My coaching friend, Andy Partington, writes these words that I love and share often with our church. I am so thankful for the men who serve with us in children’s ministry every week at New Testament Christian Church.
Your ministry needs a few good men. It may even need a little more than a few! We’re blessed at my church to have men serving in every area of children’s ministry. But it wasn’t always that way. A few years ago our programs were entirely staffed with women. Now all of these women were gifted in teaching and serving in a multitude of areas. They were and still are valuable leaders and assistants in reaching and teaching children. But something was missing?
Boys need Bros
The basic needs of boys are the same today as they were 100 years ago, even though we live
in a society that has experienced many changes. Boys desire to be part of a group their own age that accepts them for who they are. They seek the attention and affirmation from male role models that they have what it takes to become men. What do the boys of your church need most? Boys need a relationship with Christ, and they need the men of your church to spend time helping them become men that God can use.
Finding a Bro
Alright, guys have a tendency not to respond to the same recruiting techniques as women. First, let’s just take guilt completely out of the picture. Let’s end those whiny pleas that the nursery or Sunday school is filling up and there just isn’t anyone to take care of these precious little blessings.
We know it’s true.
It’s just not the story that men want to hear.
Instead, let’s define a role that men will respond to and see themselves in. Storytellers, builders, thinkers, listeners, helpers, leaders, and visionaries are all labels that men will wear proudly, and they are all positions that you probably need in your children’s ministry, today!
Give the men of your church the opportunity to really hear your vision for children’s ministry and to know the roles that are available. If they are gifted in those areas they’ll be drawn to them. Listen to the conversations in the halls. Find out who builds. Find the hobbyists and enthusiasts who live to talk about their passions. Find the fathers who talk about activities that they do with their children. Once you have that list of men in your head, think of ways that they can be included in your programming.
Lead a Bro
Men will respond to strong leadership. I’ve seen it time and time again. If a weak leader is in place, women volunteers will be motivated to circle the wagons and step up into the void.
Men tend to do the opposite. A weak leader usually leads male volunteers to exit the ministry and find another place to serve that has well defined parameters and an efficient model of service. So, give good leadership and be prepared for a more testosterone filled teaching time!
Let a Bro be a Bro
This really works for anybody, male or female, but for someone to really feel at home in a ministry position, it must be truly theirs. Give your workers the space they need to truly personalize their experience. Allow them the opportunity to assist in setting goals, making plans, and evaluating their experiences. The children of your church and community need the unique talents and gifts that these men possess.
Andy Partington is the Minister to Preschoolers and Children at First Baptist Minden, Louisiana. You can find out more about him at andypartingtonblog.com