I’ve had a great number of conversations about open staff positions in local churches for children’s ministry over the last month. More than typical. Everything from half-time, ¾ time and full-time. Due to the little to no movement of church staffing over the last year, we can anticipate a good bit in the next 12-18 months. People are relocating, retiring, and making career moves. The Holy Spirit is moving!
I’ve had some experience in moving on. I started as a super volunteer in kidmin and on staff in weekday ministry at my home church. Due to a season of paralyzed vocal cords I could no longer serve in the weekday classroom, so I took on the Director of Weekday ministry at another local church while still serving as a servant leader at my home church. I was not called to seminary, but I was called to professional Christian education which was affirmed as I moved to two other local churches in part time roles until I heard clearly, “Get ready” which provided the opening to serve full-time in ministry with children and families at the local church I now serve. That’s five local churches, all within driving distance, in one district, from part-time to full-time, over the course of 25 years. Before that, I served in Christian education roles on staff in New England and Louisiana.
Through it all I was diligent to (1) ‘be faithful with little’, and (2) do whatever it took so that ‘surely goodness and mercy would follow me all the days of my life’.
These are a few things to consider if a move might be in your future:
- Without ordination, we serve at the whim and pleasure of the senior pastor. Know you will learn a little or a lot from each one. This will build your trust muscle like nothing else. We must trust the appointment process and we must submit to the authority over us or make plans to graciously move on if we can’t do either one. Do not be the face of disunity. This close to the appointment change date, it’s prudent to wait so that the one hiring you is not moving on in your first year. It’s in your first year you get your legs under you, you build trust currency in your families’ minds, and you understand the leadership culture for a season. Be a Joseph!
- Talk with other kidmin leaders a lot. Build your network of those in the trenches. The average life expectancy of kidmin leads is 3.5 years UNLESS you connect with others outside of your own house/local church. Their shared experiences can only make you better and can offer help and hope in areas you don’t even know about until you’re in it up to your neck. They’ll encourage you, pray with you, and share their stories of what is healthy and hopeful. They’ll help you persevere, learn, and affirm your gifts and calling. Be an Esther!
- When you move on, you will no longer be looked at as the super volunteer you started as, but the professional Christian educator you’ve sought to become. Learn your craft and hone your skills. What are you learning today to help you move the next church to the next level? Constantly be upping your skill set so you are ready when invited to take on the next big thing. Know this: Women typically wait until they are 100% ready to make a move. Men typically wait until they are 50% ready to make a move. (She Leads Church, 2021). Be a constant, ready learner, and you don’t have to wait until you’re 100% ready. Be a Nehemiah!
- Deep dive into God’s Word in preparation to hear His voice. Waiting is a time of intentional preparation. It is unrealistic to expect to clearly hear the Lord’s voice if you are not in His Word learning His vocabulary. God has a perfect design for His people. He directs His own in the midst of uncertainty with courage and joy. Only in His Word can we fully discern that every open door may not be for you. Be a Paul!
- Some will. Some won’t. Everybody can. Be an Abigail!
If you are considering a move or wish to move from part-time to full-time, let’s chat. I’d love to help you be filled with health and hope as you fulfill God’s call on your life as a professional Christian educator. You were created for such a time as this! For this I know: We are better together.
“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24