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Big Picture

Burnout in Church Children’s Workers

Nov 27, 2020 | Teach Kids Articles

Does your church struggle to have enough teachers for children’s Sunday School or Children’s Church?  Do the same people do it all the time and eventually get burned out? When people are approached to help, do they say, “that’s not my gift?” Maybe they look panicked and guilty, only agreeing to help because they know they should. Do you wonder how well the kids were taught or if they were basically just babysat? Maybe your church sees children’s ministry as women’s work and the men don’t teach. Is your church’s growth stagnant?

The answer to all these problems is CEF training for children’s workers. This training will help equip more teens and adults in your church and not burn out the few. It will give your people the confidence and skills they need to help the kids in your church grow spiritually with solid doctrine as well as a good time.

When people with children choose a church, the children’s ministry is their highest consideration. Children who are growing in their faith make for happy, growing parents who want to keep coming back to church. We’ve even heard countless stories of children leading their parents in growth.

Another benefit of children’s worker training that many people don’t even think about, is that it’s actually the best kind of training for evangelism and discipleship in general. People who can teach salvation and Christian living to children are much better equipped to teach it to anyone in their lives. A common testimony we hear is people who go through CEF training end up leading family members and friends to Christ.

Another pitfall in churches is men leaving all the children’s work to the women. Fathers have a serious responsibility before God to lead their children well at home. When men in the church don’t participate in children’s ministry, it sends a message to the entire church that leading children is primarily the mother’s job at home too. Maybe the problem isn’t always that men think it’s not important enough for them, as much as they actually don’t feel competent and could also benefit from formal training.

The Census Bureau reports that 27% of US children live with single parents. That’s close to a third of children. Then you have more children who live with both parents but there is severe dysfunction. Couples who work together in children’s ministry meet a deep need which those children can’t even express. They desperately need to see a husband and wife who work well together, who are loving, treat each other with respect, and can share about the things of God.

Effective and inspiring training determines how far and how deep a ministry goes. Even if a church is large enough to have a children’s pastor, that person spends most of their time scheduling people, choosing curriculum, planning events, and doing a lot of teaching themselves. When was the last time your church held formal teacher training for congregants? Teens who take it will have a whole lifetime to put it into practice. Parents who take it will do better with their own children at home. With enough trained people, your church could even hold a Good News Club somewhere in your community and draw in more families to your church.

CEF instructors put on frequent courses at local chapter offices, in seminars at churches, and even online. To find your nearest local CEF chapter, your state or national office, go to cefonline.com and go to the chapter lookup. Talk to the director about training for your church. Training is also a place where we identify those who have an extraordinary gift of teaching. Those often become instructors of teachers themselves and so multiply themselves with more workers who reach multitudes of children.

Let’s review the benefits of training people in your church to teach children. More people trained means more people participating so you don’t burn out your few faithful workers. Trained people are more capable, confident and joyful. Children who are growing in their faith and not just babysat makes for happy parents who will stay and grow at your church. Trained men bring a larger pool of available workers, sets a good example for the fathers in your church, and allows children to see healthy marriages. Trained people learn how to better share the gospel and discipleship truths with anyone in their sphere of influence, not just children. Training multiplies the number of children reached. Wow, what a lot of benefits! Help your church catch a vision for what God can do through teacher training.

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