My wife tells me I shouldn’t say that word. I’m smart and I should expand my vocabulary, but sometimes you can only describe a really hard and bad day by how much it sucked. I’m not discounting the power and excitement of doing what we get to do. In kidmin circles, we talk about how Sunday should be the best day of every kids week. We know that Sunday is the super bowl and every day of the week leads to what happens on Sunday. How disappointing it must be when Sunday is anything but that.
Maybe I’m being naive, but I don’t often hear about how awful Sunday’s can sometimes be. I’m not sure I’ve ever read a Sunday #kidmin tweet saying, “well, today was a horrible disaster of a day.” I see lots of tweets about how amazing the day was. Are we editing? I know that the biggest challenge we face in kidmin is the number of volunteers and quality of volunteers serving in our ministries. I just wonder if we’re really being that honest.
I remember my children’s pastor admitting something to me after I had become a children’s pastor. He told me how some days after church, he would get in his car, sit there and cry.
He would cry.
I can’t tell you how powerful this confession was to me. There have been many memorable Sunday’s where I’ve locked myself in my office, turned out the lights and had a good cry. Why? Well, Sometimes Sunday sucks.
- when a parent chews you out.
- when all your volunteers in one room decide not to show up.
- when the presentation computer catches on fire.
- when the kids completely miss the point.
I have a handful of people on my staff who are completely new to ministry. Recently I’ve seen them have difficult Sundays. I felt the need to pull them aside and confess to them what my children’s pastor had confessed to me.
Sometimes, Sunday is just going to suck.
You may need to lock yourself in the bathroom and cry.
It’s perfectly normal.
We’re doing good work. We’re changing the world. Lives will never be the same. It only makes sense that the enemy will do everything within his power to disrupt our work.
Have better expectations. Some of your best days will be Sunday’s. Hopefully most of them will be Sundays. But it’s okay when its far less than your best.
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It’s good to know it’s not just me! Some Sundays are harder than others, that is for sure!
Church can be a hard place to work. You certainly have to be called to it, otherwise you’d wonder if it’s worth it at times. Hang in there!
It’s terrible what I’m gonna say but there are some kids I really can’t stand and I fee that maybe the ministry would be better off without them. They are the ones who don’t listen or pay attention. I’m also very frustrated at the church leaders who seem to think everything is going well. No budget for the kids, no ” how is it going? ” no ” what about taking a break?” Each Sunday I go home I’m drained physically and mentally. I wish I could cry, at least it would relieve me a little. the other day, I was scheduled to work on Sunday, I felt so relieved. Bc it felt that working a 12-hour shift with critically ill patients was better than spending 3 hours trying to make some kids behave or learn something. And there’s the feeling like crap bc of my feelings for the ministry. I feel inadequate and out of place. That’s why I’m considering leaving.
WOW! I hear you and I’ve felt what you’ve felt. It sounds like you need a break… and support.
I’d love to encourage you! It can be better, but it’s probably going to require hard conversations with your pastor, support from him and probably some really good discipline policies and procedures. All kids need boundaries and some need them more defined than others with clear and actionable consequences. There have been several kids who I’ve had to remove from the ministry for a season to work on behavior, it’s a thing and you can do it.
Most importantly, I hear hurt in your comment. You’re tired. You need a breather and an opportunity to work through the hurts/disappointments that come with ministry. I’d encourage you to do both before you step out… otherwise you’ll deal with regrets. Praying for you!
This morning when I woke up I decided to write a letter to my pastor to tell I’m leaving the ministry. Besides the problems in the ministry I had my own issues. I have an 18 month old and a four year old, plus working full time as a nurse and going to school part-time, I thought I couldn’t dedicate enough time to the ministry like I needed to. Last night before taking my decision, I begged God, to talk to me through a dream of some sort, to tell me what I should do. Bc I felt lost. Then I saw your comment this morning. This afternoon again while driving I heard that music playing on the radio ” if you can use anything Lord”. The part that struck me was ” what I have may not be a lot but you can multiply it by your touch”. I think God kinda spoke to me through the music. I started sobbing. Bc i realized I didn’t really want to give up the ministry. It’s just very overwhelming. But I know I can trust God to use me Bc he can use anything and anybody. He has used a donkey to speak to a man. Like you said it can be better. And one thing I’m gonna start doing is pray and fast about the ministry. I’m definitely gonna speak up and ask for some serious help to the church.
Right now we have one big class. Kids from 2 to 9 yrs old are mixed. ( see what I have to deal with) We don’t have the means to take more kids in. Since you want to help. Can you tell me how maybe I can separate the kids by age group. So maybe we can have 2 classes or more. And while we waiting to separate the kids by age group what technics I can use to make a class with all kids all age mixed.
And also is it usual to have someone with small kids like mine in a ministry?
Awesome! I find that God often reaffirms… even at the last moment. I encourage you to be tenacious and bold. Things can get better, but you’re going to have to do something about it.
You haven’t told me how many kids you are talking about… that will make quite a difference. Also, I’m assuming by the level of desperation of your comments, you’re the only volunteer.
Here are two posts I’ve written in the past that you need to read:
You need some help and sometimes it feels like there is NO ONE to help… but it’s not true. There’s always someone and they’ll usually step in the week you’re officially done. You need to find that person/people now and you may need your pastor to help. That’s what I would prioritize first.
Sometimes it’s a just a game. People don’t want to volunteer because they don’t want to feel like you feel right now. They don’t want the whole thing to depend just on them. However, if it feels easy, light and fun, more people would do it. That’s why I’d even approach the Pastor to see if he can use his influence to get you some temporary help… people who will commit to help for a 6-12 weeks… just to provide momentum. It’s WAY easier to recruit people to something that feels successful. I’ve done this on multiple occasions, where I’ll stack the team with temporary volunteers just long enough for me to recruit. As new volunteers come on board, I slowly transition out the temps. You need a team… period.
Secondly, you can’t really do the 2-9 year olds. No wonder you’re drowning. With that mix, it will never feel like anything more than baby sitting.
I don’t know if there is a nursery, but I’d include the 2 year olds in your nursery if possible. I’d put 3-preschool in one group (maybe even 3-kindergarten) and then put all your elementary kids in another group. You can pull this off with two groups and it will be SUBSTANTIALLY better. You need at least 2 volunteers for each group… AT LEAST. I’d plan for a minimum of 5… 2 in each group (minimum) and a floater… someone who can help where needed or get parents/help when necessary. Anything less than 5 would be a potential safety issue.
That’s where I’d start. What other questions do you have?