Below is what I've gathered by listening to my own heart and the hearts of others blessed to serve in children's ministry.
Kidmin's (Children's Ministers) hearts...
- beat for Jesus. Our entire reason for existence is to reach children for Him, however, whenever and whatever.
- are tender. We are empathetic, sympathetic and unselfish - giving us the capacity to love the "unlovable".
- are open. Like children we have an almost limitless capacity for love. There is ALWAYS room for one more; child, family, parent or volunteer. Matter of fact, we think, pray, plan and prepare for more.
- are strong. We can handle WHATEVER you throw at us... criticism, complaints, heavy workloads, heavy boxes and furniture, last minute requests. You name it. We can handle it or endure it.
- quicken and melt easily. Experiencing parent and child dedication, baptisms, Bible presentations and a baby's first visit tug at our hearts, remind us why we serve. This is especially true for me... these experiences usually bring me to tears. (Kind of awkward when praying aloud, but it's me and I accept that.)
- desire to know the heart of the Senior Pastor. We share the Senior Pastor's heart for the church and serve out of brotherly love and devotion, not to force our agenda or lead the way ourselves. Communication with the SPastor is critical to effective service.
- are loyal and true. We sincerely care about integrity, honesty and trustworthy behavior and hold ourselves accountable. We expect others, adults and children, to do the same. If we fall short, we want to be called on it.
- are devoted to work and family, equally and simultaneously. We artfully balance the needs of both and are good at distinguishing when one or the other needs more attention. We are quick to recognize imbalance in others' lives - encouraging and supporting them to make healthy choices too.
- can be broken. Because of the above traits, our hearts CAN be broken. I guess that's the hardest part of being a Children's minister. We expect so much of ourselves and others. We hold ourselves, and others, to such high standards BECAUSE we know in our hearts Jesus expects no less. Unfortunately, betrayal of those high standards by others can surprise us, blindside and disappoint us because it isn't what we expect. I guess if our hearts had a weakness, that would be it. Such high expectations keep us from realizing other people are human, and so are we. We ALL fall short, we fail to live up to what Jesus expects every day.
- can be restarted and restored. Our hearts get broken, some more than others, but because of Jesus, our resilient hearts heal quickly... as long as we obediently repent and then forgive ourselves and others as God forgave us through the gift of His son Jesus.
You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God."
Do you see your heart in the traits listed above? What would you add or subtract from my list? I'm here waiting to listen to your heart.