My blogging buddy Sam had a post yesterday regarding the seemingly lack of adequate and qualified Children’s Pastors available to fill the available positions. He listed 5 questions and asked for some feedback.
OK, here goes with some honest, brutal answers from someone who’s opinion shouldn’t really matter:
1. What does it take to become a Children’s Pastor?
What should it take, or what does it take? It should take experience, motivation, and some level of educational background (either academic or experiential.) Assuming that they love Jesus, and want to see kids know him as well. What it takes in reality, especially at most small churches, is a willingness to do it. Something we like to call the “mirror test.” They hold a mirror up to your nose, and if it fogs up…. You’re Hired!
2. Why most Children’s Pastors wanted to be youth pastors?
Because it’s when we’re teenagers or college students that we really start trying to live out our Christian walk; and the first ‘church’ relationship we ever had was with our Youth pastor. Therefore, making the youth pastor role the coolest one we’ve ever known! On a side note… it could also be that children’s ministry leaves a bad memory for many…
3. What churches are looking for in a Children’s Pastor?
I think most churches want a person that can advocate for the kids in a serious, and relevant way towards the rest of the church. I also believe that most churches want someone who they can let ‘do their own thing’ and not have to worry about the kids anymore. (I know this sounds terrible; but in reality it’s true!)
4. Misconceptions that keep people from pursuing children’s ministry.
The biggest misconception is that Children’s Ministry is all puppets, crafts, and veggie-tales videos! Another misconception is that it doesn’t pay as well as the other church jobs (This might not be such a misconception!) Not that money is the most important thing in the world, but if I’m looking to support my family with a calling into church ministry then normally I’m NOT going to choose the least-paid position in the church. I’ve seen churches that purposely look for women to run this are of ministry, because they assume that with her husband working they can pay less than they would for a man looking to support his entire family. (This is changing at churches around the country, but ever so slowly.)
5. What makes a Children’s Pastor last?
A willingness to be creative in ministry thoughts and planning; as well as a willingness to adapt when necessary to reach as many kids as possible. Children’s Pastors lose their influence over the long haul when they forget that trends change over time. God, please don’t let me be doing the same thing in 5 years that I’m doing now!