Monday, June 24, 2013

How To Choose A Children's Pastor/Leader.
There is no one right way in children's ministry.  In fact, what works in the children's ministry within your church today, will evolve and change every year.  When working with children, what remains the same each year is the primary vision, the mission of children's ministry flowing with the vision of the church.  

Regardless of the primary mission of your church children's ministry, choosing the right leaders is essential.  This person, or team, will direct the program to fulfill it's mission, and make the major decisions beginning and putting together the church children's ministry.  

The heart of the children's ministry is reflected of the children's pastor/leader.  A leader who desires to reach children and their families is a direct mirror of the heart of the leader directing the ministry.  This person determines the value the ministry team, heads over other areas of the church, the Senior Pastors, the parents, and ultimately the whole congregation envision for reaching children.  This person is key to the way others respond and support the children's ministry.  

With this said, it is important to know two things when searching for an effective Children's Minister.  
1.  What to look for in a children's ministry leader.
2.  What to not look for in a children's ministry leader.
Today, we will begin to address:  What to look for in a children's ministry leader.

The following article found at Enrichment Journal provides insights to what kind of person should the children's pastor/leader possess to lead an exciting, spiritually alive children's ministry.  

When looking at choosing a children's ministry leader, begin by evalutating the persons spiritual qualities, personality and character traits, and leadership skills.
Spiritual qualities:The children’s pastor should be a person:
  • who loves Jesus and is filled with the Holy Spirit.
  • whom God has called and anointed to minister to children.
  • who is submissive to spiritual authority.
  • who has a burning passion to see children saved and discipled.
  • with a Christlike servant’s heart–that is, a person who is not looking for a position of ministry but an opportunity to minister.
Personality and character traits:  The children’s pastor should be a person:
  • who loves children and enjoys being with them.
  • whom children love and are drawn toward.
  • with integrity.
  • who has high energy and a contagious passion.
  • with a good sense of humor.
  • who has the capacity and desire to continue to grow.
  • who can effectively communicate with children and adults.
  • who is creative.
Leadership skills:  The children’s pastor should be a person with the ability to:
  • connect with and encourage people.
  • understand and motivate people.
  • gather and recruit people.
  • equip and empower people.
  • develop and multiply people.
While all of the above qualities, traits, and skills are important, few people possess all of them. With the Spirit’s anointing, incredible things happen in our ministry, even when we are inadequate. The apostle Paul believed and taught: "Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God" (2 Corinthians 3:4,5*).You can have an effective children’s ministry if your children’s ministry leader(s) embodies the spiritual qualities and personality/character traits identified above. However, if you desire to have a cutting-edge, growing children’s ministry and one that effectively reaches and disciples a larger number of children, it is essential that you prayerfully seek someone who also possesses or can develop the five leadership skills listed above. Without these skills, an individual, no matter how Christlike and committed, can only minister to a limited number of children. But when a person with the spiritual qualities and the personality/character traits also has these leadership skills, there is no limit to how many children he or she can influence with the love of Jesus.Finding the Right PersonWhether in a smaller church or a larger one, here are some practical things a pastor-coach can do to find the right person to lead the children’s ministry.
  • Pray that God will raise up someone in your congregation who already possesses the gifts and passion for children’s ministry.
  • Pray that God will help you disciple and mentor someone who has the potential gifts and passion for children’s ministry.
  • Pray that God will help you lead someone to Christ who eventually could minister to children. (Several of our most effective children’s ministry leaders have been individuals whom we led to Christ and discipled.)
  • Share your heart with your deacons and other ministry leaders in your church. Ask them to pray with you.
  • Ask a neighboring pastor to assist you in identifying and developing leaders in your church. Others are willing to help if we are not too proud to ask.
  • Ask help from your district office. Your district leadership will consult with you about your situation. They love you and want to help.
  • Call the student ministries office at one or more of our colleges. They will provide names of graduating seniors or recent graduates who have a passion for children’s ministry.
  • Because leaders attract leaders, develop your own leadership gifts. As you do, you’ll find that young leaders will ask if you have a place for them.
Next posting:    What to not look for in a children's ministry leader.

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