GCM Home | Your Posts | Rules | DONATE | Bookstore | Facebook | Twitter | FAQs


Author Topic: Children's Ministers  (Read 1310 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Just As I Am

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 871
  • Manna: 305
Children's Ministers
« on: Mon Apr 28, 2008 - 10:38:31 »
On a very recent trip down south, I noticed that there was a new Children's Minister added to the staff of a church. As I surfed the web today, I also realized more and more congregations are hiring Children's Ministers and they are often women.

I am curious as to others thoughts on women filling these needs in the local church.

(for those of you who don't know, this is a Church of Christ)

Christian Forums and Message Board

Children's Ministers
« on: Mon Apr 28, 2008 - 10:38:31 »

Offline Jimbob

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 21536
  • Manna: 439
  • Gender: Male
  • Me fail English? That's unpossible.
Re: Children's Ministers
« Reply #1 on: Mon Apr 28, 2008 - 10:46:07 »
My observation is that it tends to be the next logical step for churches that have already hired the youth minister, small groups minister, singles minister, college minister, jr. high minister, seniors minister, divorce recovery minister, etc. (yes, those are all real positions in various CofCs).  It would naturally have everything going for it and against it that all those other positions do. 

How's that for vague?  ::smile::

Christian Forums and Message Board

Re: Children's Ministers
« Reply #1 on: Mon Apr 28, 2008 - 10:46:07 »

Offline Jimbob

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 21536
  • Manna: 439
  • Gender: Male
  • Me fail English? That's unpossible.
Re: Children's Ministers
« Reply #2 on: Mon Apr 28, 2008 - 11:05:16 »
...the purpose of youth ministry to work with the parents and help guide the youth, not be a replacement for them. I like that.
Absolutely.

Christian Forums and Message Board

Re: Children's Ministers
« Reply #2 on: Mon Apr 28, 2008 - 11:05:16 »

Offline Belinda

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 254
  • Manna: 15
  • Gender: Female
Re: Children's Ministers
« Reply #3 on: Mon Apr 28, 2008 - 11:54:48 »
I think it is an excellent idea. After all women are allowed to have a paid secretary's job.  Many of these secretary's do all sorts of teaching and counseling.  We have a paid lady over our small pre-k school.

Christian Forums and Message Board

Re: Children's Ministers
« Reply #3 on: Mon Apr 28, 2008 - 11:54:48 »
Pinterest: GraceCentered.com

Offline memmy

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 11973
  • Manna: 322
  • Gender: Female
  • Blessings
Re: Children's Ministers
« Reply #4 on: Tue Apr 29, 2008 - 10:11:58 »
Wiley's daughter is a Childrens Minister for a coC in Texas. I think it's absolutely wonderful!

Christian Forums and Message Board

Re: Children's Ministers
« Reply #4 on: Tue Apr 29, 2008 - 10:11:58 »



Offline Jimbob

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 21536
  • Manna: 439
  • Gender: Male
  • Me fail English? That's unpossible.
Re: Children's Ministers
« Reply #5 on: Tue Apr 29, 2008 - 12:55:49 »
I find it quite interesting that often we don't "allow" women to be on staff as youth ministers but now seem to be slowing moving towards "allowing" women to be childrens ministers.

I think women do much teaching and counsel for sure. I guess this comes into question the line between teaching and "leadership."
Increasingly, churches also have female summer youth interns to minister to jr/sr high girls. 

Christian Forums and Message Board

Re: Children's Ministers
« Reply #5 on: Tue Apr 29, 2008 - 12:55:49 »

Offline notofmyown

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 495
  • Manna: 51
  • Gender: Male
Re: Children's Ministers
« Reply #6 on: Tue Apr 29, 2008 - 14:16:56 »
someone here said something about youth ministry often being misdirected....I whole heartedly agree.....do I have a problem with women's childrens ministry no call it what it is as the majority of CoC's have one or two women that for all purposes serve that role already. 

