by Holly Crawshaw
Can I tell you a secret? I hate Pinterest. I mean, I love it—it taught me how to French braid my daughter’s hair and how to get that tricky juice stain out of my hallway rug.
But I also hate it—it makes me feel like a terrible mom because my Christmas tree skirt isn’t handmade and my freezer is filled with popsicles and waffles and not neatly-labeled bags of healthy, premade meals (They know our names and orders at the local Chik-fil-A . . . can I get an amen?).
The problem with Pinterest is that I start looking through the pins and become suddenly and acutely overwhelmed. My mind begins to race: I should build my own side table from recycled scrap wood in a tasteful weathered gray. I should try that kale-based smoothie that looks like slime and can’t taste much better. I should, should, should. I feel so paralyzed by my shoulds that I end up doing nothing. Zero. Zilch. Shut my computer and go eat some chips.
I find that my attitude can be the same when it comes to ministry—I get so overwhelmed with all the things I could and should do, that I am tempted to do none of them.
But you and I both know that this is not an option. Because as ministers to children, we are creating the environment that will forever be their first impression of church. Through our hallways, music, volunteers, and curriculum, we are setting the stage for their very first encounters with their heavenly Father.
NO PRESSURE, RIGHT?
Well, it’s true. That’s why it’s so important that we are consistently (which is different from constantly) creating big moments for our little people. We want to engage their active, malleable minds. We want to make them feel safe and cared for. We want them to leave our doors feeling like church is a fun place where they can learn, play, and belong. And the main way we do that is through events.
When you work in children’s ministry, there is no shortage of ideas for events. There is Promotion, Baby Dedication, Back To School, Fall Festivals, Christmas, Easter, Pajama Day, Summer Programs, Baptisms, Small Group Outings, Parent Events . . . just to name a few. (Not to mention the fact that Sunday is always coming and every classroom needs a loving and trained volunteer.)
Feeling Pinterest-level overwhelmed yet?
Here’s what I have learned: I can’t do everything, but I can do something. I can choose a manageable number of events per season and pour everything I have into making them excellent and effective.
Do me a favor. Get out a pen. (Okay, open the Notes app on your smartphone.) Write down every event you have on your ministry calendar for the year. Include any events you want to add, or any events you’ve been “encouraged” to add.
Considering your regular workload and responsibilities, can you reasonably pull off these events successfully? If not, where can you create margin for yourself to produce a quality event?
On the other hand, are you intentionally creating enough big moments to capture the attention and hearts of the little people in your ministry? Can you take a hill-sized event and supersize it into a mountaintop experience?
Remember, you don’t have to do everything, but you can do something.
Holly’s passion for ministry began while attending college when she helped found a ministry for middle and high school students. After graduation, Holly worked as a high school English teacher but missed being directly involved in family ministry. Her career path took a turn when she joined the staff of North Point Ministries working with middle school students for four years followed by two years serving as the director of Waumba Land (preschool) at Browns Bridge Community Church. Currently, Holly develops and writes curriculum for preschoolers at North Point Ministries. Holly lives in Cumming, Georgia, with her husband, Ben, and their daughters, Lilah and Esmae.