So you just read the title of this post and probably thought “well duh…I’m at church all the time. I serve in kids church every Sunday and Wednesday, lead a small group on Fridays and attend the monthly men’s pancake breakfast.” But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’ve noticed that there are a lot of folks involved in children’s ministry (volunteer and paid staff alike) that never sit in a regular church service. Like, ever. And they try to justify it with things like “my church only has one service” or “I’ll listen to the message on podcast” or “if I’m not there the children’s ministry will implode.” First off, if your children’s ministry falls apart because you weren’t there for 1 week, you had way bigger problems than the fact that you weren’t there. And secondly, there just isn’t an adequate replacement for being at YOUR church in YOUR auditorium listening to YOUR pastor preach the Word of God while you sit with YOUR family.
Here’s the deal: you cannot pour water out of an empty bucket. It’s simply impossible. One of your responsibilities is to keep your spiritual bucket full so that you can pour into those to whom you minister. But in order to do that, you’ve got to keep going back to the well to keep your bucket full. And while podcasts and videos and books and the like are all great resources, they should be treated as supplements–not substitutes.
So how do you do it? If your church offers multiple services then serve at one and attend another. If your church only has one service, find someone who isn’t serving, teach them to do what you do and then let them be you one or two Sundays a month while you go to church. And if you’re the leader, by all means let your people lead while you go and get full–besides, you might just be surprised at what happens when you release others into ministry.
Whatever it takes, make a plan right now with your leader regarding how and when you are going to go to church AND THEN DO IT. You’ll be better, the ministry in which you serve will be better, and those whom you lead will be better because of it.