Tag Archives: delegation

Things I’m Big On In Children’s Church


1. I’m big on being prepared.

Everything should be finished and ready to go before Sunday morning. 90% of frustration alleviation is preparation!

2. I’m big on timeliness.

Each volunteer depends on the others to be at their post on time to serve their role. Parents and Sunday School Teachers depend on us to open the doors promptly. Starting service on time adds predictability which is important to children when establishing order.

3. I’m big on smooth transitions.

I hate downtime. Volunteers who are doing a part of the service should keep their eyes on their schedule and skip ahead. If their segment is coming up, they should be ready (with their team if they have one) and pass me on the steps going up while I’m coming down.

4. I’m not big on unplanned interruptions.

If someone needs the microphone during the service… they need to have asked for it before… or while I’m not on the stage.

5. I’m big on discipline.

I want us to enjoy our time with the kids… and them with us. The way to do that is to maintain an understanding of mutual respect between ourselves and them.

6. I’m big on giving away segments.

I’m not interested in my children’s church becoming the “Pastor James Show”. If there is a leader who would like to assist by taking a segment here and there… or even every week… they only need tell me. Pretty much anything short of the teaching and altar time is available.

5 Things To Help With Children’s Ministry Burnout


You often see articles on how to avoid burnout in ministry… but what about when it sneaks up on you? How can you get out of the hole of despair your in? Below I’ve listed some things that help me when the well doing makes me weary.

5. Time Away – but not necessarily

Taking time off if you haven’t had a break can be a great way to recharge… but not always. Sometimes taking a break can be like running away. If you don’t do things to recharge in your time away, you’ll end up coming back right into the same situations as ill prepared as you were before.

4. Act Your Way Into Feelings

I’m not talking about faking a good mood… though we’ve all been there. That would be an attempt to feeling your way into actions… which is killer. Acting your way into feelings means that you get up, get out there and keep on trucking. If you can’t do everything you’re supposed to do, do what you can do. Give God room to move in your ministry life by continuing to do as much of it as you can. The rest of the steps depend on this.

3. Change Things Up

Most of the time we’re not burned out on ministry as a whole… we’re just burned out on parts of it. It may be time for a change in those areas. I’m a fan of giving away parts of the ministry that grind my nerves away to those who are especially gifted at it. Even if you don’t delegate everything… doing it differently can be just the thing to renew your interest and passion.

2. Ask For Help

We get burned out when we try to do more than we can handle. Sure, there are things God has called us to do that may be beyond us and all… but His yoke is easy and all that. I’m talking about when we take on to much and try to do it all ourselves. It’s time to delegate. Don’t know how? Try asking yourself, “Who would take my place if I were sick this Sunday?” and go from there. You don’t have to give everything away… just the parts that anyone else can do.

1. Pray Through

As a child I would hear people talk about ‘praying through’. I didn’t understand it then… but I sure do now. Praying through, for me anyway, is praying until my attitude changes. Literally bugging God until He helps me through. Typically for me it means Him humbling me and realizing it was some sort of independent pride that got me where I was in the first place. Along with seeking energy, attitude adjustments and such, you might also ask for creativity… or if you’re season has changed. God loves you more than the ministry you provide. He knows that you minister out of your overflow… and He will fill you if you wait on Him.

Delegating Is Hard.. But Worth It

Giving away parts of your ministry responsibilities is mandatory if you want a thriving, growing ministry that’s not bound by your limits and abilities. A children’s minister that is secure in their calling can allow others to develop parts of their ministry… even if that volunteer is more talented with it than we are!

If there are so many benefits to delegation… why aren’t more ministers doing it? Other than the common reasons ministers don’t delegate, I think it’s because it’s harder than doing it yourself (at first) and folks simply don’t know how to do it properly.

Delegating is harder than doing it yourself… but it’s worth it.

Training someone else to do your job may sound like a great deal. You give it away and don’t have to worry about it any more. Not true. Giving away a task means you have to train the person… and constantly evaluate what they’re doing to make sure they’re doing it correctly and improving along the way. It won’t always be harder than doing it yourself… but you’ll never want to completely walk away. The ministry is still your responsibility.

Here’s how to delegate properly.

  1. They watch you do it – We must always, always, always display what we want. Folks who have never done an object lesson will never ever learn what you want in a conversation or from a manual. They need to see it in motion.
  2. They help you do it – Bring them up on stage with you and have them help you. There is no time limit on any of these steps. If they need three weeks singing behind you as you lead… give it to them.
  3. You help them do it – It’s a major step… but you’re still there to support and help if they need you. This is a far cry from the typical way folks are dropped head-first into children’s ministry with no training or leadership. Give your volunteers the gift you may have never had yourself.
  4. You watch them do it – This is the step that never ends. Offer a lot of praise. Give constructive feedback. Keep them in the service prep loop. Make them a part of your team. This is more on you than them.

Delegating is harder than doing it yourself… but it’s more than worth it.

