Recently, I had the privilege of being invited to work with the amazing folks from the International Network of Children's Ministry (INCM) who were putting together a collection of essays for a book entitled, What Matters in Children's Ministry for the Children's Pastors Conference this year.
I struggled with the challenge: answer the question "What matters most in Children & Family Ministries right now?" in just ONE WORD! I then could explain in a very short paragraph why I chose that word. I tossed and turned. I scribbled down words like Relationships, Value, Promise. Nothing was just right. After days of prayer and chatting with my bestie Brandy and my cousin Tara (superheroes!), I finally was able to land on a word: Honor. I've included the essay for you below:
I wonder what would happen if “big church” ministry looked just like children’s ministry? Imagine if you arrive to church on time, but wait because the greeters haven’t shown up yet. At last, you’re led to a seat, but aren’t allowed to sit with your family because you “talked too much last Sunday.” During worship, an usher comes up behind you, lifts your arms, and “helps” you dance along.
Next, you wait some more while the pastor quickly studies the sermon for the first time. While he preaches, he calls on you because he senses you might be daydreaming. When your nerves won’t let you answer, he looks at you sternly and says, “Next time, you need to pay attention.”
Most people would agree that we’d never attend a church like this. Yet, so often we children’s ministers suffer from a bit of amnesia when it comes to remembering that kids are people too. We need to put the same kind of effort into ministering to children as we do for adults. That means we treat our “congregation” the way we’d like to be treated. We must honor their time and their hearts by being reliable, gracious, and respectful.
Some pretty amazing people contributed some really impactful essays. I am so excited to be included among them. You can download the whole e-book here . Hope you enjoy! We have some really important work to do here- it's good to get all the information we can!