WARNING: Before you read this just know that it’s an honest rant from a children’s pastor. I’m not really looking for an answer—sometimes it just feels good to get it off my chest! So, if you don’t like negativity–I wouldn’t read this, but if you’re interested to know if big churches have issues too, then in some weird way you may like this…
I love kids ministry, I love kids ministry, I love kids ministry…It’s Monday and I just had one of those weekends where I am convincing myself that I love kids ministry. We have some pretty amazing parents in our church and we have some pretty non-amazing parents (I’m not telling anyone who is who). This weekend seemed especially bad where I had countless parents ask me if I they could send their 3 to 5 year old to our elementary grades class “because they don’t like their class.”
I’m a pretty reasonable person and compassionate pastor, but c’mon! I even had a few parents take their older kids out of our elementary grades class because I refused to let their younger siblings in. OMG!!! You take your children out of church because you don’t like that your younger kids are not old enough to join them! It’s not so much the guests because I understand the uncertainty of a new place…it’s the regular attenders or I should say the ATTITUDE of those asking or literally trying to sneak their kids in or flat out lie.
I have dealt with this in the past, dealing with it now and I’m sure we will deal with it in the future. Our church has some obstacles as we share all of our rooms with a full blown preschool during the week and we are therefore extremely limited on what we can or cannot do in regards to setup, design, etc. However, if I do say so myself, my team has done a phenomenal job in creating a great atmosphere.
The issue is not the kids. I take time and watch our younger kids learn, play, praise and enjoy themselves in their classrooms. The issue is PERCEPTION. The parents have this perception that their kids do not like kids church because it “doesn’t look as cool” as the elementary grades, etc. And, it doesn’t help that mom or dad do not encourage their kids to go to church and talk about how exciting it is. Instead, it’s “I’m sorry this class is not fun” or “I wish you could go to your brother’s class” etc. Yes, I heard those statements this weekend.
In the end, I have to remind myself that it was just one of those weekends. It’s not always like that. In fact, I’d say 95% of our church family is very satisfied with our kids ministry. It’s just that 5% that get under my skin once in a while. I really do love kids ministry and don’t need convincing. Well, maybe last night I needed convincing!