The Pastor James Show

About 5 years ago I was not a delegator. I felt that everything to do with the main children’s service on Sunday morning had to be created, developed and delivered by me alone. That’s what they were paying me to do. I was the children’s pastor. I was doing okay.

Then came a new volunteer that I quickly gained a lot of respect for named John. He had been the son of a well-known pastor and was trying to rise into ministry on his own without relying on his father’s name. I respect that kind of thing. After a few months I asked him what he thought of the service. He said something that rocked my world forever…

“The Pastor James Show was awesome!”

I doubt he even realized how much he was saying. Not only was he pointing out that I was doing everything on stage… it suddenly sounded very prideful and self-centered. That wasn’t my heart… but as I thought and prayed through, God showed me that pride was most defiantly an element.

I almost immediately started sharing portions of my service with my volunteers. I had someone else start leading worship. I appointed a game leader. I started asking folks to come in a little early to set up the room in 15 minutes rather than the 2 hours it was taking my wife and I to do it the night before alone. I quickly realized something…

My ministry had been limited by how much I was doing.

How jacked up is that! I was working harder than ever… but because I was doing it alone… I was limiting how effective my ministry was. As I delegated more and more I found that I had more time to focus on things I didn’t even realize I wasn’t doing. Things like building relationships with parents for example. Updating policies and procedures for another.

Thinking I was the only one who could do it right was Pride.

The Pastor James Show wasn’t about the kids… it wasn’t so much about God… it was about Pastor James. I didn’t intend for that to be the case… but when people looked up there… that’s who was shining bright… me. When I started giving stuff away, and helping others become the better and better I realized something… If you succeed more than I would in my ministry… I still win. Wins don’t only come 1st hand… they come when people you disciple and developed win as well.

Doing everything means I was focused on nothing.

I wasn’t being a children’s pastor… I was being a worship leader, puppet master, stage manager, sound and video director, security coordinator, disciplinarian, game leader and more. My job was supposed to be to bring the Word… but it was only after I let go of so much that I realized how little I was actually developing a real and genuine message from God to his children. I was more focused on schedules, props, time management and such than I was on rightly dividing the Word of God. That has defiantly changed as a result of delegating.

All of the benefits didn’t happen overnight. Giving away pieces of your job isn’t easy at first… it’s actually a lot harder than doing it yourself for a time. That’s why most folks don’t bother… but we’ll talk more about that tomorrow.

Reasons We Don’t Delegate

It’s our job

It can be hard to ask volunteers to help because we feel there are things that only we are supposed to do. Even with the rest of it, we’re the one’s being paid (in some cases anyway) to do the job. We don’t go to our volunteer’s jobs and help them.

While there may be certain things that only a pastor should do… most of what we do can and should be given away. Our job is less about doing ministry and more about training others to do it. The general rule: anything that anyone else can do should be done by someone else.

We want it done exactly how we do it

When we do everything ourselves, we learn to simplify our procedures so that we can quickly move through them and get more done. This means that in actuality, you are probably the best in the church at what you’re doing. It can be very difficult to give away one of your responsibilities because you’ve not only perfected the process… but because you want it done exactly the same way.

Though keeping every responsibility under your direct control will ensure that everything is done exactly how you want… it does limit the amount of things you are able to do. They will not do it exactly the way you would do it… but it will get done and you will be free to do more of what only you can do.

We don’t want to overwhelm volunteers

We’re so happy to get a new volunteer that we don’t want to give them anything to do right away… for fear that we’ll run them off. We know how hard our job is and we are afraid that we’ll lose our help if we give them to big a job. This was me in a nutshell.

Volunteers volunteer because they want to work. In many cases they sacrifice a ‘big church’ service that they enjoyed because they want to serve. It’s almost like they’re paying to be there. It is our job to make sure they’re getting their money’s worth. If we don’t give them something to do, they will wonder why they’re even there… and they will leave. You stand to lose more volunteers by not delegating than by sharing the load.

Our job is to difficult or complicated

In my own case, I was afraid to give away parts of my job because they were very difficult and in some cases high-pressure. I thought I was being noble because I was protecting my staff from the hardest jobs. In reality, with God’s help, I realized that I was actually being prideful. Was I the only one who could handle the tough jobs? Was I somehow better than them? With this realization I was able to look around my ministry with fresh eyes.

I realized that the most dedicated people I had in ministry were in the toughest jobs. Ministry coordinators and bus captains were the most dependable… but I couldn’t keep a person on door security to save my life. So the more stressful and draining a job was potentially, the more the people were endeared to it. So not only was I downplaying their strengths, I was robbing people of an opportunity to serve God like never before.

The other truth here is that once you give a piece of your ministry away, it will not burden them like it did you. We ministers try to carry it all ourselves and so every part can see overblown and overwhelming. But to someone who is carrying only one part, it is not overwhelming to them.

Delegation is hard work… but it’s the only way your ministry will grow larger than yourself. We’ll be talking more about that tomorrow.