Every December 31st, Christians around the world make a New Years Resolution to get closer to God. That is the most important goal any children’s pastor can have, but for most, it becomes another unfulfilled resolution. We have to make this our first priority. No children’s ministry can thrive spiritually unless its leader is close to God. Here’s a few suggestions for a thriving relationship with God in 2016.
Ask God: Seriously! He wants you to be closer to Him than you want to be. This is the most important step. Ask Him to help you have a closer walk with Jesus, to be a more devoted Christ follower, and to grow spiritually. You’ll be amazed by the results if you begin with asking God to be your ally in this.
Schedule a Time For God: We schedule doctor’s appointments, meetings, children’s ministry events, and time with friends. But often our time with God is hit and miss. Make an appointment every day to spend time with God, and don’t let anything else interfere with that. When other things come up during that time, explain that you have a previous engagement. When you plan a time to spend with God, even though you may fail at times, at the end of the year, you will have spent 90% more time seeking God than if you wait until you have time.
Plan to Fast This Year: Many Christ followers all over the country start the year with a fast to make sure they put God first in their lives during the rest of the year. While you don’t have to fast in January, you should plan to incorporate fasts into your calendar year. There are many kinds of fasts: total food fast, Daniel fast, chocolate and sweets fast, Internet fast, Facebook fast, or anything else that you spend time doing. Remember that fasts only work if you’re not doing it to bargain with God and if you spend time with God during the fast.
Read God’s Word: I can’t stress how important it is for Children’s pastors to be in God’s Word every day, not just to get a Bible lesson for Sunday, but to allow it to transform you. YouVersion is an online program with apps you can load into your phone that has tons of reading plans. Start this year right by absorbing God’s Word in your heart.
Pray: Don’t just pray before you teach or when you need something from God. Pray everyday. Start a pray journal with verses you pray everyday. Write out your prayers. It will change your prayer time forever.
Become a Person of Integrity: Ask God to show you where you have sin in your life and what you need to do to become a person of integrity. You may already know where that area is. Do whatever it takes to give it to God. You may need to give up something that causes temptation in that area. You may need to confess your sin to a trusted person who will hold you accountable. Whatever you need to do, do it.
Spend time in church: You may be laughing now and saying, “I live in church.” But how long has it been since you’ve been in a church service where you weren’t serving in some capacity? Find a worker to give you a break occasionally so you can be in service, or ask your pastor if you could have the children in the sanctuary once a month. Remember, you can’t fill students’ buckets with living water if yours is empty.
Spend Time Having Fun With Your Family: God gave you your family and He expects you to spend time having fun with them. Take vacations, play with your children in the backyard, and have date nights with your spouse. You’ll be glad you did, and you’ll find yourself growing closer to God through it.
Have alone time: The quickest way to burnout spiritually is to always spend time ministering but to never spend time alone. If you believe you’re already headed for burnout, read this post.