I frequently have people encourage me to connect with other children/youth pastors in the area. I am generally enthusiastic to meet others with a similar passion as me to reach children for Christ and hope to build relationships with them to network and work together for our common goals. So I contact them and try to get together and if they serve in full-time ministry (i.e. ministry is their “FT paying job”) then generally their response is, “Great! Let’s do lunch”. I then have to remind them that I can’t “do lunch” because of my job and they are often reluctant to meet evenings or weekends because that is their “family time” or time away from “the office”. Occasionally I am able to meet someone for lunch if I work my schedule properly, but it is not an easy thing for me to arrange.
So how do we network with others in kidmin when our schedules are so full? That is where this web site and others like it are such a great asset. There is nothing like meeting someone face to face and sharing what’s going on in your ministries, but when those opportunities are limited, then the internet, e-mail, instant messaging, etc. fill that much needed void. I have networked with several others via forums, e-mail, etc. which helps strengthen each of us personally and in our ministries.
Do not make yourself an island, in ministry alone (well, you and God), but use the tools around you, like this site, to reach out and network with others, supporting one another. Most churches in my area have volunteeer kidmin leadership, and I frequently hear the “cry” for support and knowing that others have gone through (or are still going through) what they are going through. There is nothing new under the sun (Eccl. 1:9) so what you are facing has been faced, and conquered, before. Find that support network it will reap many rewards, and if you have time, I’d love to do lunch!