I am a Children’s Pastor.
For those of you NOT in the know; that means I work at a church and my primary responsibility is for those members of the church having just been born up until they finish the 5th grade. There are many different areas, departments, and budgets within this broad scope of Birth through 5th Grade, but basically I work with the kids. Like most Children’s Pastors at a church my size, I don’t spend as much time ‘teaching’ kids as I do planning for what others will teach them. I basically manage the department that facilitates spiritual growth in the lives of the kids at the church.
Maybe you read this and you think that you have me pegged as a CP (Children’s Pastor). Let me clear up a few things, to help you understand me more. Here are some truths about me, that often cause me to not fit in so much with the other CP’s I meet.
- I’m a man. Can’t change that, and it has even kept me from getting a job before. Reverse Discrimination?
- I hate puppets. Seriously, I hate them. Everywhere I’ve ever worked, the first thing I’ve done is thrown out the puppets. Who uses puppets anymore? There not on TV, they don’t make Muppet movies anymore (or at least they shouldn’t), and I can’t justify doing things in front of kids that are so 1980′s.
- I hate kid’s music. I really can’t understand why anyone would want to listen to kids sing worship songs on a CD recording. I get the value of music like THIS for background stuff, but why is kids’ music so weird? It’s just terrible. I do however, like to play music that is kid-friendly, and trust me… there is a difference.
- I have never, nor will I ever, dress up like a clown. I wear normal clothes for someone in their early 30′s (at least I think they might be normal.) I do not wear green socks with red pants, and a cartoonish veggie tales tie to church on Sunday Morning.
- I don’t like ‘Christian’ movies for kids. I think 90% of the ‘Christian’ movies and tv shows for kids are garbage. What I mean is that they are poorly created, poorly thought out, and rarely make any kind of spiritual impact. I’d rather my kids watch Clifford the Big Red Dog than most of the ‘Christian’ DVD’s I see around.
- I hate making announcements from the stage on a Sunday morning for Children’s workers. Hate it, hate it, hate it, hate it! It’s like telling people to jump on our sinking ship, and it confirms the fears most people have that we’re desperate for help; which isn’t the case. Not to mention that it never works. I also hate for my Senior Pastor to make pleas for workers; it’s even worse than making the announcement myself.
- I think that what I do in the church is equally as important as every other ministry that falls under the umbrella of our church. Not more important, not less important. Aren’t we really all doing the same thing, but on different levels?
- I really consider myself someone who works more for families, than someone who works with kids. I love working with kids, but if that is all I do then I would really hate this job. It’s all about getting kids to have an encounter with Jesus that impacts those around them. (That’s you, Mom and Dad!)
- I’m not a CP because I failed at speaking in front of adults. I really love speaking in front of kids, but not because I’m scared to speak in front of adults. I’m comfortable speaking in front of any age crowd, as long as I have something to say.
- I’m not patiently awaiting a promotion to Youth Pastor or Senior Pastor. I really like working with kids. They’re more honest, more energetic, less grumpy, and they’re much easier to beat in basketball.
- I’m not good at crafts. I don’t do coloring sheets in my spare time, and you can’t find craft sticks and glue in my office. I’m just not a crafty guy, so I’ve hired others to do that for me.
- I don’t act childish. I don’t feel that I have to act like a 10 year old to get the attention of kids, and I think you’re fooling yourself CP’s out there if you do. That doesn’t mean I don’t tell jokes that only 10 years get, or that I act all snooty all the time. I’m just authentic, in a way that kids can understand.
- I cringe when people call me a pastor. (I know, I know, I am a pastor. I’m educated and trained and ordained…) It took me years to come to this place, but I really can’t figure out what to let the kids call me. I think Mr. Jonathan is a little weird, and I think Pastor Jonathan makes me seem snooty in some way.
- I read business leadership books. They’re better than most church books out there, and I think leadership is one area that CP’s should spend more time studying up on.
- I don’t homeschool my kids. Let’s not go there, OK? (Except to say that I think everyone should do what they have convictions to do…)
There, it’s out there. I’ve gotten the burden off my chest, and I can peacefully coexist with those that think I’m a nut. One of the great things about having a blog and reading blogs is meeting other CP’s that are just like me. It wasn’t until I started reading blogs that I realized that I’m not alone. I’m still in the minority, but I’m not isolated!