All of us in ministry are on the same team, at least we are supposed to be!
1 Corinthians 12:14-19 tells us there are many different parts of the body of Christ but we exist for the same purpose. If you look in these verses you’ll see three main points. First you should see that every part of the body is needed and is important. Second there is no place for jealousy in the body! And third God knew what He was doing by creating different parts of the body by His own design. We might have different callings or interests but we have the same purpose. The other day I was looking at some different posts on twitter and after reading some #kidmin posts and also a few #stumin or #youthmin posts and reading some of the blogs they were connected to I felt lead to do my own tweet… “I’m not sure who started the war kidmin or stumin? Doesn’t matter it’s time to end it and work together”. I got several retweets and comments but the fact is it’s time we started working together to reach the family. As long as parents have children to parent I want to help them succeed.
Ephesians 4:11-12 says “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up. I have looked from cover to cover and I can’t find the title Children’s or Youth Pastor mentioned in the Bible other than under the office of the pastor. We both exist to serve and help our pastors. We might work with different age groups but the purpose is the same! Proverbs 22:6 tells us to “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart. This verse to me doesn’t stop in children’s ministry; it extends to the youth department and beyond. What we do to train children from thirteen to age eighteen is just as important to the process as what we do from three years old until twelve. My good friend Mark Harper says “If Children don’t make close friends at church during forth, fifth and sixth grade then will not stay plugged in the church youth group. I agree with Mark that the things we do with children have lasting affects.
Structure is an amazing study to me. One of the cool things about getting to travel to different churches is to see how they organize and structure their different ministries. For some reason a lot of churches like to do what they have always done. Because of this they have what they have always had. Just because you adopt a model for a season doesn’t mean you are married to it forever. There are many models to choose from today most I have found are a re-naming or re-positioning of older models. Also I am seeing that many people are moving to a family ministry model but they have not spent time defining what family ministry looks like to them and they put the family ministry name on an old Christian Education model. What you do to aid and assist the family is more important to me than what you call it.
Since we are part of the same family we must practice family living. Judgment must start with us. 1Peter 4:17 says, “For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? It’s up to us to pray and search our hearts and ask God to show us areas where we have an us verses them mentality. It’s time to be all “us” when it comes to helping the family reach their children no matter what age their children are. We all have to decide to support one another. As a long time children’s pastor I purposed there where some things I needed to do to help the student ministry department long before I was over it. Commit to pray for the youth ministry team. Offer help to them; use your talents, abilities, and giftings to serve them. Ask for their help and input. Learn to practice Romans 12:15 and rejoice with the accomplishments of others. Dare to be an encourager even better yet dare to be a friend. Proverbs 18:25 tells us “A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. I think it’s also important for youth and children’s ministers to learn to share joyfully. In most churches it is a necessity to have to share rooms or facilities. That’s also true for resources and even workers. We should also go out of our way to share ideas. For this spirit of sharing to really exist we must be willing to confront wrong thinking and actions and act as a peace maker (Romans 12:18) Admit when there is a problem and always be willing to work out all differences.