Monday, November 23, 2009

Important Relationship #1

The Single most important relationship that any kids pastor can have is his/her relationship with God. Bottom line is you can't continue to pour from a well that is dry. If I am not feeding my relationship with God daily, I am in danger of burnout, frustration, and a genuine dislike of people.
Sam Luce does a great job in an article for the latest article of K Magazine of discussing the importance of the Kids Pastor's relationship with Christ.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Important Relationship #2

The next important relationship that every CP should have is with his/her family. I have two little girls (and a little boy on the way) who call me daddy. I have come to realize that there are a lot of people who can minister to the boys and girls in my church, but there is only one person who can be daddy to my kids.
Old school thinking says, "God, you take care of my family and I will take care of your church." Lots and lots of ministers went through life following this philosophy. Unfortunately many of them laid their families down on the altar of "the church".
I believe that God wants us first and foremost to be the shepherd of our own homes. What kind of kids pastor can I be if my own kids grow up resenting church and God because I couldn't keep my priorities in line with God's word.
I as a Kid's Pastor have to make sure that my relationship with my wife and kids is where it needs to be before I can even begin to worry about the church. To learn what the Bible says is expected of a person in leadership with regards to his/her family, just check out 1 Timothy 3. Pretty powerful stuff.
God help me to make sure my kids and my wife know that I love them.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Important Relationship #3

The next vital relationship for every CP is that relationship he/she has with other Children's Pastors. I have a group of friends who are CP's in churches all across the country. My relationship with each of them is different. Let me give you a few examples of what I get from these relationships:
1) Friendship- I can't tell you how important my friendship is with these other Children's Pastors. It is awesome to know that I can always pick up the phone and ask any one of them to pray for me or my family. We do our best to make time for one another. If I am going through a rough patch in ministry or in my family life. I can call on one of them not necessarily for advice as much as for an ear.
2) Mentoring- I love to learn from my friends. I also enjoy sharing new ideas with them when they come along. We make it a habit to learn from one another on a regular basis.
3) Accountability- There are usually very few people in a pastor's life who will call them up and ask them the hard questions (questions about motives, thoughts, and integrity). It is nice to have a few people who aren't afraid to do that for me.

Scripture is clear, "As Iron sharpens Iron, so one man sharpens another". We need relationships with other Children's Pastors that will challenge us and encourage us to be all that God is calling us to be.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Important Relationship #4

The next Relationship on our list is with the Pastoral Team you work with in your setting.  For me, that includes the following:  a counseling pastor, a care pastor, a media arts pastor, a worship pastor, a youth pastor, a missions pastor, an operations pastor, and an executive pastor.  My relationship with each of these individuals has to be on the right path, or Adventure Kidz will not be working at it's full potential.  Let me give you a few examples:
  1)  The Executive Pastor and the Children's Pastor:  In our setting the Executive Pastor handles all of the financial decisions, all dealings with the admin team, and a whole bunch of other "fun" stuff.  If we are not working well together, or if I am not communicating clearly with him, there could be delays in purchases and other issues for Adventure Kidz.  I am thankful for a good relationship with Mark.  It helps to have an executive pastor who cares about kids ministry and sees its value/importance in the grand scheme of things here at Hope.
  2)  Youth Pastor and the Children's Pastor:  This relationship tends to be very strained in most settings.  Usually this stress is brought on by one of the following factors:  competition for space, competition for resources (including but not limited to people and money), and a really ugly thing called jealousy!  It is foolish for me as a kids pastor to allow any of these things to come between me and our Youth Pastor.  Let's think about this for a minute.  Each year where do the kids who graduate out of Adventure Kidz go?  Duh, the Youth Ministry!  So shouldn't I, if I truly cared about the kids, be doing everything I can to make their transition as smooth as possible.  How do I do that?  Simple answer is that I become his biggest fan (I might go into this more in future posts).  I have to allow the kids in our Kids Ministry to see that he and I are good friends and we are working together.  Anything less than a great relationship here does a severe disservice to our families and kids.

I have to be able to work hand in hand with all of the members of our Pastoral team.  They can't be successful without kids ministry and kids ministry can not be successful without them!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Important Relationship #5

An essential relationship that every kids pastor needs to have is one with his/her key leadership team. I have 5 people who make up my Adventure Kidz Leadership Team. These 5 include my Girls Ministry director, my Boys Ministry director, my Early Childhood director, my Administrative Assistant, and my Volunteer director. These people are essential to the success of the kids ministry. I have to make time for them and make sure they know how much I value each of them. These are the people who I meet with on a regular basis, they are some of my best friends in ministry and in life.
I have to spend a significant amount of time with this group of people because they are the ones who have to know my heart and the reasons why I make the decisions I make. If my relationship with one of these people is even the slightest bit off, it could end in huge disaster.
Your setting might be different, either larger or smaller, but you must have a core team of leaders that you surround yourself with. No one can do ministry alone and no one can lead effectively by themselves. I work best in teams and this team is the one that I pour my time and energy into!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Everything Rises and Falls on...

Everything rises and falls on Leadership. I have heard this (and said this) so many times, I think it has become almost cliche'. I mean how many John Maxwell books do you have to read to learn the importance of leadership in almost every area of ministry. I understand this statement and I actually completely agree with it, but I think it is missing something.
I had the privilege to join my Pastor about two weeks ago for a Church Planting Event he was speaking at at SAGU. He was sharing with a group of students there who had some interests in church planting. His topic was leadership and the importance of it in the beginning stages of church planting. He said,
"Everything Rises and Falls on Relationships".
As I sat there and listened, I had some time to process what he actually said. When you think about it, that is so huge!!! Everything that I do as a Kid's Pastor is tied to the relationships that I have and how I have developed them. I can't expect my leaders to know my heart if I haven't shared it with them. I can't expect to get anything accomplished at all if I don't have a good, "healthy" relationship with my Senior Pastor and the rest of the church staff. I can't expect the kids that I have the awesome honor of serving to grow spiritually if they feel like I don't value them personally.
Relationship in ministry is huge. Over the next few posts I will share the 5 most important relationships that I think Every Kids Pastor should have.