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When Pastor says “No”

My pastor doesn’t like little kids. He won’t let them join parents in the worship service. He won’t ask for Sunday School volunteers from the stage. He tries to pull what volunteers I do have from Sunday School into ministries he supports. More than once he has labeled me and my Sunday School volunteers as “babysitters.” My volunteer staff is by far the largest in the church; my small budget hasn’t increased in years. He won’t set foot in a classroom to see what good things happen there. I heard him say from the pulpit, “The Bible doesn’t say much about children.” Yeah, my pastor doesn’t like little kids.

The above is really true and I live it every day.

And it’s the BEST THING THAT’S EVER HAPPENED TO ME!

And if it’s happening to you, you may wonder how in the world it could be the best thing for you.

When I began, I expected the pastor to lead an energetic charge to advance the undeniably essential ministry to children in our church. It took me a long time to get my head around the fact that the guy simply wants to do what he wants to do and that’s that. But once I realized I would get no support from him, that lit the fire under me.

And that’s the key. Instead of staying in the box that the pastor would have created if he had shown at least some interest, I have had to throw all my own energy, creativity, education and prayers into creating and maintaining a booming children’s ministry at my church. Instead of the pastor being my guide and inspiration, God is. It would have been much easier to follow the pastor if he had led, I suppose, but far less rewarding and fruitful.

FAR less.

The miraculous results: KIDS PARTY, a midweek event that pours new kids into our church; CLAMbake, the Sunday School curriculum that parents brag about and kids love; CLAMcentral and (soon) KIDS PARTY Ministries; a great Children’s Ministry Family–the 65 volunteers in my ministry that serve a church of less than 400 adults; never charging a dime for anything we do all year long except camp, yet never once in all these years have I done a fundraiser; every single penny that we collect from children goes to missions, in a church whose mission’s budget is less that 4% of the general budget.

I consider these things to be a gift straight from God. And yes, one of those gifts is a pastor who doesn’t care.

My advice: Take it slow, don’t get upset, just smile and nod, then go with your strengths. God has given you the job of Children’s Minister in some capacity or another, no matter what your job title. He is your leader and your support. He is your Perfect Pastor.

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