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The “One-Man Show” Children’s Minister

5 Things I Hate about Children’s Ministry

#1 The Irrelevant Children’s Minister

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

oneman-show

One of the faults of many churches is looking for that one super dynamic Children’s Pastor.  They are looking for the person that is talented enough to keep the attention of 100+ kids for an hour or more, and do it all by himself!  What a skill!  I am one of those people gifted with the skill of keeping a child’s attention for long periods of time, and can plan and program an hour long service with the best of them.  (I’ve even done those 3 hour services at times in my life!)

The problem with this is that it alienates others from leadership, and sets up a ministry to fail when the “One Man” leaves for another opportunity.  And trust me, I see it all the time in small churches and large churches.  The “One Man Show” type of ministry is a foolproof way to fail.  I suggest that if you’re looking for a way to build your Children’s Ministry that you begin to spread the one man show into as many men and women as possible.  Why not have a 5 man show, or a 10 man show, or a 20 man show?

The temptation if you’re the One Man is to keep it that way as a form of job security.  If this is you, then you should be ashamed of yourself!  If you’re always the man in front and on the stage performing, you can begin to take on a Diva-like quality to your leadership.  If you’re always hogging the spotlight, you will begin to feel like the most important person in your ministry.  And the moment you think you’re the most important thing you have going in your ministry is the moment you have officially lost any leadership influence in your church.  You will resist the opportunities to spread the attention, and eventually you’ll be leading a weak group of “yes-men” that just pave the way for your grand stage entrance.

I can remember a few months ago I had a special person (aka: “Influential in my church”) come observe our Children’s Ministry experience for Elementary students.  It was not setup this way, but on this certain weekend I had absolutely ZERO involvement on the stage for that morning.  I watched with pride as my wonderful team of volunteers led 100% of the elements for all three services on a Sunday morning.  And do you know what our special guest had to say when they left?   They marveled at the team we had in place that worked so wonderfully from the stage.

With the exception of a few weekends, I have now turned over most all stage elements to new people.  Some of them are in training mode and get better every week, and some are more talented than I’ve ever been in my life.  I’ve found people funnier than me, people that sing better than me, and of course the person WAY more cool than I am in front of kids.  Believe it or not, it’s possible to find these people in your church too!  If you think they’re not there, then you’re just not looking.  Look harder, they’re there somewhere…

Don’t be that person running the “One Man Show.”  Instead, be a leader of talented people all working together to change the Kingdom of God one child at a time!

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.

4 Comments

  1. Matthew · December 15, 2009

    /agree

    Hey Jesus had a team a 12 :)

  2. Rob · December 15, 2009

    Even though the team I lead would like it different, many people in our church do not even know who I am.

    “Doesn’t that bother you?” or “Shouldn’t they know who the CP is?” some team members will ask.

    I am ok with this because it is not about me.

    (It’s funny, often I will get real feedback about CM when I ask because people don’t know who they are talking to.)
    .-= Rob ´s last blog ..Performance Appraisals =-.

  3. Kenny · December 16, 2009

    I think what is hard to overcome is sitting back and watching other people do what you can do better. It’s a pride thing to overcome, but if we don’t provide a safe place for people to get experience, they’ll never get any better.
    .-= Kenny ´s last blog ..Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-12-13 =-.

  4. Jervon · March 5, 2015

    What is one of your gifts is teaching? I’m not trying to hog, but I feel like I wouldn’t be able to do one of the things I was called to do which is teach.