the shape of leadership

Three Things I Tell Every KidMin Volunteer

Principles children’s workers need to know

Brian Dollar on September 7, 2018

Part of the process for joining our kids’ ministry team is a personal sit-down interview with me, the children’s pastor. I want to know personally everyone who serves on our team — whether they are working in an upfront or behind-the-scenes capacity. During this interview, I always stress three important principles I hope will guide their decisions while serving in ministry.

Excellence Matters

We try to live Colossians 3:23 on a daily basis: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” In every part of kids’ ministry, our goal is excellence. That means we arrive early, we give 110 percent of our energy during each service, and we go above and beyond the basic expectations.

When a volunteer has a lesson to teach, a skit to perform, or a song to sing, he or she should spend time practicing and preparing rather than winging it in the moment. God deserves our best, and so do the children.

Little Eyes Are Always Watching

More than 800 kids attend our church regularly. It’s hard to go anywhere in our city without running into one of them. Jesus said in Matthew 18:6, “If anyone causes one of these little ones — those who believe in me — to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

God deserves our best, and so do the children.

We must be conscious of every word, action, reaction and attitude we display, whether we are at church, in the grocery store or attending a sporting event. You never know when one of these children’s eyes are on you. You want to set the right example for them — whether intentionally or unintentionally.

This goes for social media posts as well. I remind our leaders that the parents of the children in our church (and, sadly, some of the kids themselves) are on social media. I want my leaders to make sure every post reflects the character of Christ. I ask them to refrain from rants, pictures, jokes, etc. that could distract from our message and mission.

As a leader of children, I want our volunteers to realize the impact a seemingly harmless, yet inappropriate, post can cause. I don’t want them to do anything that would damage their reputation, their leadership, or the Kingdom.

Ministry Can Happen Anywhere

Ministry doesn’t just happen during the services. You never know when God will open a door to minister to a child. You might see a child sitting alone in the game area who needs some help joining the group. You might encounter a child with his or her parents in the lobby and stop to offer them a word of encouragement. You might even feel like God is leading you to send a family a card during the week to let them know you are praying for them.

There are many opportunities to make a difference in the lives of children and their families. Look for those ministry moments, both inside and outside the services.

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