Children’s pastors can get so involved in the creative and organizational aspects of children’s ministry than they can forget the most important part of children’s ministry. Paul summed it up best in 1st Corinthians 11:1 (ICB), “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” Our most important mission as children’s pastors is to follow Christ in such a way that we set an example for the students in our ministry to follow.
Here’s some things to examine about yourself to follow this mission:
God’s Word: How often do I read or study God’s Word, not to get a Bible story or lesson for children’s church, but to glean from God’s Word what I need for my daily walk with Him? If I stress the importance of God’s Word to children in my ministry, I need to follow through by making it an important part of my life.
Worship: Do I worship God only in children’s church? When I’m in the intergenerational service, do I only worship with my whole heart when I feel like it? Children watch everything I do all the time. When I don’t know I’m being watch, am I setting an example in my worship? Also do I worship God in my daily life when nobody’s watching? Worship assigns value to what we worship. A lifestyle of worship of God sets an example to children by assigning value to God.
Prayer: Do I pray for the students in my ministry? Do I call their names out every week? Do I pray for the prayer requests they bring before me? Do I write them down? Do I ask about them the following week? When I do this, I show children the importance of prayer and that I care enough about them to pray for them.
Church Attendance: Am I ever in church other than when I’m in children’s church? This should be a no-brainer, but if you’re not careful, because children’s ministry requires so much, you can get to the point where you let your church attendance slip unless there’s a children’s ministry function. You need fed before you can give to others.
Ministry: We want children to learn to minister unto God and in the church, but we need to set an example of excellence in ministry. Do I arrive early to children’s church? Am I prepared? Did I wait until Saturday evening to read over the curriculum or to get on the Internet and find a lesson for Sunday morning? Have I been seeking God for a word for this week’s children’s message? Have I applied the message to my life before I walk into the church doors?
If you lack any of these things, eventually the children in your ministry will notice. Stay strong in the Lord, and set an example in Christ for children to follow.