In my mind, I would actually like to see the whole youth ministry concept (that is the youth being their own world and in need of seperation from the congregation) refocused to include the family back into the equation.  I would like to see more "Family ministry" that is the equipping of parents in mentoring and engaging their kids in the Christian life and in helping children connect with their families.....Don't get me wrong its great and essential for kids to share time with one another and to do things together, just saying if the kids are always seperated from parents ie at school and at church then just when do the parents get to be the shepherds of their family?

Offline WileyClarkson

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 4288
  • Manna: 162
  • Gender: Male
  • Moderator
Re: Children's Ministers
« Reply #7 on: Thu May 01, 2008 - 09:26:29 »
Since my name was mentioned!   ::smile::

Having a daughter who is a Children's Minister (who has no desire to be anything else other than a Children's minister) I think that we often tend to overlook the improtance of the CM in respect to the family and we also tend to put too much emphasis on other ministery programs in leiu of the CM program.  I think it is great that churches are finally realizing that the CM is someone who is more than just a figure head or a person who is just available to teach young children when no one else will"

My daughter's responsibilities are too numerous to completely list here but some of them are:
1.  In the morning worship, she has a short sermon for the children.  They come down front and sit across the platform in front of the speaker podium and she addresses them from the aisle.  Now, if someone here thinks that she isn't teaching everyone in the audience, think again.  Her little sermons on simple faith, etc, are every bit as good as the main minister's sermons that are directed at the adults only and they apply to everyone there, regardless of age!
2.  She is the person who determines the entire curiculeum for those children 0-12 years old.
3.  she organizes all external activities for the children
4.  She has the responsibility of finding teachers for the classes.
5.  She teaches adult bible classes on Sunday mornings that fall into the category of relating to raising children, teaching children, etc
6.  She does counseling for children and their parents when necessary
7.  She does home visitiation.
etc, etc etc.

She is paid for a 40 hour work week and often puts in 70 to 80 hours a week.  If you ave a CM on staff, ask how many hours the CM puts in per week on avg, then go to the pulpit minister and ask what HIS avg total hours of ministry work are!

Regarding women as youth ministers.  We NEED young and middle age women in the youth ministry position because the girls in our churches, IMO, face much more complicated problems in today's world and church than the boys.  The pressures on females for sex (especially where there is a mentality of "Well boys will be boys" ), the restrictions and discrimination against females by the secular world, etc are problems that boys just don't experience.  The simple fact that boys are ALLOWED to do anything they feel qualified for in the church and girls are automatically restricted by the males in the church requires the girls to have someone who they can talk to openly about all those feelings they experience in our overly restrictive churches of Christ!  They need someone who can relate, who can say I have had those same feelings, who can talk to them on their level from personal experience, and can say this is how to manage them those feelings and problems.  I do not believe there is a male youth ministerwho can truely do that for a female teenager!.

Of course, IMO, no ministry position, from the pulpit to the children's minister, should be exclusive to either gender.  Hire the best person for the job regardless of gender.  I personally know several men who are CM's.  One of those men has absolutely no business being the CM.  He doubles as the worship minister and does a very good job of being the WM.  The main reason he is the CM is the elders are afraid to hire a woman as a CM.  It is still a male only in ministry church.  This is inspite of the fact that the main person in the children's ministry program is a woman who has the title of "administrative assistant for Chrildren's Ministry  ::doh::  I also know a man who is the CM of a very large congregation and he is absolutely fantastic with the children and I have a hard time imagining anyone else in that position at that congregation!

Those are my thoughts this morning!!!


Tantor

  • Guest
Re: Children's Ministers
« Reply #8 on: Thu May 01, 2008 - 09:29:44 »
Anyone else but me have problems with the segmentation of the church that has happened over the past decades?


