Just like God’s creation, our ministries cycle through the four seasons. Determine which season you’re in and allow God to help you and your ministry grow.
Season of Ministry: Spring
I feel secure today. I’m thrilled with the volunteers who’ve been loving the children with so much dedication and sacrifice. Our midweek program couldn’t get any better. Children are growing in Christ and leaders are learning to love kids unconditionally, even when they’re unlovable. It’s happening in Sunday school too. I see new volunteers shimmering in the bright sunlight. They’re reflecting Christ’s love. How beautiful they are. It must be spring.
If you’re in spring, appreciate your volunteers as you would spring flowers. Serve and train your volunteers-whose contributions make spring possible. Send a warm note of appreciation. Let your congregation hear what wonderful new birth God is giving children.
Season of Ministry: Summer
I have so much to do. Plans to make for our big event, teacher-training to organize and appreciation notes to write. Let’s see, the second-grade class is having a party Sunday. I must go to that because those kids are so enthusiastic about their class. Then our new children’s church begins. This is so exciting. Every event will allow me to love the kids and tell the volunteers how wonderfully special they are. Children’s ministry is HOT! Feels like summer.
If you’re in summer, delegate, delegate, delegate! Good, strong coordinators heading up each of your special events will free you to see that each event is done with excellence. You don’t want to faint from sunstroke during these hot times of ministry. Surround yourself with others who love to minister to children also.
Season of Ministry: Autumn
I can’t see any growth in my ministry at all. Not many new kids, not anything too exciting-almost as though our ministry has gone to sleep.
My volunteers are dealing with personal issues I don’t feel able to handle. The kids haven’t been bad, but they’re just not excited about anything we do. And, to be honest, I’m having to drag myself to the church more days than I’d like to count. It feels like autumn — a time of sloughing off and preparing for winter’s sleep.
If you’re in autumn, don’t despair. John 15:2 says that God prunes his fruitful branches so they can bear more fruit. Use this time of pruning to strengthen your relationship with Christ. Encourage your volunteers to also focus on Christ. Pray and ask God to help you grow through the pruning process.
Season of Ministry: Winter
What makes me so dreary today? In fact what makes me so dreary this month? I still want to serve you Lord. I still love children, but it seems like a raging ice storm all the time.
The winds of adversity blowing through my ministry may take on many faces-dealing with abusive parents, too many kids, not enough space, a board that doesn’t realize children are brothers and sisters in Christ, not enough volunteers, not enough volunteers and not enough volunteers. Feels like winter.
If you’re in winter, the warmth of good counsel will thaw the rough icy spots. Talking with others who understand your job will help you deal with loneliness or frustration. Ask a faithful prayer partner to help shield you, through prayer, from the stormy blasts of discouragement.
Judy Wortley is a children’s ministry consultant and the author of The Training Remedy (David C. Cook).
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