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Sharpen Your Axe - Evaluate your Ministry

When was the last time that you pushed the pause button to evaluate your ministry?

It’s so easy to become immersed in the daily grind that we often forget to stop and breathe.

How is your ministry doing?

How are YOU doing?

Have you ever tried to cut a tomato with a dull knife? Or cut wood with a dull axe?

It’s not very effective and often creates more mess than anything.

There is nothing worse than working endlessly

and feeling like you’re making little to no impact.


If your ministry feels this way, it might be time for an evaluation.

If the axe is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed,

but skill will bring success.” Eccl. 10:10

Taking a few minutes to evaluate might save you an abundance of heartaches and also lead to a more effective ministry.

Evaluate your Ministry

How is your ministry going?

When was the last time you took a step back to evaluate the big picture?

Are you retaining families or is your attendance more of a rotating door?

When was the last time you implemented something new and creative?

Have you done a curriculum evaluation recently?

Are you experimenting with ideas you learned from networking with other leaders?


How well do you know this current generation? Their needs are different, they learn differently, and what they need from your children’s ministry is unlike the kids before them.

One of the biggest mistakes we can make is to keep repeating programs that were successful in the past, without giving consideration to the changing audience we are trying to reach.

“Churches that refuse to change, that refuse to focus on equipping the next generation and that refuse to let the next generation have leadership roles, are signing the autopsy papers for their church.”[1]

Be courageous enough to change what needs to be adjusted, stop what is ineffective, and begin what needs to be started.

Evaluate your Church

Do you feel alone and isolated in your ministry?

You need the support from the leadership in your church.

While many churches outwardly agree that children’s ministry is important, when you look under the surface, reality brings to light an inadequate budget, low visibility and a lack of volunteers.


Are you making constant appeals for finances, resources and space?

Are you regularly struggling with the need for helpers?

Is the children’s ministry valued by your church leaders and frequently spoken of from the platform on Sundays?

You are facing an uphill battle if the only time your members hear or think about the children’s ministry is when they happen to walk by a classroom door or if they hear a complaint about the Sunday mess that wasn’t cleaned up.

Take a few moments to talk to your leadership about the challenges you are facing.

Let them know how much you need their support.

Evaluate Yourself

The life of a Children’s Pastor is one of the most wide-ranging, relentless positions in the church.

The job is never finished.

We prepare for Easter and the spring festival, and then it’s time for summer planning

Summer camp and fun family events are exhausting, but then it’s back to school.

Fall is right behind, followed by Christmas, and we begin all over again.

Phew – it’s exhausting just thinking about it.

Most of us are underpaid, under-appreciated, understaffed, overworked and overloaded, covered in glitter and goldfish crumbs.

“I feel as though I eat, drink and breathe Children’s Ministry, like my mind never turns off. It’s a constant checking of emails, making social media posts, texting this parent or that, creating this craft, dropping off packages to a child’s home. It just never ends.”


Can you relate? Ministry is tough.

How are you doing?

How is your relationship with the Lord?

Are you exercising, resting, prioritizing family time?

Do you have a life outside of your ministry?

Do you have any friends outside of your children’s ministry?

How are YOU doing?

Going head-to-head with the devil is a hair-raising experience, and you most definitely need to equip yourself daily with the armor of God if you hope to survive.

While it might appear glamourous from the outside, the truth is that you are in a position that gives no guarantees of the outcome, whilst waging war against the most powerful enemy of this world. Even if you give it your all, there is no promise of temporal, visible success.

Most of us will have to wait until heaven for our reward.

Remember that we are working for an audience of One and the rewards are out of this world!

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,

as working for the Lord, not for human masters,

since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.” Colossians 3:23-24.

Remember, that if we want to be effective, we need effective tools.

Always be asking, how can we improve?

How could we have done this better?

Then we can stop and breathe, knowing that we have done our best, and the rest is up to God.

[1] Dale Hudson, Fertile Soil, 205.

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1 Comment

Good and important thoughts, Janine!

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