One of the things that I like to do is to go out in a canoe on a lake and just relax. The view across the lake to the shore is spectacular. It is so peaceful that I can sit there for hours. What I don’t know, is what is below the waterline that can be devastating to my mission.
That is the way it can be in ministry as well. We find that nice peaceful place and sit there enjoying the scenery. It looks good to others, but under the waterline can be a different story.
I like to use the duck as an illustration for ministry. As children’s ministry leaders, we may be seen cruising effortlessly on top of the water, but below the waterline our feet are working hard. What is seen above the waterline is not always what is happening below it.
I give these analogies because that is what Awana has done for the last couple of years.
In 2013, Awana conducted a comprehensive survey among children’s ministry leaders from across the U.S.A. Our purpose was to listen so we could really understand the issues below the waterline. (emphasis added)
Awana sought to really see what was happening in the trenches of children’s ministry and not just look at the surface. The results that they found resonated with me as a children’s ministry leader. The struggles they found are struggles I have experienced and the “why” of children’s ministry are why I am passionate about reaching children with the good news of Jesus.
The analysis shows the turbulence “under the water” as children’s ministry leaders seek to reach children with the Gospel, but at times there seems to be a disconnect of what they envision and the reality of ministry.
Awana has taken this research and placed it in a book called The Gospel Truth About Children’s Ministry (to be released June 22, 2015 and available on the Awana web site). In the book, the top 10 findings about children’s ministry are shared and suggested solutions are given.
This book offers critical insight into the truth about children’s ministry and can be a valuable tool as you prepare for the upcoming ministry year. The book and the research challenge us to take some time and ask critical questions.
We must pause, as the children’s ministry community, and ask ourselves, “Am I simply running children’s ministry programming? Or am I making disciples of kids, parents, and leader?
We must each take a look at our ministry and ask the questions above. Once we have the answers, we then need to ask, “What am I going to do next?”
Awana has provided me with a copy of the book that I would like to give away. To have a chance to win, simply download an exclusive look at the beginning of the book, including the list of the top 10 Kidmin Research Findings and some of Awana’s suggested solutions, then comment below on one of the 10 findings. The winner of the book will be randomly selected on Monday, June 29, 2015.