Anyone who has been in ministry for some time can attest to the fact that getting to service and big events at your church can be challenging. If you're someone who works with preschool or elementary, it can feel pretty impossible. The demands of the job and the tyranny of the urgent will sidetrack the best-laid plans. This fight has always been a struggle for me, some seasons worse than others. Here’s a few principles I’m preaching to myself right now.
There’s a Season for Everything
I’m terrible at not seeing the forest for the trees. Currently, I’m serving in a three-month-old church plant where there is no shortage of work to be done. We’ve got a big vision that requires a big commitment - a commitment that sometimes feels overwhelming. I have to remind myself constantly that we are a new church, and this is a season of new growth. There’s not a huge supply of workers right now because people are trying figure out if they’ll stick around our church.
This season at my church is one where I’m not able to get to a Good Friday service or our regular worship service, but there will never be another season like this - getting children’s ministry and family ministry off the ground. What a privilege to see the ministry happening around me from the very first most humble beginning! Perspective is half the battle.
Fight the Feeling
Here's what I know - the enemy is threatened when you are actively investing in the next generation. He doesn’t need another generation of Christ followers rising against him. So the enemy whispers to you, children ministry worker, whispers of insignificance and doubt. Whispers of worthless. Whispers that you’re missing out on something. If he can get you to listen and give into those whispers, he can keep you wrapped in bitterness making it impossible to serve faithfully and cheerfully the next generation.
Perry Noble said this quote at the Orange Conference in regards to depression, “It’s okay not to be okay, but it’s not okay to stay that way.” Speak those thoughts to someone you can trust. Don’t wrestle with them on your own. The enemy always loses a foothold when we speak our struggles into existence when we reach out for accountability.
Make a Plan
Just like kids need to feel like they have a place to belong with the kids and the leaders in your church, you as a leader need to have a place where you can feel like you belong. It may not mean you find that going to your worship service every week because of the season you’re in at your church. It may mean you find that in a small group context with couples or men and women. Maybe you go to a Saturday night service at another church in your area so that you can be an attendee - who says that just because you’re on staff at a church that you can’t take advantage of other wonderful churches in your area?
Make a plan to make sure you are getting fed through other avenues and that you’re finding a community somewhere. Bitterness is a mean mistress that will creep up on you, affecting all aspects of your life. If you’re not okay, make sure you don’t stay that way!
If you work in children’s ministry how do you combat those feelings of “missing out” and insignificance?