The past couple of years have been humming along at a brisk pace. Oh, I know time doesn’t really speed up and slow down, but it sure does feel like it sometimes!
When you consider all the changes that have taken place over the past two years including two children graduating from college, one getting married and one about to get married, my older son and his wife blessing us with a new grandson, a move to a new state, an empty nest, remodeling a house, and perhaps a few things that in all the activity are not springing to mind at the moment… life has been full!
And when life is full it is easy to get disconnected.
To be honest, this season of life isn’t that much different from my many years of overseeing children’s ministry. As a ministry leader it is easy to be consumed by your many responsibilities. When you combine that with family, regular life, and if you are lucky and just for fun interest, it can be rather consuming! In order to meet the demands, you isolate – silo yourself off.
How can you avoid the Silo Syndrome?
1. At Church…
- Too often, as a children’s ministry leader, you are disconnected from what’s going on with the rest of the staff and congregation. It can make you feel like everyone is working against you. That’s not a good feeling!
How can you proactively keep staff and the body at large informed about what’s going on in your world of tiny folks? What can you do to systematically communicate your vision, needs, and the many happy things that are taking place under your leadership?
- Find ways to support the overall vision of the church so that what’s happening with the children is an extension of what’s taking place with church as a whole.
- Make an effort to stay involved in something at church outside of your ministry role. You need the support and relationships that are developed there.
2. In Life…
- The demands of overseeing a children’s ministry are taxing. Some of you are juggling a job and serving. For others, the children’s ministry just keeps on expanding, and demanding more and more of your time. If you aren’t careful, ministry will become your life. Without external filling, you will burn out! You need relationships – that’s what you were made for. Time to savor His presence and connect with others!
It is a step of faith to invest time with God, family, friends and things that make your heart sing. Do you trust that God will bless your ministry if you do? Will He honor your efforts to keep your priorities in order?
It is so easy to get caught up in ministry and put all your energy there, but I wonder, does it leave space for God to do His thing if you are so busy doing so much yourself?
- Delegate things! Who can help you at home? Who has the skills to do things that are outside your gift set or are things you don’t enjoy? Too often we overlook the chance to give away tasks that others would be thrilled to do and would lighten our load.
And if you truly don’t have anyone to delegate to, begin asking God to provide those people!
- Make time to do the things you love – it will refuel you.
3. In Leadership…
- Branch out and learn from others who are more experienced that you are. Make an effort to meet with other children’s ministers. Pray for and support each other!
- Mentor the less experienced. Sharing the ropes can be energizing and they can be a tremendous help.
- Make time to grow as a leader. Read books. Watch videos. Work with a leadership coach. Be willing to develop as a leader. The things you discover will end up saving you time!
What needs to change to protect you from succumbing to The Silo-Syndrome?