It’s been 10 years for me. Ten years serving in in kidmin. I’m actually surprised I made it this far. Kidmin wasn’t part of my plans. It was more of a stepping stone. I wanted to work at a church – so I jumped at the opportunity. I wanted to change the world, who knew that I would fall in love with children’s ministry.
Obviously, there are a lot of things you don’t know when you start something new. My list of unknowns was very large. It took time discovering what I should do and shouldn’t do, often learning the hard way. I didn’t want to make the same mistakes twice and I eventually found my rhythm. However, if it were possible to go back in time, there are a three things I would love to tell myself. These are the things that have been the hardest to learn and knowing them from the start would have saved me a lot of pain and frustration.
Learning to Say No
Say it with me one time.
If you like having a life and a family, get used to saying “no” on a regular basis. It is easy to get caught up in saying “yes” to every opportunity. Saying “no” will save you a lot of pain in the future. When I first started in ministry, I was single. Saying “yes” to everything was so easy. When I met my future wife, I noticed that saying “yes” to everything was having an negative impact on her and our relationship. I quickly realized that I needed to find balance.
Find a Hobby
We love our jobs. We love kids. We love our leaders. It’s easy for everything to revolve around Church. Even if I’m not working at the church, I’m thinking, reading, planning and talking about ministry. It’s easy to label this as passion and say it’s a good thing, but it’s really not that heathy. Find a good hobby. Some people collect things, make things, or just do things. I’ve never been a great hobby person. I love what I do too much, but finding a good hobby has saved me. A good hobby will fill up your tank, something that will leave you feeling better. This is preventative therapy and will help you over the long haul.
Don’t Take it Home
This is why you say “no” and you find a hobby. There is a healthy way to communicate your day. Sometimes we all need to vent. Be mindful that the person you are venting to. It might be healthy for you, but unhealthy for them. This includes fellow staff, people who attend your church and sometimes even your spouse. I’m not advocating that you keep secrets, but you have to find a safe place to vent. When you come home, be home. Turn off the computer and put the phone on silent. Work can wait, right now you’re where you need to be.
I’m grateful that I’ve figured these things out so early in my ministry, but I honestly wish I’d learned them earlier. It would have saved me lots of arguments and frustrations. Although I’m far from perfect in these areas, don’t make the same mistakes I have.
Learn to say no.
Find a hobby.
Don’t take it home.
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