If there was a contest for most-used word in the lexicon these days, “pivot” would definitely be in the lead.
Before Covid turned our lives upside down, you may have referenced “pivot” when discussing basketball drills. Now every ministry leader, teacher, parent (and, really, all of us) have had to “pivot” several times over. A quick Google search of “covid+pivot+ministry” brings up 2.28 million results.
It’s exhausting. It’s stressful. When you pivot too many times, you start to show the wear and tear.
In this two-part post, we’ll explore some ways we can take a few moments to encourage the pivot-weary, starting with kids’ ministry leaders. (Coming next post: appreciating our spiritual mentors.)
The extra mile (plus some)
There are many leaders in many areas of ministry, and they all deserve our thanks. However, those who serve kids and families, whether on staff or as volunteers, have faced an especially difficult season.
Zoom calls, social media and online lessons are great, but can’t compare with the hands-on joy of serving kids and families in person on a regular basis. For those churches that have re-opened, regulations restrict how ministry happens.
Still these men and women give it their all. They have long gone past the extra mile, stretching the limits of creativity to share the love of Jesus with children and families.
These leaders generally don’t ask for thanks. They’re in it for the long haul, dedicated souls who are in it because they want to see children become passionate followers of Jesus.
But if we’re being honest, we all have days when it’s difficult to keep going, when it seems like our efforts are unnoticed and unappreciated. Kidmin folks are no different.
Time for thanks
When so much is going on in the world, it’s easy to put gratitude on the backburner. But what better time to pick up the mantle of thankfulness once again? Not only is October host to Canadian Thanksgiving, it’s also Pastor Appreciation Month! (And hey, let’s put other kidmin leaders and volunteers in there, too!)
The apostle Paul had the right idea; he was one busy guy, but he regularly took time to recognize and pray for those serving in ministry.
“Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God,” Paul wrote to his friends serving in Philippi. “Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Philippians 1: 3-6)
How can you make a positive pivot this month, and encourage a kids’ ministry leader in his or her “good work”?
First idea: get the kids involved! Download these two awesome printables (courtesy of Canadian artist Ann-Margret Hovsepian) to create fun works of art to thank the leaders in your life! There’s one to colour and one where you or your kids can write your own message of appreciation.
Next, check out these links for even more great ideas to kickstart your quest to thank a leader (or two) for sharing the good news of Jesus with the youngest generation.
50 Ways to Encourage Your Children’s Ministry Leader (Relevant Children’s Ministry)
Lollipop Appreciation (Kids Ministry 101)
Thankful for You, Children’s Ministry Leader (Church Leaders.com)
Celebrating Kids’ Ministry Leaders (Ministry to Children.com)