Andrew VanDerLinden: 10 Mistakes to Avoid in Kids Ministry

Have you ever heard the term “Unforced Error”? It’s often used in sports like tennis or basketball. An unforced error is a mistake made, a shot missed or a point lost that is entirely the result of the player’s own blunder. Usually referring to an easy shot in a non-pressure situation. Usually we call them mistakes.

In this post I want to share 10 of the most common “Unforced Errors” made in ministry to kids.

I’ve made every one of these mistakes. Sadly, many more than once. I hope you can learn from this list and avoid the mistakes I’ve made. More likely, you’ve already made these mistakes and need to take action to stop making them moving forward.

1. Spending all your time, energy, resources on kids. I love kids, that’s why I serve in kids ministry. I love kids, I put up with adults. It’s important to remember, you work with one set of kids and three sets of adults. There are the parents, volunteers and staff at our church. If you want a healthy ministry you, must be able to interact and lead both kids and adults.

2. Neglecting your own faith. Have you ever been so busy doing ministry that you ran out of time to read your Bible, pray and attend church for yourself. You cannot replace time with God with helping others and have a relationship with God. Neglecting your faith is the fastest path to burnout in ministry. Check out Five Spiritual Growth Tips & Why I Stopped Attending Church.

3. Failing to care for or build a team. You can’t do it all yourself. If you try, you will limit what can be accomplished. You need a plan on how you’re going to add new volunteers while appreciating and keeping the team you have. The healthier the team, the healthier the ministry. Check out The One Thing That Saved My Ministry & 9 Steps to Adding Volunteers.

4. Making Kids ministry all about FUN. I decided a long time ago, my ministry is defined by what I do intentionally. Each week I intentionally lead kids into an encounter with God. I create an environment where kids want to come and attend. Where God can move. Where kids can hear the voice of God and make a decision to have a relationship with Him. If your primary focus is fun, you’re are missing out on what God wants to do in your ministry. Check out this post, Kids ministry must be more than fun.

5. Lacking balance in the ministries you lead. An average children’s department is made up of between five and 10 different ministries. Nursery, preschool, elementary, midweek, seasonal, boy clubs, girl clubs, VBS, outreaches, and the list goes on. You must overcome the temptation to spend all your time, energy and money on the area you directly lead while starving the other areas of your department.

Don’t play favorites when it comes to the ministries you lead. Ask yourself, where do I spend my ministry funds, where do I add the most volunteers, which volunteers do I appreciate the most? The answers will be revealing.

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Source: Church Leaders