The purpose of this article is to introduce an exciting new resource for those of us who volunteer in children’s ministry or work in a capacity as a bivocational children’s minister. Before I introduce you to the resource though, I want to tell you a little bit about why I started it and what I hope we can accomplish through it.
I have been blogging (well, blogging regularly) for a little over a year now. In that time, my blog has changed names once and locations twice, the focus of the blog has shifted from more general articles to primarily reflecting my passion for working in children’s ministry, and I have started to contribute articles to Ministry-to-Children.com in addition to maintaining this blog. Perhaps that is part of the reason that there seems to be some confusion about what I do. When people ask me that age old question “What do you do?” I tell them that I work with kids because that is where my passion is. In all actuality though, that is not my full-time profession. I am volunteer in our church’s children’s ministry. During the week, I work full time (sometimes a little bit more) at my other job. For forty-plus house a week, I am a partner in a small CPA firm that specializes in litigation support, forensic accounting and business valuations. Like so many who work in children’s ministry, the time I get to spend on children’s ministry is relegated to nights and weekends. I sometimes think that if God had called me earlier in my life, he may have called me to full time ministry to children and families, but he did not. He may still call me that at some point in the future, but for now I am exactly where he put me.
I am not alone. I have learned a number of thing from the last year of blogging and networking with other children’s ministry minded individuals on the internet. First, they are a very generous and open group of individuals who are willing to share their experience and ideas with almost anyone. Secondly, while there are a large number of full time children’s pastors who are passionately devoted to children’s ministry, there is also an extremely large group of volunteers and unpaid children’s ministers. This group includes volunteers, bivocational children’s pastors and those dedicated to more than one ministry within the church including children’s ministries. Though not full-time, and oftentimes unpaid, their passion for children is second to none. This is the group that I fall into.
As a group, we share some things in common. While our passion for children’s ministry is as strong as anyone, the time we have available to prepare for and minister to kids is limited. Many of us have trouble attending conferences and doing in-person networking because of time limitations and constraints imposed by our other jobs. We often feel torn between our God given calling to work with kids and the other things which we must get done. To that end, I felt it was appropriate to start a place when such individuals can gather, network with one another, share ideas, share concerns and generally sharpen one another.
So, this past weekend, I started a group on facebook for those of us engaged in volunteer and bivocational children’s ministry. It is also open to anyone involved in children’s ministry who would like to contribute or benefit from the group.
I hope you will take a second to join the group and introduce yourself. If you have any ideas for how we can make the group better or utilize it to its fullest extent, please leave a comment and let us know.