Feb 29, 2012

Have We Made Children's Ministry Too Feminine?

It's a glaring reality that there are a lot more women in Children's Ministry than men.  Why?

Is it because we have made Children's Ministry too feminine?  We give away "tote bags" to new volunteers...use feminine colors...create training activities geared toward women...ask men to stand in a circle and hold hands...and then wonder why they don't want to be a part of Children's Ministry.

It's time we "man up" Children's Ministry. 
  • Intentionally go after men to volunteer.  Go where men are... Men's Ministry...men's Bible classes and groups...Fathers. 
  • Show men the impact they can have serving in Children's Ministry.  They don't want to "babysit."  They want to be a part of something they see as significant.  Show them the difference they can make in the lives of boys who desperately need a strong male role model.
  • Place men in some of your key volunteer leadership roles.  Get men involved in your decision making processes, ask for their insight from a male perspective, have them lead other men, etc. 
  • Remember men attract men.  Ask the men that are serving to help enlist other men to serve. 
  • Hire men on your Children's Ministry staff.  If you have multiple staff members on your Children's Ministry team, make sure some of them are men. 
  • Provide men with strong leadership.  Men are attracted to strong leaders. 
  • Don't force men into training activities or situations where they don't feel comfortable.  Keep them in mind when you are putting together training activities, prayer times, etc.  Is the activity something a man will look at as "too feminine?" 
  • Make sure your colors aren't too feminine.  If you give your volunteers a shirt to wear when they are serving, make sure it's a color the average guy will be comfortable in.  When you are decorating for a training event, you might consider not putting out the lacy table cloth and pretty flowers. 
What are your thoughts?  Do you believe we've made Children's Ministry too feminine?  What can we do to change this perception?  What can we do to get more men involved?  Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.


    Another great post! I agree with most of what you wrote, but as a male Children's Pastor, I would push back a bit against the fear of asking men to do anything that might be considered too feminine. I would hate to have a double standard on what we expect men to participate in and what we expect women to. Example: Prayer on Sunday morning includes holding hands in a circle and it has actually served as an excellent team building time (that includes about 40% men on any given Sunday).

    When I was a children's pastor, I was always thankful for how many men we had serving -- especially in elementary age. This is a great post.

    I couldn't agree more Dale! Now more than ever, kids need good male role models in their life.

    Agree with the "great role models" comment. Awesome and bold post. I would like to know how the ladies who are currently in children's ministry positions feel (speaking of feminine)? They have filled the gap so many times, I know I wouldn't be the male leader I am without those ladies! We thankfully have seen a slow steady trend to more men in service and the classroom atmosphere is certainly more respectful to the teacher and controlled with a male in the room.

    (Speaking from a lady's point of view:) Your post got me thinking just how blessed I have been to be part of children's ministries where both the men and women volunteer. Often, husband and wife will join in together, which I think is great.

    You are so right on in mentioning the importance of male role models for the children. They need us both, male and female.

    As far as children's ministry being made too feminine, could that be a result (as opposed to a cause)of women being the main volunteers in some churches? You make some good points. I do have to agree with Pastor Stafford G, however, about holding hands in prayer. I have been in many prayer groups where a man has initiated the suggestion, and I believe it only strengthens the sense of Christian unity in a group.

    Men need to know that they are needed when it comes to leading children, too. If you have any doubt, just look to Jesus, the greatest Man who ever lived! :)

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