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The Real Children’s Ministry Dilemma

Jesus said, “Let the little children come!”  Large or small, all churches understand this and desire to offer ministry for babies, preschool and elementary kids. But what if your church is young or small or you’re slowly gaining momentum toward more kids in your church. What if the salary you can offer isn’t commensurate with other full-time jobs or the cost of living in your area? Are you ready for the expense of  relocating someone and wonder if a potential candidate will be a good fit for your church team or community culture? Will they feel challenged by the opportunity?  OR, if you’re a larger church, you may be asking “where are the qualified candidates who should find our position attractive?”

Here’s the real dilemma:  the harvest is great (i.e. many churches need a paid leader) and the workers are few (less and less qualified candidates are in the field.)  Every week, hundreds of churches across the country are looking for a Children’s Ministry Director or Pastor.  Some are looking for individuals with extensive education and experience. Months go by and very few qualified candidates are available. You may have already realized this after posting a listing or exhausting all personal network connections. It’s a reality.

So, what’s the solution? (Please hang with me here for a few minutes.)

Likely you have someone (or multiple people) right now “managing” your ministry care for babies and toddlers and providing a preschool/elementary program. They may or may not feel equipped to tackle the bigger role, or maybe they’re waiting for you to ask them.

Here’s what we’ve learned.

  • We’ve worked with churches who have “gems” in their pews or theater seats who may be interested in the role. These “gems” may be presently serving, capable and available but might decline because they’ve never managed the whole children’s ministry program, or don’t sense you value their abilities. And you may have already decided there is no one like that—but wait! Do you really know everyone’s story, their history, their gift potential?
  • We have helped churches place individuals who have come from a variety of fields, i.e. education, engineering, homeschool moms, bank officers, tenured teachers, and military wives—just to name a few. Individuals who love Jesus and have a passion to reach kids. Individuals who are capable managers and understand the value of relationship building (recruiting). In most cases, it came as a surprise to church leadership that any of these would be interested or willing to make a “career” change.

So, what’s next to consider:

  • We help churches identify their “hidden gems” and hire someone from within.
  • We coach the new “in house” hire for a season (typically 1 year) on a monthly basis through the changing cycles of a ministry year. We coach them on recruiting, training, resources, program, safety & security, facility ideas, events, team collaboration, etc. And we follow-up with their direct supervisor. This phone/Facetime approach has been successful and served churches well.
  • The cost involved for an onboarding/coaching plan is well less than a relocation fee in most situations.

Can we help you get your next hire in place before any more valuable time elapses? Your “gem” hire may be closer than you think.  We can help you find them and polish them to shine. Email us at or give Jay or Donna a call at 616-218-8895 to get more info.

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