But children’s ministry is also hard work. Children’s leaders are often misunderstood, mistreated, overlooked, and overworked. Many times this will keep the children’s leader from the one thing he or she needs more than anything else – the one thing that will keep the leader from being burned out in ministry.
Psalms 16:8(NKJV) I have set the Lord always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.
Philippians 3:13-14(NRSV) Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.
According to these verses, that one thing we should be devoted to is not a bigger or better children’s ministry. It’s not carrying out the vision God has given us for children’s ministry. It’s not even discipling children or carrying out our ministry assignment from God.
The one thing God wants us to focus on above all else is our relationship with Him. He wants us to know Him, to seek after Him, to behold His beauty, and to press hard after Him.
Many times we get so involved with the ministry assignment God has given us spending much of our time working for God. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an important assignment. But when the ministry, even children’s ministry, becomes our one thing instead of seeking a relationship with God, then it becomes an idol before God.
If you’re only seeking God about children’s ministry, it might have become your god. If you’re only studying or reading God’s Word to get something to teach in children’s church, children’s ministry might have become your idol. If the only time you pray is before children’s classes or children’s events or at church services or staff meetings, you’re on dangerous ground.
We need to make our relationship with God the one thing that comes before everything else, even ministry. Our ministry assignment from God should come from the overflow of our relationship with him.
I confess that, at times, I’ve been guilty of this sin of putting my ministry assignment before my relationship with God. I learned the hard way that this leads to spiritual burnout and a crisis of faith. When I repented of this sin, God restored my relationship with Him to greater heights then I’ve ever known. But I had to recognise this as a sin before God, as idol worship.
You may be in this same situation. If that’s the case, go to God today and repent of your idol worship and ask Him to restore your relationship with Adonai, our Lord and our Master.