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Monday, March 10, 2008

Priorities

Priorities in my job
I have been thinking and re-thinking about what is important in my job as the children’s/family life pastor at Parkway. I think how we spend our time and money and what our priorities are express a lot of our values and what we are trying to accomplish. For me the ministry is first and foremost about life-change through Jesus. I also have people ask me what I do during a given week. Well there is no such thing as a typical week but maybe it can be expressed through my ministry priorities:
1. Prayerful Planning, designing and delivering the “lesson” on Sunday morning
a. I have heard it said to keep the main thing the main thing. For our church our number one strategy for evangelism and discipleship is the Sunday morning event. Through the years I have grown to love this aspect of my calling. This includes the power points, visual lessons, technology moments, dramas, illusions or whatever helps drive home or main point for the day.
2. Partnering with Parents
a. This is so important and I am so passionate about this. It is high on my priority list but in terms of time and budgeted funds you wouldn’t know it. This is a big matter of prayer for me and sometimes discourages me. We have the average child in our church less than 100 hours a year. The church is at its best when it equips and partners with parents in reaching children for Christ. God help us!
3. Keeping everything safe
a. Across every ministry I am so committed to putting policies and procedures in place to make sure our kids have a safe and still fun experience at church!
4. Staff oversight and development
a. I am also very passionate about this. I directly oversee 4 staff members and indirectly oversee another 14 staff members. I love to see these talented and excited people succeed in what God has called them to do. It does take a significant amount of time.
b. I also include in here 6 volunteer leadership positions.
5. Helping Robin makes sure Nursery is A+ experience for parents and babies
a. Having Robin Kingery (Early childhood director) on board allows me to place this a little lower on my priority list. This is so important and these parents (and grandparents) are so watchful and their whole impression of the church is often formed by this single ministry. While we are always looking to improve, this ministry is the best it has ever been.
6. Helping Robin make sure Kid Kove Jr. is an A+ venue
a. I would ditto the above on this with the knowledge that the older the children are the less watchful the parents are. However for me the teaching element of this is actually more important. These are such impressionable years and we want to leave these children with a favorable impression of Jesus and church.
7. Helping Paul make sure Student Ministries is an A+ ministry
a. Paul also does a great job with this. Parents are definitely less watchful at this age but still want to make sure their teens are getting some good teaching and making good friends. I want Paul to succeed and he is, and he is always looking to learn too. It is great to have a quality place for our kids to graduate up to! We both see that he is going to need another pastor to help him soon.
8. New Volunteer Recruitment
a. Wow, this is so huge. It can be a nightmare. We are in such a huge growth mode right now that we are certainly growing faster than our volunteer base. This is extremely difficult with ongoing relational based ministry such as Sunday school, Awana and student ministries. Easily the most difficult of my jobs. And few people seem to want to help recruit.
9. Helping our Sunday school teachers make Sunday school a great small group learning and connecting opportunity and trying to keep the classes at a reasonable level.
a. As a parent I love Sunday school but as a children’s pastor this is the area I like the least. It is so very difficult to recruit for, we always need new rooms and new teachers as we grow, and it eats up big time budget money (as the third largest item in my budget). My teachers are great but most struggle with connecting to their own class as well. But our kids find the best connection opportunities here and at Awana. Because we do it has to be the best.
10. Awana and helping Shawnee make this a great time for kids and spiritually significant
a. I love Awana but because it is on Wednesday nights it falls a little lower on the priority list. It is the number 2 on the budget list. It is the most difficult ministry to recruit for but it really is not that difficult to do. I am so committed to finding a fun and meaningful way to get kids to memorize and hide God’s word in their heart. There is such power to change a life in God’s Word! It is worth it.
11. Volunteer, parent and children pastoral care (follow-up, loving on, etc.)
a. This used to be the highest on my list when I first was in the ministry. Robin does a great job at this and has pricked my conscience to do more of it. The ministry is so big and all of these things demand so much administrative time (I would die without Sharon my administrative assistant), that sometimes it is easy to put aside fussing over people, but it is very valuable.
12. Helping Pattie make our weekday preschool an A+ experience for parents and kids.
a. While it is not a Sunday morning event our weekday preschool has brought people to our church. More importantly parents place their little ones in our care and I want this to be an excellent, well run ministry where kids learn and grow.
13. Helping Sharon and others communications our events, policies, schedules, events and ministry opportunities
a. Communication through the newsletter, e-mails, bulletins, posters, announcements, fliers, person-to-person, signs, mailings, website etc... This is major part of Sharon’s job and yet it still never seems enough. I learned long ago not to get frustrated when people don’t know. In fact the ministry is big enough now that sometimes I don’t know!
14. Trying to keep current with kid’s culture and what kids like as well as what other ministries are experiencing and sharing ideas.
a. This is very, very important and I wish I had more time and resources to dedicate. Of course my kids and their friends help me! I always run ideas by Blake and Tanner.
15. Helping Pattie oversee the preschool staff and set policies and guidelines for this staff
a. 13 staff members. Just trying to figure out the weekly pay is a full time job for Pattie. She runs the preschool so well and only occasionally needs my input or help.
16. Being part of pastoral staff and helping to encourage other staff members
a. I try!
17. Being part of the executive team and advising in this capacity
a. Being a leader I naturally feel like I have things to offer in terms of the entire church as a whole. I feel Pastor Ott and Pastor Moe feel the same which really makes me feel part of the broader team.
18. Oversight of budgets for all children’s, preschool and student ministries
a. Lovely.
19. Planning, budgeting and pulling off special events (VBS, Egg Hunt, Trunk or Treat, Summer Camp, Lock-ins, Kid’s choirs, etc. Sport activities).
a. In terms of budget money these are the number one items, yet for me it is the lowest on my little list here. Of course there are things I didn’t even put on the list. For me the weekly and day to day things make us excellent. These events are icing on the cake, but not the cake. For some of our people I think they might be the cake. I would like to see more and more of our events become family oriented. Not all, but over half at least. They do help attract new people and also help kids connect with friends, so they are valuable.
20. Fundraisers
a. A necessary evil

1 comment:

Eri said...

Wow...I'm overwhelmed just reading that blog! How do you do it all? And do it so well! Keep up the good work.