I have this little quip I say when I get frustrated. Maybe you say it, too. “I’m just the Children’s Pastor.” You can insert whatever your main job description or task into that phrase. I read this post, and it got me thinking…
The truth is I’m not just the children’s pastor when it comes to my job. I am one of the pastors at my church. I’m responsible for contributing to the overall health and mission of this church. That means sometimes I’m the graphics guy or the IT guy or the pastoral counselor guy or the answer the phones guy or whatever else is needed to be done guy.
I’m not advocating that we have to do everything. I’m not even advocating that the success of my church rises and falls on whether or not I do everything. (God help my church if that was the case!) What I am saying, though, is that I need to own a sense of responsibility for all the things that go on here. I’m not just the children’s pastor. I shouldn’t just care about what goes on in the children’s ministry. I need to care about all the other people I work with and the overall mission of the church.
I think sometimes we can get so focused on what we are doing in our area of ministry that we develop tunnel vision. We get irked more easily because things don’t go exactly how we want them. We become jealous of other ministry areas getting more money or volunteers or more stage time. We treat those we are supposed to be working with as competitors for attention and resources.
Yes, there are churches where those in children’s ministry are genuinely overlooked or ignored or devalued. Instead of circling the wagons on children’s ministry, though, or trying to find ways to manufacture respect, we need to genuinely serve our churches and the people we work with in those churches. We need to help further the overall mission of the church and find how children’s/family ministry fits into that.
Does that mean we become doormats or keep “turning the other cheek” if what we do as children’s ministers continues to be overlooked or devalued? Of course not. If that happens, find a place you can truly contribute to.
I, think, though that many of us in children’s ministry are carrying a huge chip on our shoulders that we need to get rid of. Yes, children’s ministry is of vital importance but so is the transformation of every life no matter what the age. Let’s not get so focused on just being the children’s minister and be the ones guilty of devaluing another ministry area.