The Key Skills Needed to Lead a Children's Ministry

I believe leading a children's ministry in a local church is one of the most challenging jobs in the entire church.

Besides the Pastor, no one in the church interacts with and impacts more people than the children's ministry leader.  

Think about it.  You interact with babies, pre-schoolers, and elementary kids.  You impact the middle schoolers and high schoolers who serve in the ministry.  You interface with parents and grandparents. You lead the senior adults who serve in your ministry. You lead adult volunteers.

It takes some key skills to be able to lead a children's ministry effectively.  Let's talk about some of the most important ones.


It takes discipline to lead a children's ministry.  First and foremost, you must able to discipline yourself.  Paul said it like this in I Corinthians 9:2...

"I DISCIPLINE my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified."

The demands are simply too much for a person who can't or won't discipline themselves first.  Look what Paul told Timothy as he prepared him for ministry.

"Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you."

Before you can lead others, you must first lead yourself well. You must discipline yourself to walk with God.  You must discipline yourself to walk your talk.  You must discipline yourself to avoid temptation.  You must discipline yourself to be a solid leader. 

If you do not learn to discipline yourself first, you will stumble and fall trying to help other people.  It's vital that you have accountability and people who speak into your life.  

There have been several prominent pastors this year who've had to step down from their ministry due to immorality or other shortcomings.  Don't be that person.  Discipline yourself and put walls of protection around you.  

If you don't discipline yourself in these matters, it's just a matter of time until you fold as a leader.  First and foremost you must have discipline to lead a children's ministry. 


Staff and volunteers are people who have different abilities, passions and skills.  Your role is to help them discover their spiritual gifts and thrive as they operate in those roles. 

Your success as a leader will rise and fall on the strength of the volunteer team you develop.  As you develop people, you will become someone that people want to work and volunteer with.  

It's important to have a developmental plan for each team member.  Work with your team members to identify and develop a personal growth plan.  And provide them with feedback. Giving feedback is one of the most effective ways to develop your team members. 

If you want to get better at providing feedback, here are some tips at this link and at this link.


No matter how good you are in children's ministry, there's only so much that you can achieve working by yourself.  You must learn to build teams and then do the work of the ministry as a team.

To delegate effectively,  you must get the right people in the right roles.  Once you have your people in roles they enjoy and thrive in, you can begin delegating corresponding responsibilities to them.

Your role is not to do the ministry, but rather to equip and delegate it to leaders who will run with it.  You must be an equipper rather than a doer. 

You must decide what the vital responsibilities are that only you can do and then delegate the rest to your leaders.  Then and only then will you see the ministry grow and thrive.


As the leader of the ministry, you must cast vision and direction for the ministry.  This is something you can't delegate away.  Get alone with God and let Him put deposit a dream in your spirit.  Seek His face and listen to what He says in the quietness of the Holy Spirit's influence.  

Point people to the vision.   Share the vision with people.  Bring other people on board with the vision. 

I have often mentioned the story of Walt Disney and the beginning of Disneyland.  Years ago, Walt stood on a plot of land.  On the land was nothing but some trees and dirt.  But as Walt looked at that land, he saw more than just a dusty plot of nothing.  He saw a castle rising in the middle of the land.  He saw lots of rides that kids could enjoy with their parents.  He saw families having fun together.  

You see, vision is dreaming about what could be.  What are you dreaming about?  What vision has God placed in your spirit?  Look beyond what is and see what could be.  Leaders dream about what can be and then they see it come to fruition.  

Discipline yourself.

Develop people.  

Delegate to those you've empowered.

Dream what could be. 

Those are the key skills you need to lead a children's ministry.

If you are looking for ways to increase your skills as a children's ministry leader, below are some ways I can help you. 

Lead Well in Children's Ministry book at this link.

Job Descriptions for Volunteers at this link. 

Advance Coaching Program