Christian Forums and Message Board

Re: Children's Ministers
« Reply #8 on: Thu May 01, 2008 - 09:29:44 »

Offline WileyClarkson

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 4288
  • Manna: 162
  • Gender: Male
  • Moderator
Re: Children's Ministers
« Reply #9 on: Thu May 01, 2008 - 09:34:31 »
Tantor,

I have a problem with the gender segmentation of the church!  We disregard the abilities and spiritual gifts of our females because of a screwed up interpretation and application of scriptures, and we disregard the balance of the evidence that is much stronger that women were equals.  That is an unacceptable segmentation that never should have occured! ::soapbox::

Tantor

  • Guest
Re: Children's Ministers
« Reply #10 on: Thu May 01, 2008 - 09:45:01 »
Tantor,

I have a problem with the gender segmentation of the church!  We disregard the abilities and spiritual gifts of our females because of a screwed up interpretation and application of scriptures, and we disregard the balance of the evidence that is much stronger that women were equals.  That is an unacceptable segmentation that never should have occured! ::soapbox::

I agree to a certain point.. but I think we need to be open to God's leading rather then enforcing equality for the sake of equality.

I have much more of a problem with age separation... our young have so much to learn from adults and we do everything we can to keep them apart.

Offline WileyClarkson

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 4288
  • Manna: 162
  • Gender: Male
  • Moderator
Re: Children's Ministers
« Reply #11 on: Thu May 01, 2008 - 11:49:10 »

Quote
I have much more of a problem with age separation... our young have so much to learn from adults and we do everything we can to keep them apart.
 

I guess you want the children to sit with the adults through their adult Bible classes?  When you talk to children on a level they cannot understand, then you have succeeded in losing their attention right off.  They learn nothing!

The young do learn from the adults.  The adults teach the classes and the children have adult teaching at home, by example of the parents.  The really good CM is a facilitator for such activities rather than just a teacher or baby sitter of kids in the name of ministry, which is exactly what some CM's are, due to limitations placed on them by male only leadership based on the idea that women cannot have authority, be leaders, speak in an assembly, teach and adult, etc.

Our children are the single most valuable resource for the future of the Church.  There is nothing in our possession that is worth more!  They deserve the best we can give them and that means that we need to have dedicated CM's who are capable of inspiring, guiding, and facilitating parents/adults into giving the best they can give to the kids.  We need CM's who are dedicated, educated to higher levels of knowledge (Masters Degrees, M.Div's, and Ph.D's) and we need to pay them commensorate with their skill and education, especially when they are incharge of our most valuable resource.  Unfortunately, CM's tend to be in the lower paid portion of our ministers and females tend to earn less than males for the same job.  That's not just segmentation, that's gender discrimination, which is a sin that we will have to answer for. IMO.

Talking to children on their level separate from the adults is not separation, it is simply reaching out to them at their level so they can understand what they need to understand. 


Tantor

  • Guest
Re: Children's Ministers
« Reply #12 on: Thu May 01, 2008 - 12:47:06 »
I disagree... CM's let parents off the hook in so many ways... it also thwarts teaching your children discipline and fosters ADD and such.

Worship is supposed to be a family thing.. I want my children in church with me to worship and I want the pastor to have a special children's chat along with a meatier sermon for the adults.

And I disagree with our children being our biggest asset.. outreach is the most valuable resource for the future of the church while children are an inward distraction that absorb too much of a churches resources.

Christ could come tomorrow and all your planning for the future would be worth spit... our future is in the unsaved just as the early Christians understood.

And saying what you just did just shows me how much you value modern psychology over biblical truths.

Offline WileyClarkson

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 4288
  • Manna: 162
  • Gender: Male
  • Moderator
Re: Children's Ministers
« Reply #13 on: Thu May 01, 2008 - 20:42:51 »
Tantor,

Quote
I disagree... CM's let parents off the hook in so many ways... it also thwarts teaching your children discipline and fosters ADD and such.
 

No, it doesn't let the parents off the hook!  If the ministry is done correctly, which many are, then it actually pull the parents into the teaching process much more deeply than the way you seem to advocate.  I've been involved in churches with as few as 5 children and as many as 150 children.  I've seen both sides and been involved in children's ministry on both sides (your view and my view are the sides).  The children do not need to be sitting in the adult classes where the teaching is way over their heads.  They need to be in their own classes where the teaching is on a level they can comprehend.  You don't put a 1st grader in a college class in the school system for the very reason you shouldn't put a 6 year old in a Bible class that teaches with middle age, long term members of the church who are already well versed in Bible study.

