1. Acting immature to impress kids. Some of the kids might think you’re funny but you will lose the respect of the adults. Don’t expect to be taken seriously by parents, workers or your senior pastor if you dress and act like a goof ball. The way you carry yourself is vital. Women know this instinctively. However, male children’s pastors frequently conduct themselves in ways that stifle respect.
2. Doing everything yourself. Train others on the job to do what you do. Let others make a few mistakes. Give them the chance to grow in their abilities to reach and teach kids. Being a one man show will stifle how much your ministry is able to accomplish.
3. Being afraid of asking for what you think will produce results. There are times when you need to ask for money, space, or even finances to attend a conference, such as Mega Connect. (I just had to throw that in!) Normally, if you don’t ask you will not receive. When you get turned down–and sometimes you will–handle it with maturity. Learn to act like you believe in what you are doing and be prepared to make the case for why you want something. Remember, timidity will stifle your ability to get what you need.
4. Trying to do too many programs. You cannot do everything and be everything. Decide what is most important. Less is more. Doing a lot of stuff halfway will stifle your effectiveness.
5. Talking about your needs instead of your vision. Your needs will not inspire anyone. Getting people excited about your vision works better than trying to make them feel sorry about your needs. For instance, recruiting new workers is easier if you get people to believe in where you are going instead of begging for volunteers based on a worker shortage. Appearing needy will stifle your ability to motivate others.
6. Complaining about the church. Support your pastor and church. If you can’t you should find another church or at least step down. It is really that simple. Resentment will stifle your creativity and energy for the ministry.
7. Neglecting your own faith. Service is a great thing but it does not replace your time with God and your faith in Him. An empty spiritual life will stifle your ability to lead kids and workers into a vibrant faith in God.
8. Teaching stuff other than the word of God. Teach kids what God has done and who He is. Teach principles from the Bible. If you major on Bible trivia and only teach familiar stories don’t be surprised if the adults in your church treat you like a child care director. Weak Biblical content will stifle your ability to convince others of the validity of children’s ministry.
9. Excusing disorganization. People are not attracted to slackness. When an organization looks sloppy people assume it is not important enough to invest their time, energy and money. Disorganization stifles your capacity to build an inspiring ministry.
10. Repeating the same things and expecting different results. Change something just for the thrill of it. Get people used to change. Don’t be afraid of failure. Be afraid of sliding into irrelevance. Repeating the same old stuff over and over will stifle your forward movement like nothing else.
Used by permission from the coldwatercafe.com — Roger Fields, author