During The 2015 Light Kids Conference, I had the opportunity to share with the children’s ministry leaders who were in attendance. We spent a few minutes focusing on these three words that I want to share with you today. I hope they will be an encouragement to you and your ministry.
Children need to live under expectations. They thrive with it. They desire it. And your parents, families and church members will too. As Sam Walton once quipped, “high expectations are the key to everything.”
The first key to setting expectations is for them to be well documented. Many times, the breakdown in expectations comes from this simple thing: one party doesn’t expect the same thing as the other party. If your families, children or congregation don’t know where things are heading, why they are heading that way or how they fit in, a breakdown occurs immediately.
Do you know what your church expects of you? Are you clear on your roles and your job at the church? Volunteer or paid, you need to have a sense of the expectations. And it may be that you need to initiate it.
Do you have an expectation of where the children will be when they finish their time in children’s ministry? What will they have learned, how will they be connected, what will they become, what do they do after they are finished in children’s ministry at your church, etc?
Lastly, as Nehemiah did so well while rebuilding the wall, his expectation was that everyone would be involved. Is your expectation for ministry that you will only have one or two people helping you? If so, it’s too small. What if you vision for expectation is a little bigger – maybe a few more people involved in ministry with you? It’s still too small. Your expectation needs to be for everyone in your church to play a role in children’s ministry.
Here’s one great practical phrase to help kids catch on to your expectations: “We don’t do that around here.” Or on the positive side, “That’s how we do things around here!” This helps build expectation over time. It’s takes the focus off the person and puts in our heart for them.
Your ministry will be stunted without delegation. The role of church staff leadership is to help the church accomplish the ministry. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it.
One thing that has helped me has been the five levels of delegation. These five levels, from Michael Hyatt, will be helpful as you begin building your skills in delegating. Delegation is more than freeing up your time, it’s developing leaders, one of our primary tasks.
You can also take a look at an article I wrote called, “Stop doing ministry and start building a team.”
And here’s another thought: “Your church needs coaches, not more staff.”
Most of us are not that great at delegation. And even if we are comfortable with it at work, in a volunteer church world, it takes on a slightly different twist. But don’t shy away. Learn to experience the fruitfulness of delegation.
Don’t forget to always be thinking of ways to invite children. Use all the means you can! Invite a friend day, rewards, reasons to invite, and reminders to the kids to invite. Don’t forget to invite! It’s part of the work in the kingdom. Invitations are powerful.
I recently heard a suggestion that if the word invitation seems daunting to the kids in your ministry and your families, change it to “recommend.” You can invite moms and dads to recommend the children’s ministry at your church to all their family and friends.
Sometimes, we think of our ministry to only the kids in our church currently. Think bigger! Your ministry potential is every kid in the community.
We also, at times, make the mistake of wanting things to be perfect before we invite and get new people connected. That will never happen. Make time for invitation now, in the midst of your crazy schedule and at times, disorganization in regard to your ministry. Remember, we’re not just inviting kids to church, we’re inviting them to experience Jesus. In fact, church activity is a poor substitute for genuine spiritual vitality. We are offering Jesus.
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