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.




6 responses

10 06 2008

You must be flexible as a children’s minister. When your teachers don’t show up, you have to find subs or do the class yourself.

10 06 2008


Thanks for adding to the discussion. Flexibility is huge! You will never last for the long haul as a children’s pastor if you are not flexible.

10 06 2008
lori chapman

Pastor Sam,
I think the number one attribute would be a heart for children like Jesus has. It would help if one also had super organizational skills, awesome creativity ( to keep the kids’ interest) and a “peter pan” mentality( to always remain a kid at heart)!! Thanks for giving me the privilege of working with you in Uptown and if ever a day goes by that we , as a family. do not tell you this, always know that we love and appreciate you and realize that you are the BEST children’s pastor that we could ever have!!! Lori Chapman

12 06 2008


Thanks for you kind words. Thank you for being part of the team, you and the rest of the team make uptown what it is! I do agree that you in some aspects have to never grow up. I really liked you peter pan analogy.

12 06 2008
Larry Shallenberger

A-never-say-die attitude. For me the biggest discipline has been to learn how to remain positive, even when the umpteenth teacher calls off on a winter Sunday with the flu.

“Leading Up”– I’ve learned that our policies and proceedures, when communicated poorly, feels like inflexibility to higher-ups. I’ve slowly learned to present these things as filters of excellence as we try to achieve the bosses goals.

12 06 2008

Ha! I’m about as far from ADD as possible… but I work well with those that do. I thrive on the administrative side of things. I’ve worked very closely with a CP who had little to no administrative skills. This person was very skilled and very effective as a CP… but on the inside they were really struggling… they needed help soooo bad. I don’t believe they needed help… they needed organization.

Good to hear your story. I need to hire a few positions… and I’m thinking that I’d love to recruit some youth pastors the CM… if I can convince them. 🙂

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