Debi, my beautiful daughter, is a Children's Pastor. She has been for many years. When she first became a pastor her children were very young but that didn't bother her one bit. She knew this was her calling and she wanted to do what the Lord told her
This has not always been easy for her but it made her just that much more determined to be what God wanted her to be and to be the very best. I might add she has done both. Being a Children's Pastor is like being a senior pastor but there are little extra things to go with the Children's Pastor. Children believe they should be first so it has to be taught to them that they can't always be first. We as adults have leaned and understand more than children do.
I have seen Debi work for hours and hours to make sure she had everything just right for her Sunday message. She, or any Children's Pastor, knows the message has to be given at the level children can understand and on top of that, it has to be exciting. It is hard to keep the attention of some children and if the message isn't exciting then you lose their attention and what has been given to them in the beginning of the message is lost.
Pastor Debi works diligently to find Christian songs to go with the message she is giving. It is always good if you can find songs that compliment the sermon. It doesn't always happen that way. It's often very difficult to find such songs. She spends hours looking for them.
Being a Children's pastor is not just being able to stand in front of a bunch of children and talk, it is being able to put a message together with visuals, music, having an overhead screen or chalkboard or some other visual tool that goes with the message, and then being able to discuss and answer question that any of the children have. It is not working just an hour or two a week and then one hour on Sunday, but it is hour upon hours.
If a child asks a question about God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit the pastor has to be able to answer without hesitating one bit. They have to be able to tell the child in a manner they will be able to understand and if the child doesn't understand the pastor has to have the patience to explain again and again if necessary. They have to do this with love in their heart where the child will feel that love.
A Children's pastor should know each child by his/her name. After all they are important so a pastor should show them this by knowing their names. Would you feel important if someone was talking to you and didn't remember your name?
Part of the regular service that she does includes games. Not just any game will work. Hunting for just the right type of game is quite time consuming. The games usually go with what the message is about.
Often time, there are treats of some kind given at the end of service. A children's pastor must be aware of any allergies the children may have. When there are a lot of allergies she has to look for just the right type of treats so none of them will have a reaction but also finding treats that are good for children but yet the children will like.
If the church is able to take the children to church camp, that means more hours to work to get everything put together so they will be able to leave in time to get to the camp at the specified time.
The world as we know it today is a hostile one and lots of children have many different fears. Children's pastors have to be able to handle each and every one of these fears and be able to talk with each child as an individual. There are no two children alike just as there are no two adults alike, so what might work for one child won't necessarily work for another one. The Children's pastor has to know what will work for each one and know how to soothe the fear. There may be more than one child at the same time that has some type of fear or problem and the pastor has to know how to handle them all at once. Each child feels they need to be first because they feel their problem needs attention first; all can't be first at the same time. Remember the problems of children are just as important to them as what an adult's problem is to them. Just as a senior pastor has to be available to the adults a Children's pastor must also be available to the children. It doesn't make any difference if it is day or night; the Children's pastor has to be there to help them.
Sin is everywhere in the world today, it seems as time has progressed it doesn't make any difference if a child is six or sixteen, there is someone willing to teach them the ways of the world. Yes, children get some training at home on this but sometimes there is no spiritual teaching. A Children's pastor is the one that begins this type of training.
A Children's pastor has to be polite, caring, understanding, loving, forgiving, a good listener, and one that has open arms for each child. A good Children's pastor has to be a lot of things just as a senior pastor. He/she has to love God with all of their heart and be able to tell children exactly who God is and sometimes that is hard when a child has had no spiritual training at home. Children's pastors have to be able to love each child, even the one that is obnoxious or nosey. They need love any child that walks into the children's church, it can't be chose and pick.
I once heard a woman ask another woman at church where her children were and the woman replied; "I put them in children's church so I don't have to bother with them while I am in church'. From that answer, I gathered she thought the Children's pastor was supposed to be babysitting. I guess you could say a Children's pastor is a baby sitter also although that isn't what they are supposed to be.
I would like to take this opportunity to say I feel every Children's pastor should be commended; they put in as many hours for their church and their flock as does a senior pastor and they certainly deserve the same respect. Children's pastors get very little recognition from people and it is really a shame. It is these pastors that start children knowing the Word and some of these children know just as much about God and His Word as do their parents. So the next time someone tells you they are a Children's Pastor, commend them on all the hard work they do and thank them that they are willing to go to so much trouble for the children of today.
Pastor Debi has been able to do this with or without helpers. She has been fortunate to have some helpers but if she didn't have them she would find a way to do it by herself.
Pastor Debi, I know of all the hours you put in weekly to get ready for church and I want to thank you that you are so willing to put forth all this time for children. You are the best Children's Pastor I know and Dad and I are so proud of you. God bless you always for your hard work.
May you always know the love, joy, and peace of the Lord!