I got an email from a person that is feeling stuck in a ministry position they don’t want to be in. This person’s pastor asked them to take over the kids ministry in their church because another person had to step down… and because this person had helped out with the Children’s Ministry before. This person doesn’t like working with kids but wants to serve their church and help out the pastor.
Their pastor promised them some help and asked them to stay, even though they said they didn’t want to. They asked for my advice on what to do. (I realize this paragraph isn’t grammatically correct, but it protects his/her identity)
Here is part of my reply…
Has the situation gotten any better? Did your pastor find you some help?
Let me give you some suggestions (in case you still don't want to serve in this area of ministry)...
1. Try to recruit as many helpers as you can. It's always more difficult to serve alone.
2. Tell your pastor you’d like to commit to a certain period of time (6 months, 9 months, 1 year, etc) while he finds a replacement. He shouldn’t have a problem with that. And by that time you will have had the chance to see if this is what God wants you to do.
As I told you before, the longer I was with each age group I never wanted to work with (10-12 year olds, children, etc) the more fun I had and the more I enjoyed it. Sometimes the road of faithfulness takes you in a direction you don't want to go, but it always opens new doors of opportunity!
If at the end of this time you still don't feel that this is a good fit for you (not just you wanting to avoid responsibility), give your pastor at least two months notice that he will have to find a replacement. When he does find a replacement, help the new person succeed.
3. Ask another church which curriculum they use... there are a lot of good resources out there for Children’s Ministry.
4. See if your pastor will give you a weekend off so you can spend some time observing a larger Children’s Ministry in another church... it’s helpful to see how others are ministering to kids. Helping out is one thing. But it’s not until you've done it yourself a few times you really know what questions to ask!