Quote
Worship is supposed to be a family thing.. I want my children in church with me to worship and I want the pastor to have a special children's chat along with a meatier sermon for the adults. 

Now you are starting to define a more precise expectation.  I don't have a problem with this view, as I also don't have a problem with a children's worship.  I've seen it both ways, been involved with both practices in several churches I have been apart of.  I raised my daughters in a very small congregation.  We had 5 children (our church--my three plus two more) and they were all in the same age group.  They were always in our worship.  I am a part of a congregation that has a children's worship that is separate from the late worship service (no children's worship for the early service).  The age range is very limited as to who can attend.  Once the child is in school, they sit with the parents.  It is a parent's choice as to if they take their children in the correct age range to the children's worship.  The children who attend are left at the children's worship before the service starts.  Other churches, like the one my daughter works for, let the children leave after the children's sermon, which is about 1/3 the way through the morning worship.  Again, they limit the age range also.  It is working very well for that congregation.  They have about 30 to 40 children who attend the separate worship.

Quote
  And I disagree with our children being our biggest asset.. outreach is the most valuable resource for the future of the church while children are an inward distraction that absorb too much of a churches resources.

Outreach is a ministry that should be run equall along side all other ministries.  It is not an asset.  It is simply another ministry.  I have been reading articles and studies about retention of our youth when they leave home.  Guess what one of the conclussions has been?  The churches who put the most into their children and youth have the highest retention rates!  They are an asset!  They are where many of our future ministers come from, whether you believe it or not.  If we cannot retain our children, then we are loosing the future of the church, and that is happening in our churches.  Outreach will not produce the returns in this post modern society where there are denominations beyond numbering and different worship styles beyond belief, not to mention the growing number of athiests turned out by our government school system and science programs that will not have anything to do with a supreme being.  If we cannot retain our children, then we have no right to even start trying to reach out to others!  There is no reason anyone would believe anything we have to say if it is apparent that we cannot keep our own children in the faith when they leave home, and believe me, that is something that stands out like a bright red shirt in a crowd of white shirts!

Quote
And saying what you just did just shows me how much you value modern psychology over biblical truths.

Excuse me?  I don't listen to modern psychology over Biblical truths.  You don't know me very well if you think that!!!  In fact, I don't listen to modern psychologists at all.  The few I have had any experience with over the years have not been Christians so I don't put much stock in what they say.  However, I do operate from observable evidence, and facts based on my experience in teaching children and that is why I am in favor of the CM program in churches where there are alot of children.

« Last Edit: Fri May 02, 2008 - 02:30:07 by WileyClarkson »

Tantor

  • Guest
Re: Children's Ministers
« Reply #14 on: Fri May 02, 2008 - 09:00:33 »
Outreach is the SINGLE THING THAT JESUS COMMANDED US TO DO... how can you possibly relegate it to just 'another ministry'????????????????

It boggles my mind!

And as far as retention of youth.. just as with all unsaved, their fate lies in the hands of God and not us... you cannot program it.. you cannot legislate it.. in spite of your sincere desires and best wishes.. it is up to God and not us.  I don't want children to stay just because that is what they have been taught.. I want my children to leave the church and go into the world with a sincere desire to reach others for Christ!


We are commanded to go into the world and preach the Gospel as our primary mission.. If missions and outreach is not the primary mission of your church.. they your church is a total failure.



Offline charlie

  • Quoted on every stupid baptism thread
  • Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 3361
  • Manna: 95
  • Gender: Male
  • Here I come to save the day
Re: Children's Ministers
« Reply #15 on: Fri May 02, 2008 - 11:53:35 »
Our future is in the unsaved just as the early Christians understood.

Now that's a thought worth exploring. So often we both state that the children and youth are the church of either today or tomorrow, depending on the point we are trying to make. But when you think about it, it's the lost that are the church (hopefully) of tomorrow.

