Tuesday, May 6, 2014

No one should do it all

This blog post might just cost me my current job.

If you take a close look at the weekly timetable from my last post you'll notice that I work with both children and teenagers. At times, I've taught both ages scripture classes and minister to both on a Friday and Sunday.

If I could wave my church-transforming-magic-wand then very few people would have a ministry position like mine.

Now, I must say, I enjoy my job highly and I do it fairly competently. Sometimes really well. Sometimes really... just okay.

I don't have my job because I'm one of the rare breed who can do it all.

AND, I'm aware that what I'm about to propose isn't a financial reality in many churches...

But, ideally, no one person should be in charge of the children's and youth ministry at a church.


In part it has to do with logistics and physics. You can't be in two places at once. Presently, I can't be involved in lunchtime groups at both a high school and a primary school at the same time. If nothing else, two separate people allow for greater opportunities to be involved and expansion to what is already happening.

Additionally, my focus, thoughts and time are divided between our children's and youth activities. This is especially true, if you're like many Australian churches, and your younger group precedes the older kids on a Friday afternoon/night. Neither group will have the absolute best of the "head" leader as they will either be drained from the kid's ministry, or have one eye upon the upcoming activity.

Furthermore, both ages present quite different needs and require alternate skills. It's unusual that you'll find someone who will be able to effectively cater to those aged 8-20.

A little known secret is that many in children's/youth ministry have a preference. One will be easier than the other. Ideas will flow quicker towards one demographic. Their God-given makeup will draw them naturally towards one.

Finally, for diversity, in an ideal world, these two people would be quite different people with opposite genders, thus exposing the young people to a wider style of leader and, critically, a female in leadership (for the reasons I outlined here and here).

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