I’ve been a children’s pastor now for over 11 years, 7 of those full time. Yeah, I was only 18 when I started pastoringÃ‚Â 8 kids in a back building in Jenks, Oklahoma. It didn’t take me long to realize two very important points.
- Yes I had an opportunity to make a significant impact on the life of a child spiritually.
- Making a significant impact is going to be a lot harder than I would like it to be.
Personally, I am who I am today largely as the result of a children’s pastor who made a significant impact on my life. I have a great family and even attended a Christian school when younger, but it was my children’s pastor who shook me spiritually. But I know that there were many other kids just like me, sitting right next to me who didn’t end up like me. I can’t testify to anyone’s spiritual condition, but all I know is what happened to me and the few people I still keep up with.
However, I quickly learned that my opportunity to make a significant spiritual impact on my kids was a lot smaller than I expected it… or wanted it to be. For the kids who attended every week, that was 4 hours a month. Those that came on Wednesday nights too, that was 8 hours a month. But in comparison to the hundreds of hours they were subjected to dozens of other influences, I realized that I had an uphill battle if I wanted to make this “Significant Spiritual Impact.” I guess it only took me a year or two to realize that I wasn’t really the children’s pastor. Mom and Dad were. If I really wanted to increase my opportunity to make this impact, I needed to help mom and dad do it (something I can’t really say I’m doing well yet… convicted!) Kind of funny how the kingdom of God works, huh? The greater the impact I want to make, the less it becomes about “me.”
I named this post “The day my life changed forever…” because everyone says that when you become a parent… your life changes forever. Yeah, I know it will, and in ways I probably can’t even fathom yet. My second choice for a name for this post would be this: “The day I became a children’s pastor.” My search for the greatest opportunity to make a significant spiritual impact on a child arrived Monday night at 9:19 PM as my son Titus Whitfield Conley was born. Sometimes my greatest disappointment in ministry was when Sunday service ended and the kids went home. I wasn’t done. I wanted to love more, teach more, shape more. Now I can… starting with Titus. I see a future pregnant with amazing possibilities. I know so much of his life is out of my control, but I’m so incredibly blessed that God would grant me a son to father and pastor.
Titus Whitfield Conley born June 11, 2007 at 9:19 PM. 8 Pounds and 21 inches long.
I actually blogged throughout the entire delivery process and the days following here.
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Congratulations! I agree with your title and even you could say – “the Day my ministry changed forever. I already had kids when I started on staff as Children’s Ministry so I know the influence it has had as my children have grown. But I’ve observed it happening in other staff member even more so.
Hope you get some time off to enjoy baby and take care of mom.
Congradulations, when my girls were born it helped me understand “The Father’s” love for us. My girls were the only people in my life ever or since that I didn’t have to get to know to love them. I loved them from the first time I laid eyes on them. Nothing they have ever done has caused that love to stop. Yes they disapoint you but that love is never ending. Becoming a father made me a better CP & a more thankful Christ follower. Welcome to the best days of your life!
blessings to all!
Oh buddy…he’s a keeper! Congrats. You are going to be blessed and challenged in ways you never imagined but are gonna love all of it. So excited for you guys!
Congradulations, he is a great looking kid. When you are so tired you are seeing triple always feed the baby in the middle and remember that these are the best times of our lives. God bless you and your wife.
Congrats man, I know how cool it is! Have fun with the new one~!
Congrats! Isn’t God amazing?!? I love your thoughts and love where God is leading as it relates to kids ministry. Imagine what the church will look like when we truly partner with parents to support their discipleship of their own kids. A different world… that’s for sure.
Hey Kenny! Your life really must have changed because you haven’t blogged for quite a while. Enjoy fatherhood!!!!!