Crabby Children’s Pastor Powers

If you are a children’s ministry leader or teacher and have been at it for a number of years, you have been there. The kids are wild. They won’t settle down. They know your buttons and have elected to push them, all of them, all at once. And you feel yourself ready to use that all powerful tool. You invoke your crabby children’s pastor powers.

The photograph depicts a scene witnessed in the many homes. Momma is mad and is threatening to use her crabby mommy powers to settle matters once and for all.

I have seen it in children’s ministry, too. The teacher or leader has reached a boiling point, and the children are about to get what they have been seeking. No, not boundaries. Entertainment. A hissy fit by the leader is very entertaining from the perspective of some kids. To others it is downright frightening. Usually it is merely the threat of anger which the leader invokes, but sometimes it does boil over.

What ever happened to self-control, meekness,  and gentleness?

Ouch.

But by then it is too late. The damage is done. And damage control must be undertaken.

Maybe you have never lost your cool with a group of kids. I hope not. Early in my ministry I decided never to let them see me sweat in that way. Rather than getting angry, I would get quiet. Properly expressed, quietness tends to get their attention far more quickly because it allows specific kids who are influencers to self-police and come to attention. But even for those kids who do not respond positively in that way, it is far better to retain composure than to lose it. Instead, I deploy other leaders to separate those kids and correct behavioral problems in a constructive manner.

If you have crabby children’s pastor powers, go ahead and remove them from your arsenal. It isn’t worth it to lose your composure, even if it produces short-term results. In the long-term you will only lose respect and influence, further encouraging bad behavior from certain children. It is far more beneficial to exhibit the fruits of the spirit, particularly under pressure. Children remember things like that. Someday they will grow up and thank you. I know. I have experienced it. So can you.

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2 responses to “Crabby Children’s Pastor Powers

  1. Ouch!! This has happened to me and I’m still paying the price with a group of kids, even though the main perpetrators have moved up to the youth department. It has, however, made me focus more on the preteen years and find more motivational ways to minister to “this group”!

  2. Robert,

    Thanks for dropping in! I am sure this has happened to the majority of children’s ministry leaders at least once. Kids ministry can be hard at times. In case you might not be aware, there are a few kids ministry communities which might be an encouragement to you where you can ask questions and interact with others in the trenches like yourself: Kidology.org, ministry-to-children.com, and cmconnect.org. I am on all three, although I spend most of my time on Kidology.

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