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Subject Topic: Becoming a Children’s Pastor Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Posted: 11 July 2005 at 2:43pm | IP Logged Quote Guests

Looking for some insight.

I have been serving in ministry in some form since 1984 and children ministry since 1993.  Over the years I have developed a love for (and some will say special skill) for Children Ministry.  I have prayed and sought the Lord about this and feel it is time to dive in head first and become a Children's Pastor.  My delemia is how do I go about finding the right place (church) to serve?  I do not have a degree but have a wealth of experience (retired military, computer technology field since 1990, great organization and developmental skills, research anything [was an analyst by trade in militray], great work ethics, etc) but I keep running into that "NO DEGREE" wall.

I know the Lord has a place for me out there.  One great advantage about being retired military is I already get one small paycheck now and medical benifits, so I do not need to look for those benifits when looking for a church.

If anyone out there has similar experience or has some good ideas to share on how to get this ball rolling please let me know.

Scott

P.S. Anyone out there looking for a 40+ year old kid that loves creating lessons, researching information, working with the children, touching their lives for Christ, and making Children Ministry the best time they have every week let me know.

 

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sawinma
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Posted: 11 July 2005 at 3:53pm | IP Logged Quote sawinma

Scott:

If you are truly interested in Children's Ministry as a vocation, I would suggest beginning now to get a degree. You can take the traditional route and go to a "campus" or you can find on-line courses through Moody and various others Christian Colleges across the nation. Even though you may not like the idea of spending this much time back in the books, it will pay off in terms of the opportunities that will be available to you.

May the Lord continue to direct you.

 

MS

Seminary graduate & Children's Pastor

 

 

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TheJourney
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Posted: 12 July 2005 at 10:18am | IP Logged Quote TheJourney

Scott,

Many churches today aren't necessarily hiring from the outside. What I mean by this is they develop their own ministry staff. This is a practice mainly used by some of the larger churches as they generally have more ability to train and a larger group to pull from.

While I have nothing against seminary (and I hope none take offense at this), but I've yet to see where a seminary degree would have helped me in my ministry. I went to college and have a BA in music...hardly the pedigree of a typical CP. My lessons have been learned through experience and talking to more experienced CP's. I don't need Greek, nor do I need the ability to know the history of a specific denomination (I'm non denom  ). If you feel you have to go to school, go for a degree in Child Development or the like.

So, here's my .02 - find a church that has a common vision for children's ministry. Volunteer, teach, intern...basically get your foot in the door. As this church grows with its vision, they will look for like minded individuals to partner in this quest. This is your chance. It will take a while, but this is what I believe the wave of the future looks like in children's ministry.

Finding a church with common vision is key. Here are some questions that may help find that vision:

What does that look like?

How can I impact the community WITHOUT having children's church?

How can I serve the community and not use a building?

 

I'll be praying for you, bro! If I hear of something, I'll let you know.



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JediKindergartner
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Posted: 14 July 2005 at 12:25am | IP Logged Quote JediKindergartner

A degree in child development – ooh, now that's definitely one I would recommend looking into. That's what I'm doing right now, in fact, and I can't tell you how much it's impacting the way I treat children on Sunday mornings...

But anyway, when you figure out how to become a children's pastor, tell me! I could do with that bit of information, too.
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henryjz
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Posted: 14 July 2005 at 11:37am | IP Logged Quote henryjz

In the words of NIKE... Just do it!

If you are really wanting to become a children's pastor, start looking for places that are looking. You may have to start off as a volunteer or part time due to a lack of a degree and/or experience. I would suggest that you have a degree in your sights, but you don't need one to get started. Get in there! Be involved in leadership! Grow! Grow others! There is no "How To" when it comes to becoming a CP. It is a calling. Answer the call, but be willing to go and do whatever God calls you to. BEWARE! This life is not for the squeamish

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pastorshelli
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Posted: 20 July 2005 at 4:45pm | IP Logged Quote pastorshelli

Hi! I too have been working for years with kids with out the title of Children's Pastor. I am a part of our church staff as a Children's Director which is basically a Children's Pastor without a degree. I have looked into many online degree programs. Most of them require classes that seem a little off base for a Children's Pastor. I wanted to find a school specifically for Children's Ministry. This fall I am enrolling in www.cmuniversity.org . They are brand new and don't even have an enrollment form up yet, but I have spent quite a bit of time checking it out and believe that it exactly what I was looking for. You can even check out sample classes and get training information there for free.

