Oct 28, 2013

10 Common Mistakes Children's Ministry Leaders Make

Mistakes are opportunities to learn.  But it's better to not make the mistakes in the first place.

Here's 10 common mistakes Children's Ministry Leaders make.  How do I know?  I've made them all.

Not providing feedback. 
When you don't provide your staff and volunteers with feedback, you are depriving them of an opportunity to improve.

Knowing how to give feedback properly is an art that can be learned.  Read about how to give effective feedback here.

Not making time for your team.
It's easy to get so caught up with the "tasks" that must be accomplished, that you don't make time for people. 

Spend time with the people on your team.  Listen to them.  Pray with them.  Invest in them.  Great leadership is about people first.

Being too "hands off."
In an effort to avoid being a micro-manager, many Children's Ministry Leaders pull away too far and don't provide clear direction and guidance.  Find the balance of empowering others while providing leadership.

Not defining goals and wins. 
When your team doesn't know what they're working toward or what success looks like, they'll lose purpose and passion.  Define clear goals and wins for the entire team as well as for individual positions.

Trying to lead by title.
People don't follow a title.  They follow someone they love and respect.  Don't assume just because you have a title you will be effective.  Forget the title and love, care for, and invest in people.  People will then be drawn toward your leadership.

Being a thermometer instead of a thermostat.
Don't measure the spiritual temperature of your team.  Set the spiritual temperature for your team.  Everything rises and falls on leadership.  Lead.

Not "walking the talk."
Your team doesn't expect you to be perfect, but they do expect you to sincerely practice what you preach.  And when you blow it...admit it, shoulder the responsibility, and ask for their forgiveness.  Their respect for you will grow.

Not delegating.
Delegating does take more work up front, but it pays huge dividends.  It's not what you can do, it's what you can empower others to do.  If you don't learn to delegate, you will become the lid that hinders your ministry from growing. 

Not developing your "people skills."
Ministry is about people.  If you don't learn how to interact with people, navigate conflict, and get along with people....you will struggle in Children's Ministry.  Good people skills will help you build long lasting relationships with your team members.

Making change a surprise instead of a process.
People don't like change...especially if they don't see it coming.  Many zealous Children's Ministry Leaders make changes too quickly and their ministry implodes.  Effectively making change is a process.  It takes skill and wisdom.

Your turn.  What are some other common mistakes do we make as Children's Ministry Leaders?

Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.

2 comments:

Thanks for these great points! I agree especially with the one about not being too hands off! It is a fine line between trusting the teachers and being too standoff-ish. Teachers need to get feedback and also know that what they are doing is making a difference to their leader.

The only other thing I would mention is facilitating processes...e.g. if a teacher needs supplies or an assistant to help to accomplish a goal, helping to facilitate that process. And lots of gratitude and appreciation, even a hand written note!

Great insight and thoughts Carolyn. Thanks for sharing.

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