It’s the month of scary stuff. So between the scary costumes in stores or the Halloween specials on tv, or even just the amount of money Americans spend on candy in October (9.1 billion), you may be done with scary stuff. But this week, I’m giving you the 6 scariest things to say about kids ministry.
1. We don’t do background checks.
The first step in ministering to kids is caring for kids and that means insuring their safety. Such care is taken into kids environments and their safety but when that same care isn’t taken into who is allowed to work with the kids, it’s definitely scary. Reference checks and background checks are an absolute for kids ministry.
2. They need to be learning not having fun.
For some reason some people think these are mutually exclusive when in actuality for kids they almost always need to go hand in hand. Kids learn through play and when you’re teaching the most important thing to them, you should take fun seriously.
3. It’s Babysitting
If a church refers to children’s ministry as baby sitting- run the other way. My mom used to run a daycare and she always joked that she never sat on a baby. Her point was she did so much more than just watch them, she taught them, used curriculum, created crafts, etc. Relegating that hard work down to “babysitting” is unfair. The message of the church is so important, hard work should go into making it accessible for a kid, it’s definitely not babysitting. If it truly is, most likely they aren’t proud of the work they put into it.
This phrase drives me crazy and I often hear it more from people in kids ministry than outside of it. Usually it sounds like this: “I’m JUST in kids ministry.”
As if the work they do isn’t as important since it’s for kids. Remember the body of Christ image Paul painted? Here’s the truth, kids ministry is a chance for God to work through your church to win the heart of the next generation. Don’t cut off the arm or leg of the church with a “just”.
5. It’s not Pastor led.
I don’t mean that your senior pastor needs to volunteer in the 3 year old room. But the point is that support for kids ministry, first-class support, comes when the senior pastor supports kids ministry, in word, in deed, and in budget.
6. Every position in kids ministry is voluntary.
I have the privilege to work at a church and get paid for it. Not every church is able to do that. I totally understand that and every church has their own set of circumstances, so I’m not pretending to be able to cast a blanket statement and have it apply the same to everyone. But here’s the truth. If every time a paid position becomes available, it’s filled by another ministry, yet “kids come first” is a church catchphrase, there’s a dichotomy at play there. When every kids position is voluntary that means that the budget money simply isn’t matching the mouth. If kids come first, someone should be consumed by it. That’s hard to do on a voluntary basis.