I’m what you call a big dreamer. I’m the vision guy. I’m the one with his head in the clouds. The only problem with being the dreamer is that I forget things. Small things, but usually very important things. I’m not the detail guy. For many years, I would justify my forgetfulness by saying, “I’m just not good at that, sorry.” I had to rely on people that could remember  all the details that I couldn’t.

Like, buying 400 hotdog buns for an event
Like refilling the paper in the printer
Like sending reminder emails on a consistent basis (Seriously, I needed reminder emails for my reminder emails).

As I began to see success in my ministry, I realized that the one obstacle that kept me from being great was missing the details. Ignoring the details would limit my ability to lead.

I remember talking to a friend about this very subject. He was a pilot who flew 777 dream liners. He told me about his experience with details. He shared that it is impossible to remember all the items necessary to get these planes in the air. Pilots rely on books full of checklists. It was essential to ensure that every step was followed. He suggested that I give a good checklist a try. He was convinced that checklists would help me with the details.

Mind. Blown.

I began creating checklists. I started with all of the things I was missing and then I worked backwards from there.

The result was three life-saving checklists:

What I need to do today checklist: I broke up my week.  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. I had a checklist for the morning and one for the afternoon. I wrote down all the items that I had to do during the week on specific days to make sure I would be ready for the weekend.

Make Sundays Go Checklist: This was a checklist of all the things that I needed to accomplish to make Sundays go. This included supplies, lessons, emails and schedules.

Big Vision Checklist: Ministry can be a juggling, plate-spinning nightmare. There are always too many things going on. I created this checklist to keep the “Big Rocks” moving even when I’m working on the weekly projects. This checklist keeps my goals, vision for the ministry, and big events moving. I love this checklist the most. I’m the vision guy, right?

All these checklists work hand in hand. They compliment each other. These lists have helped me stay focused on my big vision, but also not miss the important details I often forget. I can also delegate these lists to volunteers or employees to help me accomplish goals and move the ministry forward.

Being a Children’s Pastor is complicated. There is a lot to the job. However, it can be broken down into smaller parts, which leads to greater success. You can access all the checklists I mentioned above on The Checklist Resource page!


This post is part of a larger series on moving your ministry forward using the often neglected tool - the checklist. In this series, we unpack how a system of checklists can actually help us take our ministry to new levels. Plus, we want to share dozens of actual ministry checklists you and your team can implement right away. Click on the link below to explore this topic and pick up some helpful resources!