How to make the most of ministry through a global pandemic

This year, children’s leaders everywhere have had a crash course (or two, or three) in learning how to make the most of ministry through a global pandemic.

It looks a lot different than it used to, whether you are a pastor, director, or volunteer leader in children’s ministry. We’ve had to change our plans and then change them again. We’ve learned really fast how to utilize the online world, prep mail-outs, rewrite curriculum to fit recording and switch the entire way we do ministry.

I joked with my senior pastor, “No one taught me how to pastor during a pandemic in Bible school!” It’s true, isn’t it? In March there were no books to help us through this!

I’ll be honest, I’m exhausted. I’m anxious. Maybe you feel the same way. We have many questions. How are we going to minister to the people in our context during COVID-19 and through these restrictions?

One thing I do know: we are not in this alone. We do not minister to children and families with our own strength. We can only serve through the strength of the Lord, and I am so thankful for that. It brings me peace and I hope it brings you peace, too.

We are called to do the best we can with what we have. It’s easy to compare ourselves to others, but Jesus will use our ideas and resources to bring the Gospel to his children. It might be via YouTube or Zoom or a phone call. He can work through it all.

Here’s the thing. God has called us for a reason; it’s not a mistake that we are ministering to kids during a global pandemic. Our calling is still valid even though the challenges have been insane. 

Maybe you’ve heard the saying, “God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.” We are really getting a feel for that this season!

There are some practical things we can do to keep ourselves healthy so we can face the fall season with confidence. We cannot pour into others if our cups are empty.

  1. Take holidays and days off. Plan to take some time to rest and refill by connecting with the Lord. Rest is holy.
  2. Connect with other ministry leaders. Share the burden over coffee or a phone call; we cannot do this on our own.
  3. Ditch the social media for a bit. The constant updates and news of this world can be heavy, so take a break.

When we remember who called us to this ministry, and leave it in his hands, we will be able to face this new season with confidence and hope. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

Some helpful resources to get you started this fall as you prepare for ministry through a global pandemic:

  • Free fall resources including COVID-friendly events and family challenges (Deeper KidMin)
  • Free series for parents and kids to work through together at home (NewSpring Network)
  • Six posts on leadership and navigating COVID-19 with your church (Ministry Spark  – David C. Cook)
  • A pandemic guide for professionals who lead kids (

Chay Stratton is the Children’s Pastor at Grace Community Church, Winnipeg, MB.

One Hope Canada

Sharing the love of Jesus with children and youth through Bible camps, community ministries, digital ministry, and training resources.