Do you want to see the ministry you lead go to the next level?
Do you want to see your ministry be more effective at reaching kids and families?
Do you want to make a bigger impact in your city?
I have the answer.
It's improving you.
Improve you and the ministry will improve.
Better You = Better Ministry.
Your greatest challenge is the person you look at in the mirror.
Look what Rick Warren said about this
"Years ago, I stopped worrying about how to grow our church and instead focused on growing me. As I grew me, our church grew."
Abraham Lincoln said this - "If I had 6 hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend the first four sharpening my axe."
If you want your ministry to operate at a level 10, then you've got to lead at a level 10. The ministry you lead will be parallel to your personal leadership growth and walk with Christ.
John Maxwell has reminded us of this over the years when he says, "Everything rises and falls on leadership."
Children's ministry is just like any other ministry in this aspect. The success your ministry has will rise and fall on your leadership.
Before you remind me that only God can grow a ministry, I want you to know I am in total agreement. But don't forget that part of God's process is using people who are prepared, willing and ready to make an impact for Him.
So how can you become a better leader? How can you grow yourself, so your ministry will grow? Let's look at some practical ways you can see this happen.
Improve your personal walk with Christ. Look what it says in Mark 3:14
"And He appointed twelve that they might be with Him, and that He might send them out to preach."
Notice in this verse what your first calling is. It's to spend time with Jesus. And out of that will come ministry impact.
If you'll spend time with Jesus back stage, He will bless your ministry front stage.
Look what it says in Matthew 6:6.
But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
Private prayer sets up public blessings. If you want to have a better ministry, then have a better prayer life.
Keep a "learn-it-all" attitude. When you think you've arrived and you develop a know-it-all attitude, you will stop growing and the result will be your ministry will stop growing. You see, God blesses humble people. But He resists the proud.
I think there's a special message in that. Someone reading this has been in children's ministry a long time. You are a pro at it and you know it. Beware. No matter how long you've been in ministry and no matter what kind of success you've had in the past, if you become prideful, you will stop growing.
Read. Read. Read. One way you can grow is by reading books. Leadership books. Devotional books that will draw you closer to Jesus. Autobiographies of great leaders. Ministry books. Write down a list of books you want to read in the next 12 months and then go for it.
Ask a lot of questions and listen. Leaders that want to get better ask a lot of questions. And they listen. Really listen. With the anticipation someone will say something they can glean from.
Attend a conference. Conferences are like steroids that infuse you with new ideas, fresh passion and a renewed determination to grow yourself. Attend at least one a year.
Ask someone close to you to reveal your blind spots. You have blind spots that are hindering you from personally growing. And it takes courage to face them. But you can't face them until you know what they are. Ask some people who know you to be brutally honest and tell you what your blind spots are.
Find a coach. Everyone needs a coach. A person who will come alongside you and help you grow. A person who will push you out of your comfort zone and into new arenas of growth.
If you would like a coach, then consider my coaching program called Advance. I would be honored to invest in you as a leader and help you achieve your goals...while stretching you toward discovering new goals God has for you.
One big reason I write articles for this site, is because it daily stretches me and helps me become better. And I rejoice when I hear from someone who has been stretched, challenged and grown because of reading this site. Thank you for support and encouragement. My prayer is that we will all continue to grow and become better. And as we become better, our ministries will be better.