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ShelTX9621
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Posted: 20 July 2005 at 11:22pm | IP Logged Quote ShelTX9621

I'm one of those who went in through the back door. I don't have a degree, but, I have been a children's pastor for 22 years. I didn't go looking for a position, I just knew that God called me to do this and that's what I started doing. I have served in three different churches and each one I started just volunteering, serving where needed, etc. and the position just feel into my lap. Where there is a need, look to fill it!!

I have been training a young couple to be children's pastors for the last three years. They had pretty much resigned themselves to the fact that they'd be my assistants until I die!!

Last month I took them and a team of our youth helpers to a church in Houston to do a VBS for them. While we were there we all felt that they'd be a good fit as children's pastors for that church. I spoke to the pastor and he had felt the same thing.

So, they are going down there in a few weeks to become Children's Pastors!!! God provides!! The church can't really afford to pay them much, but, they are giving them the parsonage and utilities paid!! What a deal for a first time position!!!

God does provide in ways that are above what we can ask or imagine! Ask him and he will plug you in where he wants you to be plugged in!!
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elenavfstev
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Posted: 21 July 2005 at 6:38am | IP Logged Quote elenavfstev

Scott, God bless you as you explore the possibilities in full-time ministry! My degree is in music ed., so I was nervous too. Over 2 yrs. ago, I felt God gave me a release to begin looking for a ministry job. I laid out a fleece: "Lord, I will stay in my secular job if you want me to. But if you provide a ministry position, I will take this as Your provision."

When nothing opened up at my old church (of 6,000), I began calling every area church in my affiliation (Vineyard). It so happened that one was looking for a part-time assistant. Shortly after I agreed to do it, the CP decided to step down for personal reasons, and they asked me to be the Children's Pastor!

It has been very challenging, but also wonderful. So go for it! It looks like you have a lot to offer. Many churches (especially outside denominations) are more interested in your experience than a degree (though the degree could profit you later). If you can only find part-time, you could always combine it with another part-time job to make ends meet. I also encourage you to hold out for a church whose philosophy of ministry resonates with you--you want to feel at home.
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4-His-kidz
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Posted: 27 July 2005 at 12:03pm | IP Logged Quote 4-His-kidz

I was 40 when God called me into full time service with children in a local church.  I had no idea what He could possibly do with me, but after I surrendered to that call and made it public, within three months I was the Children's Minister in my home church.  I was there for 3 and a half years before He lead me to make a move, and have been here for over 4 years now. 

When God calls you to serve Him, He will also equip you to do so, and it sounds like He has done that for you.  He also knows where you are right now.  And believe it or not, He already has a place of service for you.  Experience in ministry, even volunteers ministry, often carries much more weight than formal training, so pray about it, send out your resume, and keep putting the word out that you are ready to take the plunge.

And just a thought, I had a degree in Elementary and Special Education before I began as a minister.  I'm very grateful that I had that.  I am currently attending seminary classes while I serve as children's minister, and am grateful for what I have learned there.  While seminary or Bible college classes don't necessarily make you "qualified" to lead children, they definitely help to put you on solid ground theologically and philisophically.  I would encourage anyone to get more education.  It can only make you better.  You don't have to have the degree to serve many places, but having it will definitely open some doors that would otherwise be closed.

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eking
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Posted: 11 August 2005 at 11:10am | IP Logged Quote eking

I was in your category several years ago, and I have now been in full time (Paid staff) for over 15 years.  You ask how to you get from there to here? 

