This year has been the reset button I had been praying for since I started in this job… Now that it’s here I don’t want to waste it!
How do we undo decades of cultural thought and habit? How do we reframe our language, our expectations? How do we change the DNA of our churches? How do we get the whole staff team on board? How do we get parents activated? It’s like we need a reset button… These are the questions and thoughts I have had over and over again the past three years as I began full time in Children’s Ministry. Everything I read and everything that the so-called experts of the children’s ministry universe were saying, pointed to the fact that we needed to shift our focus from programs and services to a more purpose driven, partnership based ministry where parents where engaged and equipped and churches were intentional and strategic. It’s like we need a reset button.
I kept reading things like ‘find the bigger vision and make your week to week service it’. But how do we find time and space and energy to do that in a week that is already full? Where is the time to find the vision or reshape my week when it’s already full of food prep for playgroup and team prayer, daily walk and talks, coffee catch ups, curriculum writing, scheduling and re-scheduling, team allocations, team training, planning games for kids club, planning the back up games for kids club, writing endless discussion questions, shortening your 15 minute sermon to a 5 minute kids talk that still teaches the full truth of the passage, and that’s all before the phone rings and a family is in crisis or a leader needs pastoral care and the week goes out the window before you’ve even started. It’s like we need a reset button. Then along came Covid. And everything changed. We had to rethink everything. We had to reshape everything. We had to press pause and reset on everything. Here’s the rest button!
Suddenly I had full days without programs to think and dream and pray and write.
Suddenly I could finish the books I had been trying to read for months but was too tired or too busy to get through properly.
Suddenly I could do what I always wanted to: pause and take a moment to think it all through. What are we doing? Why are we doing it? Is that what we want to be doing? What would we change if we could? Instead of having to keep the ball rolling 24/7 there was real space in my week.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love my job. I adore the pace and the people and the joy of juggling it all. But it can certainly be a bit much at times. And particularly for kids ministry, it can (at times) feel like your stuck on a hamster wheel of weeks: day off, admin, prep the week, teach scripture, write lessons, run playgroup, craft prep, run kids club, admin, run kids church, repeat. And with so much to keep on top of there isnt a lot of time to stop, reflect and rethink. So it got me thinking, what would I change if I could? And if I were to change something, why isn’t now the time, when so much has changed anyway? Reality is there isn’t much to fundamentally change; our mission is still the same, our discipleship of kids is still the same. But maybe, just maybe, this is the time to invest in the things I wish I had time to do normally. Training those leaders to do more, offloading those weekly things that you get stuck doing, rethinking who is doing what and why.
Maybe this Covid season is exactly what your enthusiastic but tired local kids minister needed; a chance to press the reset button and see what God does with it. Maybe, this is the best thing that could have happened!