Last week I completed my blog series that laid out the vision for the Bridge Kidz Children’s Ministry. And…yes…it’s a BIG vision. But…ya’ know…if I took a poll…and if we’d be willing to admit it…we ALL want to do big things in our ministry (whatever that ministry is). If we’d admit it…we all want to do big things for God. We want to cast a BIG vision, then see a big God bring BIG results. That’s just the way that most of us think…and that’s good. BUT…is big vision what we really need? Hmmmm…Yes…and…No. Let me explain.
The challenge with big vision is that thinking big often results in missing what’s really important. And what’s really important? It’s those little things that are the real fruit in our ministry. It’s those little things that make a BIG difference. It’s those little things that…when added up…bring that BIG impact.
Don’t get me wrong…I believe it’s important for leaders to “THINK BIG”. But…to really have the impact desired…we must not only “THINK BIG”… but we must also learn to “ACT SMALL”.
In this post I have outlined 4 ways…I believe…we must THINK BIG…while we ACT SMALL.
The first way is…
Think Vision | Act Details
As leaders, my team and I need to think beyond next Sunday…or the next program…or the next “big” event. I know…I know…I can hear it now…but YOU DON’T KNOW EXACTLY what will happen 4 weeks from now, or 6 mos, or a year, or in 3 years. True…but if we don’t think in terms of the vision, we’ll NEVER accomplish it.
The key to successfully pursuing a great vision lies in the details. To put it in simpler terms…think of building a house. A house is built brick by brick, board by board, piece by piece…not all at once. In the same manner, our vision will only be accomplished as we tend to the details of that vision. What kind of details are we talking about?
- We need to create and maintain a standard of excellence…not perfection…but seek to minister with excellence.
- We need to create systems & processes that facilitate achieving our goals.
- We need to tend to the individual needs as well as the collective needs of our kids, parents & volunteers…everyone matters.
Successfully managing details enables the pursuit of a vision.
The second way to THINK BIG…while we ACT SMALL…is:
Think Program | Act People
Programs are the structures within which we “do” ministry. It’s essential, necessary and important. We need to plan carefully and build programs that are a perfect fit for the vision of our ministry…and our church.
But…listen…programs should NEVER take priority over people. It’s well know that ministry happens best through relationships.
So…while we need a solid program structure that clearly leads toward our vision, we have to think in terms of the relationships that will make the big impact within that program structure.
We need to think people (relationships) and create a culture that embraces this kind of thinking.
The third way to THINK BIG…while we ACT SMALL…is:
Think Equipping Parents | Act Engaging Kids
How many kids would you like to see come through our children’s ministry? 10, 100, perhaps…a 1000? After all…we are “children’s” ministry. We have to engage the kids in order to make that time with them count. This means we have to care for them…for their physical, spiritual & emotional safety, teach them age-appropriate life lesson, have a spiritual formation plan within the structure of our programs, and much, much more. We have to act in terms of engaging kids while they are with us in our church environment.
But…ultimately…who is responsible for the spiritual formation of the children? The Parents. This means the church as a whole and, specifically, those of us in children’s ministry, need to think in those terms…equipping and enabling the parents. Our first step in that direction is the WayPoint ministry (for details on the WayPoint ministry read my blog on Ministry to Parents).
The key to shifting the focus to “parents” as the ones primarily responsible for the spiritual formation of their children is finding creative ways to partner with parents in an effort to connect what happens at church with what happens at home, or at school, or in the neighborhood.
What does that mean…
- It means resourcing parents and sharing the vision (bibllical mandate) for their responsibility with their kids.
- It means equipping them through practical teaching and supporting materials….books, helps, resources, etc.
- It means finding ways to do this not only for traditional families…but also for broken or blended families, as well.
Parents are the ones who will have the greatest spiritual impact in the lives of their children. We MUST be prepared to equip and empower them towards that goal.
The final way I want to cover today to THINK BIG…while we ACT SMALL…is:
Think Leaders | Act Volunteers
Leadership matters in children’s ministry. Without it…FORGET about the big vision…FORGET about the big impact…FORGET about it!
What this really means is…I need to be growing as a leader…AND…my entire team needs to be growing as leaders.
Now…taking it one step further…we need to be constantly developing leaders and creating a leadership culture, not just in children’s ministries, BUT…within all of our ministries here at The Bridge. Because…think about it…our ministry (speaking specifically for children’s ministry now) will only rise to the level that I and my leadership team can take it. It’s the same in all of our ministries. Leadership always sets the ceiling (the limits on the ministry’s growth and potential).
But next…our team also needs to be able to DO “the work of the ministry” (Ephesians 4:12).
Now what does THAT mean?
It means they need to be equipped – they need to trained – to do the tasks that are involved with their specific ministry role(s) on the team. This might be teaching a small group, or leading worship that engages the kids, or acting in our skits, or taking care of our (soon to be developed) children’s ministry resource center (where teachers and leaders can go to work or just gather the supplies they need). But whatever it is…they need to be equipped to do it.
Developing leaders and equipping volunteers go hand in hand. You cannot not do one…without doing the other. I just doesn’t work.
Let me close with this…
Thinking BIG…acting small…both are important. Both matter. It’s the leader and leadership team that can do both that will lead a ministry to accomplishing a great vision.
My prayers are…
- that you would continue to pray for me…that God would continue to build me into this type of leader
- that you would pray for God’s guidance on where YOU fit into the vision for our ministry (God has a plan…but you must have the courage to act upon it)…for we need many joyful servant leaders to make the vision a reality
- that you would pray for wisdom and guidance for the leadership teams of all of the ministries here at The Bridge (it takes all of our ministries functioning as designed to build a great church)
God Bless…and thanks for reading along!!!
BridgeKidz Children’s Ministry
Ironbridge Baptist Church