A friend of mine recently very optimistically corrected the statement that the West is post-Christian by saying, "No, we are simply pre-Christian once again."

I guess you want the children to sit with the adults through their adult Bible classes?  When you talk to children on a level they cannot understand, then you have succeeded in losing their attention right off.  They learn nothing!

It's amazing just how much more children understand than you realize. Jesus told the disciples to allow the children to come to him, not send them a good screaming-distance away so the grownups could concentrate.

Maybe the problem is that we place too much emphasis on tedious and esoteric instruction (often called "fresh scholarly insights") in a non-participatory monologue that are actually over the heads of most adults, but are supposedly worth the preachers' salaries, rather than engaging in biblical, relevant, and practical sharing of biblical wisdom that the whole family can get into.

You would have no need of youth or children ministries if you had a more engaging ministry of the Word that would help families become better at ministering the Word at home too. notofmyown had a good way of putting it...

In my mind, I would actually like to see the whole youth ministry concept (that is the youth being their own world and in need of seperation from the congregation) refocused to include the family back into the equation.  I would like to see more "Family ministry" that is the equipping of parents in mentoring and engaging their kids in the Christian life and in helping children connect with their families

We already admit that youth ministers need to team up with families instead of raising their kids for them. I'd say the same goes for the preaching ministry. We need to work with the whole church at being more Word-oriented rather than deconstructing their understanding of God and building it up one tantalizing three-point sermon at a time.

Offline WileyClarkson

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 4288
  • Manna: 162
  • Gender: Male
  • Moderator
Re: Children's Ministers
« Reply #16 on: Fri May 02, 2008 - 20:48:34 »
Charlie,

Quote
It's amazing just how much more children understand than you realize. Jesus told the disciples to allow the children to come to him, not send them a good screaming-distance away so the grownups could concentrate.

Maybe the problem is that we place too much emphasis on tedious and esoteric instruction (often called "fresh scholarly insights") in a non-participatory monologue that are actually over the heads of most adults, but are supposedly worth the preachers' salaries, rather than engaging in biblical, relevant, and practical sharing of biblical wisdom that the whole family can get into.   

I can't disagree with that at all.  However, that may be an unrealistic expectation (although something that is desirable!).  Our ministers/preachers are taught to be the way they are and one does as they are trained to do. One can listen to a preacher when visiting a church and, alot of the time, if one is familiar with the styles of the different preacher schools and theological schools, actually spot where that preacher got his training.  I used to be able to spot a BrownTrail preacher School trained preacher within about 5 minutes of listening to him.

I am not putting one ministry ahead of the other.  They are all important.  However, the impression we give to the public if we cannot retain our own children is not a good one and it really doesn't matter what is preached or how well it is preached if we loose our children because they are not getting the message because of a lack of teaching on their level.  That is the main point I am making and that is where a CM is a real necessity.  Also, having been a member of churches that do not put much effort into the ministry of children and that did not do hardly anything at all to engage parents into more involved teaching of their kids, I am convinced that we must have people in these ministries who are capable of acting as facilitators in order to pull parents into the teaching at home as well as in church.  Our congregation has always had a high involvement with children over and above normal churches of Christ in our area.  We have a very high retention rate after our children start attending college and enter the business world.  It is in the ages of 18 to 30 that we are loosing our children.  If we don't give our children the faith foundation BEFORE they leave our homes and local churches, they will end up among the unretained!

let me state it a little differently.

Tantor called outreach evangelism an assett.  I look at it in this way:  it is an investment opportunity seeking to add to  present wealth (souls).

I call Children's Ministry as a continueing investment opportunity but in the view that we are seeking to retain the wealth (children) and produce dividends (those children grown up and ministrying to others).

They are both important to the overall package!

Offline Dennis

  • Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 3869
  • Manna: 116
  • Gender: Male
Re: Children's Ministers
« Reply #17 on: Sat May 03, 2008 - 09:36:22 »
Outreach is the SINGLE THING THAT JESUS COMMANDED US TO DO...

I can think of a few others.

 

     
anything