Pray for and chat with your children’s/family ministry leaders.
Set the table for some facetime with your top, committed leaders who are the face, hands, feet, and heart of the ministry with families in your local church. Ask how they are. Ask what they hope for in the year to come. Invite yourself into their lives to partner with them to take the next steps in their discipleship.
Ideas: Pastability Dinner, tea, coffee, join their morning/afternoon walk.
Gentle Reminder: As church staff our job is to equip the saints for the service God has called them to do.
Ephesians 4:11-12

Pray for and chat with your littles.
Set the table for some facetime with the littles you serve.
Ideas: Play a game, ask what they got for Christmas, find out what they are doing on Saturdays.
Gentle Reminder: If the littles you serve are Christians, they are your full-on brothers and sisters in Christ with a full-on Holy Spirit. You’ve only got a few more months with your 5th graders before they transition to student/middle school ministry.
Ecclesiastes 3:1

Pray for and chat with their bigs.
Set the table to be available to the disciple-makers in the trenches of your student’s every day.
Ideas: Ministry FB group posts, Family Resource station, Parenting workshops, arrive early and stay later in the Narthex.
Gentle Reminder: Partnering does not mean overloading their family calendar with church events, but rather ask good questions so you are aware of the rhythm of their days, weeks, seasons, etc. and plan accordingly.

Pray for and chat with your grandparents.
Set the table for intergenerational conversations, story telling, intergenerational social spaces and places. These saints of your church have stories to tell and every kid loves a good story.
Ideas: Add kid entries to the adult chili cookoff or bake sale, one-on-one invites for a very specific role, call them by name often in front of kids. Relationships are key.
Gentle Reminder: The average age of a first-time grandparent in the US is 47 years old. This generation is the team of worker-bees and well-trained super volunteers of 15 years ago so make their commitments shorter, smaller, super enjoyable, trustworthy, and resourced.

Pray for and chat with your church leadership.
Rev. Rhoda Howell is a prayer warrior. I’ve asked her for help with better prayer vocabulary to share with other family ministry leaders at a Children’s Ministry Hot Topic Table Chat in North Georgia last December. With her permission…..

When DeDe asked me to offer a prayer that might encourage you when you are frustrated or discouraged, well, it is a big task. I don’t know you all, but I know that you all have big hearts for making sure little people know Jesus and you go well beyond what ‘has always been done’.
I am thankful for you.
As a pastor of 25 years, I have sat with several Children’s advocates, directors, ministers, and heard you.
So I humbly offer this rambling to help you, encourage you and expand your vision.
Thank you for these folk who love you and love your children. Thank you for their willingness to do what no one else would think of doing so that these littles grow in the likeness of your Son. I am thankful that their vision is laser-focused so that they don’t miss an opportunity to talk about Jesus. Continue to give them courage to speak and wisdom to be silent.
Teach them that their strength comes from You not how many battles they have endured. May they remember that you carry their burdens so they can release their heavy burdens to You. May they feel Your presence. Amen
DeDe also asked that I share some language for you to pray for those that support you and those who do not. So, I will bullet point these:
  • Pray that your antagonists may be blessed today. Period. That they may be wowed by God’s presence. Do this every day.
  • Remember, they have hurts and wounds just like you. The antagonists have had to fight for their place at the table at sometime in their career.
  • Give thanks for their year(s) of service in their area. Remember, that they have reasons for the way they do things, just as you do in your area. They have seen lots of changes…the good and the not so good and are shaped by all.
  • Remember, some are a long way from the raising of or ministering to children. Let us not hold it against them.
  • Ask God to send you encouragers. You need more than one.
  • Pray for your pastoral leader. Pray specifically that he or she might hear God’s voice above all other voices, including yours. Remember, if someone is coming to you to tell you how to do ministry, there are probably a ‘gaggle’ of folks telling the Pastor that they don’t know how to do anything.
  • Remember, the pastor is over the whole church and has to manage every single ministry, special interest group inside and outside the church.
  • Ask questions instead of assuming. Ask the Lord for a Spirit of curiosity.
  • Be open for unusual ideas. Resist setting up or speaking obstacles. Ask the Lord for a Spirit of YES.
  • Don’t attend every fight you are invited to. You choose how you will rise to the occasion.
“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.” Hebrews 5:7