Stop the Children’s Ministry Herding

SFLCKids altar

Just a month ago I finally gained victory over something that my wife and I have been plagued with for months. We switched our cable/internet company from one major company to another one for a trial of 30 days. It did not take us 30 days to see that the speed promised by the company we switched to was not going to live up to what we needed. We canceled after 7 days which was within our 30 day trial and went back to our previous company.

Now the fun began. For the next few months we kept getting billed for the first month of service and calls to our cell phone from the company we gave a try to for 7 days. I refused to pay for the month we should not have been charged for. I called many times over the next few months and followed the same pattern of – waiting on hold for 20-30 minutes then talking with someone and explaining the situation to and then being put back on hold again, then repeat this x4 times for each call. Every person I talked to could only tell me their records showed I owed the 30 days.

It definitely felt like no one ever listened to me. They are dealt with so many people that they don’t have time to be personal. They don’t have the margin to care about my situation. I’m at their mercy (which drives me nuts and always makes me feel powerless). They’ve created a system to herd me along with the thousands of other phone calls that they deal with everyday. I was really unimportant and lost in the crowd of calls that sounded and maybe even felt to them like the same call they would hear all day long.

We have hundreds of kids on our campus on Sunday morning. I can often times find my system/process mind making sure we are moving everyone from point A to point B in the most efficient way possible. Sometimes if I was to be honest, I can just see a crowd.
Sometimes it can feel like we’re herding children along to the next thing.

This can NEVER be acceptable to us to herd children. We must instead LEAD each child into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.

Every child we are leading is in a different place in their journey of faith, (just like some people who called the cable company owed the money and some did not). Some don’t know Jesus at all yet. Some are struggling to forgive, some are looking to see what God has for them or wants them to do.

Bottom line:
They are all different.
They are all significant.
They all deserve our attention.

When you herd the story doesn’t make a difference.
When you lead every story matters.

How do you stay in touch with leading and not herding?

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