“Every child deserves a champion, an adult who will never give up on them, who understand the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.” – Rita Pierson
You’re part of a unique tribe of leaders who spend every week teaching programming and leading the next generation.
If you’re going to champion a ministry for kids or teenagers, here are some questions you need to ask yourself every Monday morning:
1. Am I communicating the strategy clearly?
Champions have to communicate, and their words matter immensely. Over time, words create a common language to keep everyone motivated and aligned. But words should be more than inspiring. They should also be insightful and strategic. Every single word can make an impact. Just A Phase was created to provide a common language to help age group leaders stay focused. Image if every leader knew that when they. . .
EMBRACE preschoolers physically, it gives a first impression of a heavenly Father.
ENGAGE the interests of children, it provokes knowing God personally.
AFFIRM a middle schooler’s identity, it gives a safe place to process doubts.
MOBILIZE a teenager’s potential, it develops a personal vision for their future.
2. Am I challenging the process respectfully?
Champions of kids need to be avid learners. It’s essential to know the changes that are happening to kids so your message and ministry stay relevant. What works this year may not be as effective next year.
That’s why you should read more than your Bible if you care what kids think about the Bible. Be sure to do your homework before you show up to make your case in front of volunteers, leaders or parents. You won’t always be right, but you should always be responsible. Stay educated and informed as you possibly can.
Related: The Two Types of Leaders Every Child Needs
3. Am I confronting the problems courageously?
Champions have difficult conversations. It’s impossible to champion a cause without frustrating a few people. Always remember you can’t move a boat through the water without making a few waves.
That doesn’t mean you should be rude or insensitive or heartless. It just means you should be stubborn about making kids a priority. There will be times in your ministry when what is best for a kid may be hard for an adult. But your primary responsibility is to every kid at every phase. So never put the ego of an adult over the heart of a child.
4. Am I caring for the volunteers consistently?
Champions always go to the front lines. You can’t expect others to do what you’re not willing to do. If you expect leaders to serve kids, then you need to serve leaders. If you want kids at every phase to be a priority, then their leaders have to be your priority. Specifically, that means if leaders are expected to show up weekly in the lives of children or teenagers, then you need to show up weekly in the lives of leaders. So service leaders mean you should have scheduled time to connect, equip, encourage and train your leaders this week.
These are questions champions ask. They reason, persuade, challenge, beg, manipulate and inspire someone to do whatever needs to be done for the sake of a kid’s future.
This article is an excerpt from the book It’s Just A Phase—So Don’t Miss It: Why Every Life Stage of a Kid Matters and 13 Things Your Church Should Do About It. Read more about the book and order your copy here!