Wednesday, August 17, 2005

What is a Pastor for Children’s Ministry?

To improve childhood and family discipleship some churches have created a pastor-level position for children’s ministry. This may seam like mere semantics but this approach has real advantages. Here are a few implications of calling a Pastor for Children’s Ministries.

  1. The essential tasks of a Children’s Pastor should be the same as those of the Senior Pastor. The ministry of the Word and prayer must remain central. The administrative duties of children’s ministry do not change the spiritual nature of the ministry. Children need God’s Word. Children need a pastor/shepherd who will pray for them.
  2. The essential qualifications of the Children’s Pastor should be the same as those of the Senior Pastor. God’s calling is essential. Godly character is not negotiable. Competence for ministry must not be overlooked.
  3. Churches should have high standards and exercise discernment in calling a Children’s Pastor. The children’s ministry is the most dangerous place to have the wrong person. However, churches often call “Whosoever Wills” with little investigation into spiritual or theological qualifications. The selection and calling of a Children’s Pastor is worthy of as much effort as the calling of a Senior Pastor.

This comparison does not undermine the administrative tasks specific to childhood ministries. Nor should it lessen the commitment to age-appropriate discipleship. Having a Pastor for Children’s Ministry should enrich the life of the church. Spiritual oversight is superior to program management. One corollary to God-centered children’s ministry is having God-centered leadership. Creating a pastor-level position can move the church in that direction.

*I am currently rereading Reformed Pastor by Richard Baxter with an eye toward the Children’s Pastor. I hope to write an article that applies his model to the Children’s Pastor. Comments and suggestions will be warmly received.

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