First, plug in to a local church.  Show your desire and faithfulness.  God sees your heart and he knows your desires.  He put them there.  Become the best servant that church has ever seen.  A pure heart and true faithfulness speaks for itself.  You won't have to.  Make sure you're not in it for the title or to make a name for yourself. 

Second, enroll in a school that is known for children's ministry.  I had many local churches that wanted me to come, the problem was they couldn't pay me very much. 

In search for a better paying job, they were looking at my qualifications.  An Elementary Ed degree was not what they wanted, in which I only lacked 12 hours to obtain a degree.  The larger churches, who paid better were wanting a  degree in children's ministry along with experience.   I did go back to school to get the degree in children's ministry.  Since the degree I have not given a resume that I've not recieved a call back.  My advise is.........Get the experience while working on the degree.  Every church I have ever worked at wanted pastors references.   

There are a few that become children's pastors without the degree, I did that for many years, but the degree helped me to get the second and third responses when I was looking at relocating.  What makes you shine above the rest?  The degree will help open the many doors that would never give you a second look.

Elaine

 

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sk8boarder15
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Posted: 11 August 2005 at 4:05pm | IP Logged Quote sk8boarder15

Since were on the topic of becoming a childrn's pastor and you brought up the subjet of school schools I thought it would be appropriate to ask: Would anyone know of any good schools with in driving distance of the far northwest suburbs of chicago? I was looking at Christain Life College, but they seem to have little to offer in the way of children's ministry.
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KELLI
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Posted: 18 August 2005 at 10:35am | IP Logged Quote KELLI

Hi Scott-

I just logged on to Kidology to read their August newsletter and saw your forum about becoming a Children's Pastor.  I don't know what denomination you are seeking or what church you belong to, but we are looking to hire a Children's Pastor within the next few months.  We are Lighthouse Church of God in St. Augustine, Florida.  We are a pentecostal church of about 100. The benefits would be minimal to begin with, but with the growth of our church would come the growth of benefits.  We also have a school (Beacon of Hope Christian School) which has 215 students.

If you are interested, you may contact our pastor (which happens to be my husband) and we can talk more extensively.  His name is LaVoy Newton, and his email address is pastorlavoy@bellsouth.net.  He would be happy to talk with you about this as we need to Children's Pastor.

Blessings to you-

Kelli Newton (kellibhcs@bellsouth.net)

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nancoise
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Posted: 18 August 2005 at 10:40am | IP Logged Quote nancoise

Scott,

Where are you located at?  State?  To encourage you degrees are not everything.   Working with children is driven by love and passion to see God's children fall in love with their creator.   Don't get discouraged keep seeking after God where he wants you to be.  

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Ladyoftherealm3@yahoo.com
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Posted: 27 August 2005 at 10:38pm | IP Logged Quote Ladyoftherealm3@yahoo.com

Hi Scott,

Many churches do hire within.  Mine did.  I was added to the staff before my degree was finished.  When I received the call to become a children's pastor, I knew I needed to go back to school.  Something about that title "Pastor".  I didn't feel like I was qualified even though I have worked with children for years.  I will be 48 this year and will be graduating from Bethel Seminary with a masters in Children and Family Ministry.  It is the only program in the world that offers this degree with the convenience of distance learning.  It is not an easy program but it has been well worth it.

Kimberly

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Boyd
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Posted: 28 August 2005 at 8:24am | IP Logged Quote Boyd

I do the childrens ministry at our church where attendance runs about 225 or so. I have 25-30 kids come back for childrens church. I can tell you it is a hard job, not for weak folks. I am learning so much and always need help and suggestions, PLEASE! I am learning as I go and know that the Lord is leading me in this. It is not what I expected to be doing 2 years ago. I have teaching experience, and have worked extensively with preschoolers in daycare situations. All this has been very helpful. I do not have a degree, do not see myself obtaining one. I am a volunteer but would love to see this become a paid position. Would all of you out there help me and others in this situation. I need ideas, books to read, know where to go. We are using the KIDMO program on Sunday nights (see it on the internet). Thanks so much!!!
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