Help me, Help you!
Hey, I really need to connect you with our kids person/pastor. Man, that sounds great, I'd be honored to give any help or insight that I can.
This is what I hear so constantly from those outside of kids ministry. You see there are benefits to being 40 and still in kids ministry, and I don't mean just the loss of your natural hair color or the headaches caused by ministry situations. The benefit is that you've got experience. (Picture this photo, me with grey hair and a headache holding a trophy that says "experience") Experience that you can help with a situation or in a season in someones life. You see, I've been in kids ministry for over 16 years and have served at a couple different churches that has given me insight on different sizes, styles and procedures.
I must add that it is an incredible honor to be asked to speak into someone else's life and ministry. This is not something I take lightly and I desire so much to breath life into how they are doing ministry. All of this sounds amazing right, I mean who doesn't like being asked to help or share their wisdom. Listen, this grey hair will not go to waste.
So with that being said I want to give you a couple pieces of advice to get the most out of a ministry connection when asking for help.
* Senior leadership
When asking someone to connect with your staff for help and/or growth be the first touch point for and with them. - It's a huge step in the right direction when the connection is made along with the senior pastor or other church staff and it's not left for the kids ministry director to connect on their own time. Make it a team effort.
Ask follow up questions from your kids leader. - Follow up with your kids leader to see what was discussed and ask them what the biggest thing was that they got out of the conversation.
Finally, encourage the relationship in two ways. A) By asking how you can help them walk out their key take away. B) Speaking life into the relationship by asking when the next phone or coffee connection will happen.
* Kids Minsitry leaders
Be open to hearing something that will both be encouraging and also something that might be tougher to hear but that you needed to know.
Come with questions prepared - This sounds so different to what we expect out of a conversation but the truth is that this shows respect to the person you are having conversation with as well as your leadership that connected you. And you will eventually receive way more out of the connection than just a good talk.
Take notes - Take as many possible notes that you can during the phone call and when you get off, take more notes as you think over the call. Notes will be what you can lean back on when you have a thought or question.
There are likely more points that could be shared on both aspects but here are some that could really give you a step in the right direction. In fact, if you have some great additions to this thought, share them in the comments. Whether you are senior leadership or a kids ministry leader/pastor, these are points worth taking in.