A few weeks ago, Dr. Ed Stetzer, Executive Director of the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center and Dean of the School of Mission, Ministry, and Leadership at Wheaton College interviewed CSS board member Dr. Mimi Larson and LifeWay Kids Director, Jana Magruder, on Stetzer Leadership Podcast specifically in regards to children's ministry in the time of Covid-19. As a children's ministries director who feels like I'm adapting to a new ministry terrain every week right now, I was encouraged, challenged, and convicted!
Encouraged- Mimi Larson reminded listeners that the first task for children's ministry leaders is to check in with themselves and ask "how am I really doing?". Am I on the verge of burnout? Am I anxious? Am I ministering our of a place of connection? She encourages leaders to use this extra space first to do an internal audit and "put your own mask on first".
Challenged- Mimi then challenged leaders to think through the changes their ministry context may need to make in the future. Are there areas of my ministry that need to be re-thought? What adaptations will I make in the future? Returning to gathered ministry will look different, so it's a perfect time to introduce fresh innovations!
Convicted- Jana Magruder shared that this is an opportunity to equip families, and so often children's ministry leaders doubt the ability or interest of families to be a primary space for the discipleship and formation of children. She encouraged children's ministry leaders to ask how they can further equip families during this season where everything is being "in-sourced" by necessity.
A brief forum post can't do justice to the insight and rich discussion of the full 40-minute podcast, so I encourage you to listen to it for yourself! It's Episode 29 of the Stetzer Leadership Podcast, available on whatever podcast app you prefer!
Robin Turner serves as Director of Children's Ministries at St. Stephen's Anglican Church in Sewickley, PA. She studied Christian Formation and Ministry at Wheaton College Graduate School and Leadership and Spiritual Formation at Portland Seminary.