You like that? It’s my new title. I’m having business cards made as we speak. In a few weeks we’re going to re-brand our Children’s Ministry the Parent-Child Relational & Spiritual Center or PCRSC for short. Pretty awesome, right?
Okay, maybe it’s not. Maybe I’m not changing my title either. I might have lied about those business cards too.
So, what was all this about? Well, I’m trying to make a point. This morning I read Greg Baird’s post about whether churches should have a children’s ministry or a family ministry. It was a good article but as I read the content it made me want to shout at my computer “Come on People!”
My role at Gateway is the NextGen Pastor. At another church, I’d be a family pastor. Honestly, half the people call me the children’s pastor because they don’t get the intricacies of what a NextGen Pastor does… but why should they? Does it bother me? Honestly? Okay, maybe just a little. Should it bother me? Heck no!
Friends, what we have here is a case of terminology confusion. The whole family ministry thing is really cool and exciting to talk about right now and yes, there has been a shift in ministry attention in the recent decade. But what it’s called is somewhat meaningless. By all mean, have an incredible student and children’s ministry that works well behind the scenes to help kids grow from cradle to college and do what you can do support and equip parents. WIN! Have a family ministry where equipping parents leads the charge where kids and students are being led in relevant and relational ways. WIN! Just stop making it so confusing.
I still remember a few years ago a bold Children’s Pastor blatantly announced on his/her blog “I’m a Children’s Pastor… not a Family Pastor. I’ll Always be a Children’s Pastor.” I remember being miffed by the comment. I didn’t get it. Oh, and that person now… a family pastor. Silly, right? I’m a NextGen Pastor and I like that title. I oversee all ministry birth through High School at my church. I like it because the Family Pastor title is so confusing. Some are Children’s Pastors with some parenting responsibility. Some are pastors who oversee only parenting initiatives. All the diversity makes the title somewhat irrelevant. To be hones though, I’ve run into a handful of NextGen Pastors who were Student Pastors, so that’s confusing too I guess.
My point is to echo what Greg said in his post. You have kids in your church. They’re being led by parents. You have volunteers who lead the ministry. Do whatever it takes to help those kids become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. Realize, your can’t do it on your own and parents need the church as well. Call it whatever you want and focus on your mission and strategy. I’m sure a million years from now we’ll be sitting around the Tree of Life laughing at how silly we got about titles, ministry names and structure.
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