In sixth grade, I was up at a winter camp, and the pastor was speaking about God’s calling on our lives. Many of my friends were saying they felt called to be Pastors, Worship Leaders, etc. I didn’t feel called to anything, and I was upset at God. We left that service to walk back to our cabin, and on the way back I really think God placed the thought in my head that I should be a Children’s Pastor.
Fast forward a few years. I am now 18 and still pursuing that calling as best I can. However, many times I’ve questioned if that was really God calling me to ministry or if I was just making something up because I wanted to feel “called.” Was that really God placing that thought in my head? Was I really called to Children’s Ministry?
For me there have been two indicators that children’s ministry is my calling. I believe both are biblical: A consistent desire to following that calling and being created for that calling.
“For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” (1 Corinthians 9:16).
I believe when God calls us to something he also gives us a desire for it. Our desire to serve in the areas we are called to will be far more consistent, at least it has been that way for me. I tend to be a little “bipolar” in working on most of my projects. I get excited about them and then lose that excitement and motivation – quickly becoming discouraged. I’ve done this with countless websites that I have worked on creating including one where another person started a very similar site and has become very successful at it. However, despite my “bipolar” tendencies in life, I continue to have a consistent desire and motivation to serve in Children’s Ministry. There have definitely been times where I have been exhausted and stressed out (mainly serving as a leader at kids camps… if you’ve been to a kids camp, you know what I’m talking about), but the desire was still there. Our desires become consistent when we align them with God’s will.
Ask yourself if you truly have a desire to serve in Children’s Ministry and has that desire been consistent? If you don’t have that desire, pray to God ask him to give you a desire to serve kids. If he doesn’t, seek him and see if he has another ministry for you that you would be more effective serving in. It takes a lot of energy to serve in Children’s Ministry, and as leader’s we need to have a consistent desire to serve in this ministry.
It is not all about desire though, there is far more than just that. In the Bible, God consistently equips those he calls. He does not seem to call the equipped. Before we were even born he created us for a specific purpose, with this calling in mind. The Bible says,
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10).
Will we have to read a lot of books? Definitely! Will we have to learn from other Children’s Pastors? Yes, but it will be obvious that we are created for this calling. Our mix of personality and spiritual gifts will fit better serving in this ministry than any other. This has always been an awesome confirmation for me. The experience I had in 6th grade was personal, and I can’t convince other people that God called me to Children’s Ministry because of that experience. Instead, I encourage them to serve kids with me, where my odd personality and mix of gifts begin to play out the way they were created to. When I step into a kids’ room everything in me clicks, and I feel like I am being used to my fullest. I have a lot of learning to do. I make completely wrong choices while serving kids all the time. I am definitely just beginning the process of becoming equipped and that process will last my entire life, but I know now that this is what I was created for.
If you think you might have been called into Children’s Ministry or have a desire to serve, I encourage you to jump into it. Serve in a classroom. Go to a kids’ camp. Just because it is challenging doesn’t mean that you aren’t called, often God calls us to do things that are challenging. Jump into serving with kids! Put your heart into it. You will leave a lasting impression on those kids – an impact you were created to make. These kids need leaders like you, who have a desire to serve and were created for it.