Don’t let your title get in the way of God’s ministry through you. Or your charm and charisma. Or your many talents. If you have been blessed with recognition in a church, business or organization, that is great. But know that the loftier the title, the greater the potential for distractions from the very thing God is calling you to do. I am not necessarily referring to sin, although that certainly is a warning worth revisiting. I am referring to the expectations that often come with the position, although they have nothing to do with your job description. This is especially true in church ministry. They include unwritten rules and long-held traditions, both in older congregations and in church plants (even church plants have traditions brought with participants from their individual and shared histories). They often are expressed through the opinion makers of the congregation, the key influencers of and gatekeepers to multiple networks of people.
My point? Sometimes people will ask you to do things that distract from your primary mission in children’s and family ministry. They might well be good things. Helpful things. Most likely, they even will be things which you like to do and that is why they ask you. But sometimes, deep down in your heart, you know that this might not be the right time. A greater priority must prevail. The good things must give way to the best thing.
For me, this is why I do not preach in the adult services in my church, except for the very rare occasion where there is a compelling reason to do so. It is why I do not participate in the adult choir or teach adult Sunday school classes. It is one reason I chose not to be involved this year in the major theater production of “Scrooge the Musical.” When I first started at this church I told my pastor I have no interest in his job and I have followed through on that commitment for twelve years.
It is also why I limit the meetings I attend to those in which I can make a legitimate contribution either through my presence or my participation. Yet I have asked the church not to lock me into the four walls of the church and expect me only to work with the kids of our congregation, rather than reaching out to the community, especially in my own neighborhood where I live.
Granted, it helps that I am a part-time volunteer. I have a certain leeway because of my limited availability. But the principle remains. Time is precious and distractions to God’s assignment for me must be minimized so that I can properly execute my role in his ministry to the children and families of my church. There are certain things in my role which only I can and should do. Most other things I try my best to delegate to fellow volunteers and parents. And those things which I might be tempted to do, but which are totally off course from God’s assignment for me, I typically will say no thank you.