“Beyond Babysitting???”


“So, what did you learn in Sunday school today?” Mom asks little Susy.  Little Susy shrugs, rolls her eyes,  and blurts out the unvarnished truth: “We heard about Noah and the ark… again!”

The dull-as-dirt, when-do-we-get-to-some-good-stuff non-verbals are obvious.  And little Susy is in the first grade.  Imagine her unrestrained glee at the prospect of spending five more years undergoing death by boredom under the guise of “children’s ministries.”

“Of course!” beams Pastor Jones like a summer sunrise.  “Children matter here.  We’re thoroughly committed to ministry to children at (fill in the blank) church.”

Taking a second look, you notice that there’s no paid children’s pastor or director (not even part-time) on staff, no C.M. office, office hours, email accounts, or representation on the church board.  Kid min is at the bottom third of the church budget and hasn’t had an increase in over a decade.  Out-dated, recycled curricula are relied on, and anytime an adult fellowship needs more room, they take over a children’s classroom.

Sound familiar?

If you’re a children’s pastor, director, leader, teacher, or parent, we need your help.  We’re looking for a brief quotes (2-5 sentences) or paragraphs to include in our new book, Beyond Babystitting: Making Children’s Ministries Matter. Can you answer one or more of the following:

– What’s the difference between cramming a children’s ministries calendar with”programming” and focusing on spiritual formation and transformation – or is there?  How do you get from one to the other?

– Why does kid min matter and who cares?

– Between work, school, extracurricular events and activities and a zillion other things, the lives of many children and parents are jam-packed.  Why should they “make room” in their already-overbooked calendars for Sunday school or other spiritual growth opportunities?  What difference does C.M. make in the lives of your kids and/or their parents – or does it?  (Looking for something thoughtful, beyond a knee-jerk reaction here.)

– Essential qualifications for serving in children’s ministries

– How do you handle an unsupportive senior pastor or board – or should you?

– Incorporate parents into the process?

– Deal with recruiting, teacher burn-out, boredom?

– What kinds of standards/procedures do you have in place to ensure teacher “quality control” and child safety – or are you so desperate for volunteers that the main qualification is anyone who’s vertical and breathing?

– Where should kid min be placed on the “totem pole” of church priorities (staffing, resource allocation, budget, visibility, space, etc.) – and why?

– Describe your “ideal” children’s ministries leader or volunteer.

– What are some distinct strengths of your C.M.?  What are some of the weaknesses – and how do you plan to address them?

Your feedback is welcome and valued!  You need not include your surname, but please include your real first name, title, and where you serve or have served (e.g., Mary Jane Smith, Children’s Pastor, Faith Bible Church.)    Please use the comment feature below.

(Please don’t post responses that are argumentative.  They won’t be read.)

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