This is a must read book for every children’s ministry leader! Whether you are brand new to children’s ministry or you’ve been at it for a long time, I highly recommend making it a priority to read this book. I also encourage church leaders and senior pastors to read this book as well, particularly if you are interested in seeing both the children’s ministry and ministry leaders thrive and have sustainable, long-lasting influence even when ministry leadership changes over time.
Why should you read this book?
This book covers some very practical, foundational tips for developing the kinds of systems required for building a thriving, manageable children’s ministry. For example, determining the capacity for your ministry. The book lists some key factors and questions to answer to help church determine capacity. Financial investment in children’s ministry is one factor however, the authour provides a warning that it not just about “throwing money” at a problem.
Churches who want to attract young families decide that to compete with big churches with big budgets they need to invest in the bells and whistles, rather than identifying investments that can make a ministry unique and inviting, both to church families and those in the community. (p. 51)
There are a few key systems that are essential to have in place in order to have a sustainable children’s ministry and then some others that healthy, thriving children’s ministries tend to have. The authour outlines all of these with some great tips, ideas and questions to consider.
Further chapters contain helpful guidance on vision, delegating, volunteer recruitment including a solid plan of how you can develop your ‘dream team’ of volunteers, working through church politics and finally a chapter on preparing yourself as children’s leader to go the distance in ministry and avoid burn out. This chapter contains helpful questions to reflect on as well as warning signs that you are spiraling towards burnout.
It is a very common reality that children’s ministry leaders struggle to remain in ministry for the long haul. As the authour points out,
To some people, the children’s ministry journey has felt like a royal game of bait and switch. For many of us, leading a children’s ministry at first sounded like a fun way to share with kids what a life with Jesus might be like.
It didn’t take long, though, before I realized how little time I was spending with children, maybe only 10 percent of ministry time. The other 90 percent was managing the people, systems, and projects that make ministry happen. (p.196)
There is so much more to children’s ministry then simply having fun with kids as you teach them about Jesus and preparing crafts! A thriving, sustainable children’s ministry and children’s ministry leader definitely needs to move “from last-minute scrambling to long-term solutions”. And it is possible, regardless of the size of your church! This book contains a wealth of wisdom, ideas and practical tools that can guide you in that process. There is also a number of extra resources, tools and templates available to download for free!
Here these words from the authour and be encouraged…
We can live at a life-giving pace and lead inspired teams who are deeply passionate about the ministry Jesus warned us not to ignore. We can build systems and use tools that will allow us to do exponentially more than we could ever do without them. (p200)
I can say without hesitation that this book will go a long way in helping the above quote become your reality, if you are not in that place currently! So get your copy today! You can order it through Bernice at Read on Books. And I would love to enter the journey to sustainability with you. Email me to start a conversation!