An open letter to the children’s minister who feels like a failure

An open letter to the children’s minister who feels like a failure
January 5, 2017 Charity Kauffman
children's minister
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Dear Children’s Minister,

Let me tell you, I’ve been there. Only two volunteers showed up for training. A well-prepared, super-creative Bible lesson was drowned out by third-grade giggles. The facilities director pointed out the decorations were a fire hazard. A disgruntled parent whose gluten-free child ate a cracker last Sunday called to voice concern.

The stories go on and on.

As a children’s minister, you carry a lot on your plate. In fact, your schedule and workload may feel more like a smorgasbord. Things drop. Plans spoil. And we’re left picking up the pieces of what seemed like a good idea.

But, friends, don’t confuse frustration with failure. Bumps along the road are bound to happen when blazing new trails. When you feel like you’re failing, consider these questions:

Why are you doing this in the first place? Is the reason still relevant and realistic? Trainings bring unity and excellence. Kids like snacks. And an over-the-top decorated environment communicates value to children. Don’t be too quick to abandon purposeful ideas.

Why didn’t it work? Was the training scheduled on Super Bowl Sunday? Was your lesson R.E.A.L.? Was there a record of the food allergy? A little level headed investigation helps pinpoint problems and zero in on solutions. Examine the details so you can avoid future snafus.

Who can I talk to? Failures humble. We may want to defend decisions or blame others. “Kids these days don’t know how to listen.” “The facilities team just wants to make things difficult.” “These people just hate change.” But a negative attitude will only bring isolation. Find a trusted friend or fellow children’s minster who’ll listen to your frustrations and hear your heart. A little friendship and encouragement goes a long way.

 Failure is a part of life and ministry. But reframing failings allows you rediscover purpose, learn from mistakes and lean on others for support. And don’t forget your biggest why…helping kids, their leaders, and YOU grow in relationship with Jesus and each other. Be encouraged and keep going!

Grace and Peace,

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Charity Kauffman served kids and their families in local churches for eight years before joining Group’s Children’s Ministry Editorial staff. She holds a Masters in Children and Family Ministry from Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, MN. Charity loves to host family church events, groove to VBS music, and cheer for Pittsburgh Pirates baseball.

4 Comments

  1. Carol Kuhn 2 years ago

    This is a huge encouragement and so true! Thank you for posting it. Dig In has been a blessing.

  2. Beth 1 year ago

    Thank you for the letter above. Much needed! God bless!

    • Kate Warnock 1 year ago

      Thank you for everything you do, Beth!

  3. Breanna S 8 months ago

    Needed this today. Thank you

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