In staff meeting on Monday, Reggie was sharing some stories that he heard while on the Orange Tour. Some of the stories were precious: kids who are connecting with God through the curriculum. Others were heartbreaking: leaders struggling with a lack of support, illness, or personal trials. In the midst of sharing these stories, Reggie made this comment:

“We’re not just working with churches. We’re partnering with real people facing real issues and pain and struggles.”

The goal of any ministry endeavor whether it be in the church or through a para-church organization is not about furthering your personal agenda or strategy. That’s fine that you have one and want people to “get it”, but that can’t be at the expense of the people in your sphere of care.

They need to come first. If they don’t, we’re missing the point of ministry.

Take time to call your leaders and families. Actually listen to what they’re telling you. Celebrate what God is doing or offer a heart-felt encouraging word. Don’t necessarily try to solve any problem that arises; listen and be a shoulder they can lean on.

Don’t think of parents as your customers. They are your partners. Work to get on the same page in order to be more effective in sharing faith with kids.

Meet families where they are. Don’t make unrealistic expectations of them. Push them for sure, but don’t make them feel guilty for needing to tread slowly into this thing called parenting.

When you’re talking to other leaders, don’t make the conversation about numbers and initiatives. You can cover those, but focus your time together on stories that share both your passion for ministry and the struggles you’re facing as you move forward. Be real and respect each other as fellow ministers of God’s truth.

Those are just a few ideas. I’d love to hear from you. How do you focus on the who not just the what of ministry? Share your ideas below!

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