As I reflect on my last 12 years of children’s ministry leadership at my current church and the many years at my previous church, I am struck by how much I have changed in so many ways. Yet, the core motives for doing what I do as a children’s pastor has remained pretty much the same. I want to follow Jesus by obeying God in doing what he requires of me, namely to make disciples of the nations, starting with where he has placed me now. I am passionately committed to children’s ministry. In part, this is because I understand that most people who accept Christ do so before age fourteen. But it goes beyond this pragmatic reality. I also feel called by God to make Christ known to the youngest among us and their parents. I am especially motivated to reach out to those who have been marginalized. These core motives are what sustains me when times seem good for ministry or when they seem bad. Many of my techniques, strategies, skills, and even certain ways of thinking have changed. But the core motives remain the same: to make Jesus Christ known to the lost and to make disciples of them, loving them on his behalf, as if I were actually ministering to him.
Being a children’s pastor is not simply a job. It is a heart level vocation, regardless of our employment status. I highly esteem the many children’s pastors and children’s directors I have met over the last several years. Whether they are volunteer, part-time, full-time in a local church, or even full-time in a multi-site church, they give of themselves sacrificially for the sake of Jesus. They, like me, change over the years in many ways. But their motivation is to make disciples and to follow Jesus wherever he leads them. I admire that in them. They inspire me with their commitment. Their humility touches me deeply. Their creativity amazes me. The time I have spent on Kidology.org and on many individual blogs has given me ample opportunity to witness the kind and caliber of their lives. I am much richer for it. It makes me proud to be a children’s pastor.