Children’s Ministry vs. Youth Ministry

There have been several children’s directors the nine years I’ve been on staff at my current church.  While all have been great people, the working relationships was not always smooth. Due to a lack of communication, disagreement in strategy and even a little bit of selfishness (on my part) there would be conflict.  Unfortunately, I used to act like children’s ministry was the competition, when in reality it’s one of the biggest allies a youth minister can have.

Every youth minister needs to learn to work with their children’s director.  If the two don’t work together then both will fail at raising true disciples of Christ.  That means not only learning how to coexist; but, collaborate on the next generation.  To make it less about competition and more about synergy make sure you:

  • Put Children’s First: If your children’s ministry is not successful it will make your job that much more difficult.  While your main role is to serve the youth ministry look at ways you can set children’s ministry up for success even if it means sacrifice on your part.  It might be a big deal at first, but look at it as an investment down the line.
  • Collaborate On A Common Vision: Children’s ministry is supposed to flow into youth ministry.  The only way that this can happen is if you share a common vision.  It might be easy to assume that you are both growing disciples; however, do you agree on the characteristics and habits of those disciples.  Make sure you build on each other’s momentum.
  • Are Present: Show your support by making yourself present at children’s ministry events and programs.  Both youth and children’s ministry can feel like silos in the church.  Let the children’s staff and volunteers know that you care by popping in, saying hi and even getting involved from time to time.  It’ll let them know that they are not alone and can trust you.

The stronger the children’s ministry, the stronger your youth ministry can be.  They might be different; however, you have a lot in common.  Do not squander the opportunity to work and collaborate with the children’s team at your church it’ll only make you stronger.

How do you work with your children’s ministry?


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