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Finding Key Answers for the Children’s Ministry Leader

Do any of these clichés feel familiar to you? “I’m going around in circles.” “I’m running around like a chicken with its head cut off.” “I’m getting no place fast.” “I’m just spinning my wheels.”

Do you find yourself asking questions like:
-Is it time to leave my position here?
-Is it time to move into a different ministry other than children’s ministry?
-How can I get more volunteers?
-How can I get my church to have a vision for children’s ministry?

Many of us often feel this way or have these type of questions, especially when we are encompassed with events, parties, services, and family activities that occur during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons. The addition of extra activities and responsibilities can often create a sense of being overwhelmed. Then, immediately following the cessation of the high-energy, adrenaline-maintained schedule most people will sense a feeling of loss, depression, or weariness.

This past January I wrote an article on weariness which received one of the highest responses from Words of Challenge this whole year. It appears that leaders actively involved in Children’s Ministry struggle with many of these sorts of frustrations without discovering the needed encouragement, refreshing, or direction they desire. God is placing the burden on my heart to once again minister His Word to you during the hustle and bustle of this season.

Let’s lay out a foundational principle to help us better understand and more effectively conquer the emotionally and physically based struggles.

Deal with the big things and the little things will fall into place.

Now, before you allow your thought to start running off thinking of scriptures that say “it is the small foxes…” please understand the focus of this principle. I’m sure that most of us have read or heard the illustration of the professor who had three jars, one with sand, one with pebbles, and one with rocks. The illustration shows that when you put the sand into an empty jar, followed by the pebbles, then the rocks, they will not all fit. But when you put the rocks in first, followed by the pebbles, and then the sand, all will fit into the jar. The point is made that putting the big things in order first allows room for the smaller things to fit into place. Thus, taking care of the larger things in our lives or schedules can result in the smaller ones falling into their proper place.

The second example is from one of my “real life” experiences. A couple of years ago, Alisa and I heard of a kinesiologist who treats allergies. We quickly discovered that in many cases, just one of his treatments will remove those nasty allergy symptoms. During our visit with him, he explained how he has found that someone may be allergic to one substance, but more allergic to another. When he treats the main or larger allergy, often the lesser allergy would disappear and be solved as well because the body was then able to deal with the substance the way God created it to do.

So, what are the big things in life to be approached first? Hmmm…

I almost hesitate to write it because, so many times, those of us in ministry get so used to hearing it that we just brush it off. The bottom line to discovering the answers to your questions is directly related to your personal relationship with your Heavenly Father through your righteous standing in Christ Jesus. You must clearly understand that the example questions above may all be the wrong questions for you to be asking. The reason you are asking those questions and feeling those feelings is because you have been subtly distracted away from the important things in life. The result is that all the smaller things are out of place as well.

Here is an often found scenario.
A minister awakes early in the morning, spends time in prayer and reading the Word, enjoys breakfast, heads out to the office, takes care of the checklist for the day, heads back home, enjoys dinner with the family, has a few moments for family devotions, watches the evening news and maybe a favorite television program, retires to bed with thoughts of what is on the checklist for the next day.

This scenario sounds good. In fact, at surface value, it appears exemplary. But herein lies the challenge. So often, time in prayer and reading the Word becomes routine, habitual, without growth or maturation. Can your alone time with your Heavenly Father become a daily experience of wonder and growth? Yes, it most certainly can!

Watch a three year old child experience something new. You have seen it over and over again, but to that child it is fresh, life-changing, amazing, earth-shatteringly revolutionizing to their world! And, the wonderful thing about a three year old is that they are ever encountering such awe-inspiring experiences.

Here is your secret to finding your answers, to overcoming weariness and the feelings of running around in circles. Take on God’s intended view of your time together with Him. He wants to unfold new revelations in your heart. He desires to surprise you with fresh vision, certain direction, innovative ideas, and creative insights each day! He wants your time with Him daily to be filled with fresh, life-changing thoughts and revelations.

When your day begins with a fresh, creative insight from the heart of your Father, you will quickly discover how your feelings and your questions change. Now you can see, it has not been that you were not hearing the right answers, that you were asking the wrong questions, trying to put the “sand” in place first instead of the “rocks.”

Recall the account of Peter and John entering the Gate called Beautiful. The beggar was asking for alms, but what he really needed was far greater than what he was asking for; what he received not only took care of his need for alms, but also took care of the other needs in his life. Maybe a better example for us is that of the account of ‘Blind Bartimaeus’ in Mark chapter 10. When Jesus asked Bartimaeus “What do you want me to do for you?” Bartimaeus knew the right question. He was a beggar, in poverty, with many needs. Yet he asked for his sight, knowing that receiving his sight would solve the other issues of his life.

To get the right answers, you must ask the right questions. To know the right questions, you must be receiving fresh input and revelation from the One of whom you are asking.

I know you are busy. I know you may feel hurt, pain, weariness, and confusion. Alisa and I always pray for everyone whom God brings into the reach of our ministry. We pray for divine revelation and refreshing to be abundantly poured out into your life. We desire God’s very best for you, your family, and your ministry! We know that, as you spend time with God in an attitude of “What do you wish to surprise me with today, Father?”, you will be rejuvenated from the inside out and set on a smooth path in which your steps are made sure and your direction is clear. It is about relationship not duty!

Your questions will be answered, your strength will be renewed, and your needs will be met! How do I know this for certain? God, your Father, promised you over and over and over again in His written Word of Holy Covenant that when you seek Him first (from a heart of loving desire to be with your Father) everything else will be taken care of for you. He will see to it! The Amplified Version of 2 Chron. 7:14 says it well, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, pray, seek, crave and require of necessity My face…then I will hear…and heal.”

Rev. Gary R. Linn

Rev. Gary R. Linn
Children’s Ministry Today

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