In my last post I ranted about being innovative at a very basic level… your language and terminology and there are much bigger fish to fry in the long run. But it started out as a commentary on a strange practice in a number of Churches I observe. The idea that we ‘close down’ our children’s ministries over summer/holidays etc.
As children’s ministries one of the biggest issues we face is that we are somewhat unseen in our work with our leadership. They are simply not in the room when we do our thing (unlike the worship leader or preacher). So you need to establish yourself as the resident kids expert. This means that the opinion of your leadership is that no one else in your Church knows how to raise up a generation to follow God more than you do.
So as years progress and seasons change we try to communicate just how important ministry to children is and impress upon our leaders to take certain directions in the ministry to children.
All of this work can by completely undermined by certain decisions, one of the most dumbfounding is this: “Lets take a break during summer”.
Now on the surface it seems like a perfectly reasonable idea. It gives leaders a chance to rest and renew, a chance to sit back and reflect and plan for the future.
But scrape away the veneer of rhetoric and I think that is may be saying something unconsciously to our Church:
1. What we are doing in our program is unsustainable over the long term
2. We are asking too much from our volunteers
3. The way we do Church is not the best way to do Church for Children
4. The school system is a great example for running a Church
5. This is how we do ministry because it’s the way we have always done it
6. I’m doing too much — and need a break (oh yes, and that’s on top of my annual leave entitlements)
7. This is a seventh reason because it seems more Biblical to have seven.
If you are committed to a way of operating as a Church community, then actually commit to it. You will be saying to your leadership that what we are doing is the most effective, efficient, fruit-bearing forms of ministry you can imagine and it’s simply untenable to imagine doing it any other way.
Am I telling you to work yourself into the ground for the sake of an ideal?
Nope. Just change the ideal.
(Now this applies to a model of ministry that involves separate age grouped ministry during Church services, you might be operating in a very different paradigm).
There is a reason behind these last two posts I will explain next time so stay tuned.
To be continued…