It’s Not What I Want

“You don’t build it for yourself. You know what the people want and you build it for them.”

Walt Disney

One of my favorite Walt Disney quotes. What would our ministries look like if we created ministries and met the needs of people versus meeting our own needs.

The first thing I do when I consider a new ministry or other creative venture–no matter how passionate I am about it–is ask the question, “Is this what parents/kids need? Are they asking for this?” It would be incredibly easy for me to create something because I think it’s cool. Though I think there could be times for this. I don’t want to waste my time, energy and creativity on something that will only boost my ego and not meet a real need.

Whether you’re considering VBS, a midweek ministry, a reset of weekend programming or any other ministry venture, do it because it’s what the people need and want. Don’t do it just because you want it. It definitely takes discipline and restraint, but it’s extremely rewarding and the best use of your time as a leader.

I created a bunch of fun characters for children’s ministry the past six years. A few on my team can verify this, but I was constantly asking if I was creating these because I like it or because I knew they were an effective vehicle to reach more children. The truth is that sometimes I think it was simply because I wanted it. We had these conversations and I had no problem shutting it down because I never wanted to do something because of my selfish wants as a leader. I want to be effective!

Here are just a few examples of what I did because I wanted it for me and examples of what people actually wanted:

Great values! Bad delivery method because I liked it.
Pin collecting because I thought it was fun. Didn’t catch on like I wanted.
Design because MY Seahawks made the Super Bowl, but was not needed.
Characters turned into puppets. Fun and met what kids wanted!
Characters turned into “walk arounds.” Kids loved it!
Parenting resources that parents actually wanted!

What are you doing in your children’s ministry simply because it’s what you want to do, but honestly isn’t effective? What do you need to change?

Let’s talk.


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