August – the dog days of summer. It’s hot, and in Chicago where I live, it is also a time of high humidity where you don’t want to move too fast. You are just slow and sluggish. But ask any children’s ministry leader and you will find that August is anything but slow and sluggish. August is the time for planning, recruiting, buying supplies, and organizing ministries.
When I was hired at my last church, my predecessor took me aside and gave me some advice. She quietly said: “I know that every August you are going to be drowning in recruiting and planning. You will be exhausted, frustrated, and want to quit your job. You may even sit down and write a resignation letter. I get it. Go ahead. Write it all down. Get your frustration out on paper. But don’t send the letter. Put it in a drawer for a month or two. Once you are done getting everything up and going in the fall, you will feel a bit different about the job.”
She was right. That first August when I had called just about everyone in the church directory twice looking for just one or two more volunteers, I had just about had it. I was done. I sat at my computer and typed out that resignation letter, pounding my frustration out on the keyboard. And then I remembered her wise words and put the letter in my desk drawer for another day. When I left that position nine years later, sure enough there was more than one resignation letter on the bottom of my desk drawer.
Children’s ministry leaders, this month is a busy time for you. Know that we are praying for you, for your church, and for the children in your ministry. Also know that God loves the children in your ministry more than you, your pastor, or any parent in the congregation. Continue bringing your needs before God, sharing your concerns and dilemmas. Ask God to move in the hearts of your congregation as you look for one or two more people for your ministry.
If you need help with any ministry challenges or want someone to come alongside and brainstorm solutions, connect with me, Mimi Larson, Faith Formation Ministries’ Children’s Ministry Catalyzer, at [email protected]. No question is too big or small! And while you plan, check out our free online Children’s Ministry Toolkit. It’s full of ideas and tips for providing a welcoming environment, choosing curriculum, recruiting and equipping volunteers, and connecting with families.