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5 Things I Hate About Children’s Ministry


How about that title?  I know it’s moderately shocking and  immediately  takes you to a negative place.  Sorry for that, but I’d really like to address the five dangerous places I’ve seen Children’s Pastors go.  I’ve only been doing Children’s Ministry for a little over six years, so in many respects I’m a #kidmin newbie.  In my 6 years of working with other Children’s Pastors I’ve noticed 5 distinct negative directions and roles that Children’s Pastors take on, and I’m going to throw some hate on all 5 of them!

It is not my intention to be negative, but to share 5 roles we should avoid.  They are 5 traps that I work hard to avoid falling into and 5 warning signs for myself.  If I begin to describe you, then consider it a warning.

And by the way…I love you.


Here is a listing of links to the pages that initially followed this introduction post:

#1 The Irrelevant Children’s Minister

#2 The “One-Man Show” Children’s Minister

#3 The Children’s Minister that Ignores Early Childhood

#4 The Jump on my Sinking Ship Children s Minister

#5. The Ungrateful Children s Minister

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.


  1. Todd McKeever · December 14, 2009

    You are going to leave your first post like this? Not even going to start on your first one? First I have to be patient for my Christmas gifts an now for your next post as well.

    Looking forward to seeing what you have to share with your 5.
    .-= Todd McKeever ´s last blog ..Google Wave =-.

  2. chad swanzy · December 14, 2009


    ha ha j/k

  3. Marty Martin · December 23, 2009

    I am sure your heart is right man, but to me, as a CM veteran of 18 years now, you sound a bit caustic. Every person has different skillsets, different challenges and most are doing the best they can. some have been hurt and are in need of some understanding, not told they irrelevant or out of touch or whatever. Also I knwo you know it is still about relationships and some guy may have a puppet and sheet or flannelgraph but the kids know he loves them and he is making a difference. Keep up the good work, and please take my comments as those of caution and balance.

    • Jonathan Cliff · December 23, 2009

      Thanks for reading the blog post. I hope you took the time to read all five posts, and not just the introduction. I mentioned that all 5 are traits I see in myself, and try and be on guard against. I’m really trying to get all of us #kidmin folks out there to stop settling into roles that are unproductive and unnecessary.

      I would hate for someone to ever say about me, “Well, at least his heart is in the right place…” I’d prefer both my heart and brain. :) That would make a great book title, huh?

      Thanks again for reading the blog, and I look forward to more of your friendly comments!

  4. Marty Martin · December 24, 2009

    Sorry about that (the heart comment). I did read all five posts. From a personal standpoint I was reminded and challenged of some bad habits that are easy to slide back into. My greater concern is that we as chidlren’s ministry leaders encourage each other. So I dont want to discourage you either! Just wanted to share an observation on how it could appear to be putting someone down, espceially if they read it in the wron moment! Glad to know that bright and enthusaitic people like you are passionate about reaching kids!
    .-= Marty Martin ´s last blog ..Children’s Ministry quotes.wmv =-.