I have a confession to make…

Posted: March 12, 2012 in Children's Ministry, Life

Since July of 2009, I have probably gone to church maybe 8-10 times.

Some of you might be saying right now:  “How can that be possible, when you’re a Children’s Pastor?”  Well…

When I came on board as the Children’s Pastor at SVCC in July of 2009, I was determined to really get to know my ministry.  I began by running both services on Sunday so that I could focus on some things.  In my mind, there were some great advantages to doing this:

  • I got to know the kids and their parents.  I saw each and every person that came to that check-in kiosk, and had personal interaction with them.
  • I could “control” consistency of the material being taught.  There was no mystery as to whether or not both services got the main Bible points.
  • I was able to observe how my volunteers were doing in all of the different areas (not just Elementary – but also in the Pre-K room, and the Nursery).
  • If there was a concern/issue, I could be right there to address it – and take the fall instead of any of my volunteers.

Just like anything else, there were also some disadvantages to this:

  • By doing so much, I was doing several things  ‘ok’ instead of doing a few things with excellence.
  • I wasn’t being open to what God had in store for other people who could do a better job at certain areas of our ministry.
  • And here it is:  I WASN’T GOING TO CHURCH. *le gasp*

By doing this, I was missing out on being a part of our faith community.  I wasn’t in fellowship with the people of our church as I had been before.  I was missing out on the messages.  I would listen to our church’s online messages, but I’ll admit – I didn’t always get to that. I would rationalize by saying “I don’t want to burden someone else with running our children’s ministry, just so I could go to church.”

Over time, God really began to convict me.  I came to the point to where God had me realize a few things:

1)  My personal walk with God must come first.  Initially, I thought this to be a little selfish to think.  I thought to myself: “I’m a pastor – I’m supposed to think of others’ spiritual needs before my own.  I need to build other people up in their faith.”  The fact is, though, that I can only go so far with that – when I am not fully seeking God myself.  Part of growing close to God involves being in fellowship with other believers, as is mentioned in Acts 2: 42-47.

2)  I’m coddling my volunteers. One of my best friends in the entire universe, Jeff Loven, once told me: “You know your ministry is healthy when it can run without you.”  Our volunteers can definitely run services without me – but my desire is to see them thrive as leaders, whether I am there or not!  I used to worry if I had to leave town and have my leaders run service without me there.  Not that I doubted them – I just didn’t want them to feel burdened with all the details as they served.  How dare I stifle their growth as leaders?!  It’s like parenting:  If a parent did everything for their child, then the child will most likely have some difficulty being self-sufficient.  I need to give my leaders opportunity to grow as they serve.

3) I can do more by doing less.  I’m not that good.  There are others who can do things better than I ever could.  Each one of my volunteers is gifted in something – and if I were to really pay attention and highlight those gifts, then 1) they feel more valued as they serve, 2) the kids truly benefit from the leaders’ giftings, and 3) God gets the glory.  The fact is, by doing just about everything, I am more susceptible trusting in God less, because I am leaning on personal talent rather than on God’s Holy Spirit.  He needs to be the star, and we need to be in the supporting role with our God-given gifts.

With all of this in mind, I went to church today.  Last month, I asked a few key leaders to lead services once a month, and during the service they’re leading…I am worshiping “in the big church.”  I got to encounter God in a special way, I got to meet new people in our church, and a fellow co-laborer for God and his children had fun leading kids’ church today!

  1. Amanda says:

    Two confessions
    1. Love that you are a blogger now!
    2. It was great seeing you in service today!

  2. Reginald Zellous says:

    Congratulations Marcus,delegation can be a wonderful thing. I once read, in one of my many fire fighters journals that what makes a good leader is great team members. In other words surround yourself with exceptional people and it really does help the team prosper and run smoothly. I am happy that you are realizing this and that you are now going back to church.

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