say.
  4. Write a thank you note to people when they don’t expect it. Not just when they do something for you. Like right after a big event.

Last but not least thank God often. When we remember what God has done for us and cultivate an attitude of gratitude, we raise the level of faith and decrease the level of cynicism.





Youtube Friday: Externalize internal Order

16 11 2007

I talked a little about this yesterday. One that has really helped was making a volunteer board. I got this fantastic idea from a kidology report.

1. I draw on the white board all my volunteer positions
2. I fill in each square with the name of the volunteer that functions in the position represented by that square.
3. I use different color markers for each department I oversee
4. I use brown for people I have thought of recruiting but haven’t yet.
5. I use orange for people in the process of being placed.
6. I use black to place them in their desired ministry position

I love it because I can visually see my needs. Until I did this I “felt” like my volunteer positions were low. I did know who was serving but they were all on different schedules by department.

Another thing that is helpful by do this and visualizing my volunteers it minimizes scheduling conflicts within my departments.

Thank you Karl. For all your wonderful ideas. You and your staff are a blessing an support to all of us. Here is a link to Karl’s video about the volunteer whiteboard.

The bottom line of volunteer recruitment is this. What we do is significant what God does is indispensable.

Psalm 127

1 If the Lord doesn’t build the house,
the builders are working for nothing.
If the Lord doesn’t guard the city,
the guards are watching for nothing.
2 It is no use for you to get up early
and stay up late,
working for a living.
The Lord gives sleep to those he loves.
3 Children are a gift from the Lord.
Babies are a reward





ServanTeerism (part 4)

15 11 2007

Know your holes and know your roles.

One of the things that has always held me back was not knowing were I needed help when someone asks. One of the greatest opportunity for recruitment is Sunday morning. People see what is going on they want to get involved.

You need to know your holes and know your roles.

Know your holes -

I found an excellent video on The kidology.org website. It was a organization chart on a whiteboard. (Let me just say I am creative by nature Administrative by necessity). This chart peeked my interest but didn’t get me super excited.

whiteboardIt has rocked my world. I now know where we need people, who I am thinking of asking to help who has asked me to help. It is an external representation of my internal thought process when it comes to volunteers. I LOVE IT. That’s Right all caps.

I now know my holes. If someone asks me to help I bring them right over to the board and see where they would like to help and where we need help. I have added about 15-20 new volunteers just by knowing where my needs are. When you know your needs you can ask people to volunteer personally and specifically. It also enables you to pray specifically.

Know your roles -

Know what each job description is.
Know what is required as far as time and commitment.
Know what a win looks like in that role.
Know how that role functions within the team.








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