We all have heard the stories of children’s ministries that remind us of the 1960’s. They use the same techniques they’ve used for the last fifty years: flannelgraphs, old children’s songs that have been around forever, and methods of organization that may have worked for years but no longer do. We all have the potential to become outdated if we don’t continue to learn, grow, and change with the times.
I have been a children’s pastor for twenty years and a children’s ministry consultant and revivalist for three years. One thing I’ve discovered is there’s always something new to learn, a new way of doing things, and new methods and resources out there. The minute I start believing I know what I’m doing and don’t reach out to learn more is the moment I start being ineffective.
There are many ways to keep ourselves sharp when it comes to children’s ministry. Here are a few:
Read Books: Reading is a great way to learn new things. But don’t limit yourself only to books on children’s ministry. Books on leadership, project management, Christian growth, and child developement and parenting are also helpful to Children’s pastors.
Keep Up With The Times: This is easier to do if you have children in school. If not, find out what the newest crazes and fads are. Talk to children about their interests outside of God. Buy secular children’s magazines and watch their TV shows and movies.
Go to Children’s Ministry and Leadership Conferences: There’s nothing like a children’s ministry or leadership conference to help you learn new things. It’s well worth the investment.
Network With Children’s Pastors: Nobody knows everything. Meet with other children’s pastors on a regular basis. Join Children’s Ministry Connect and other online children’s ministry networks. Listen and learn from other experts.