Since my name was mentioned!
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
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!!!