Time to look for someone to fill the role of Children’s Pastor? It can be daunting, as children’s ministry oversees a significant portion of the church congregation. Kids’ Ministry is the part of the church that can sometimes be overlooked but has great potential in reaching families. Therefore, the search can also be very exciting. But how do you go about making sure you are putting forth the right information to get the best candidate and one that God is calling to your church?
First, start with the vision of your overall church. Include the mission statement in the job description so the Children’s Pastor knows for sure what the church's main goal entails. Whatever the overall vision, it is important that the Children’s Pastor position, and any position, flow through and have a way to connect directly to that goal. If you are part of a team creating this job description, ensure everyone agrees with the wording.
Next, outline the title, hours, and pay if needed. The title of Children’s Pastor may look different at your location, so adjust the title as necessary. Your office hours may be a true 8-5pm, Sunday-Thursday, or might extend for various midweek and weekend services. Be as detailed as possible here, so there is no question of the expectations. The pay can be described as well.
For those new to ministry or new to this type of role, a section describing the purpose is very helpful. Within this purpose, you can include the mission statement and what ages the Children’s Pastor will oversee. Make sure the purpose includes what type of child education program they are expected to lead using descriptive words such as “effective, comprehensive, inviting, dynamic, creative.” If they are to oversee an after school care program, preschool daily program, etc., state that clearly in this section. State the Children’s Pastor’s supervisor at the end of the purpose as well.
Expectations and Duties
The main portion of the job description needs to outline all expected duties and those unknown as straightforward as possible. Take some time to review these details with the team you are creating this job description with to ensure it aligns with your specific church setting.
- Lead and execute the vision of the children’s ministry or education program for children in the age range desired. A major part of the Children’s Pastor's role will be spreading the vision of the children’s ministry to the families and community. The person that fills this role must have great insight into listening to God and sharing that vision with their team and others.
- Lead a team of associates or assistants. This would include an ability to guide others to grow spiritually and execute their given duties. If they are required to meet with their team weekly, that would also need to be included. Anything involving the team's supervision would be ideal to outline effectively.
- Curriculum for small and large groups. The Children’s Pastor should have oversight, if not a direct influence, on the curriculum choices for large and small groups. An ability to edit, rewrite, or create curriculum would be ideal. Remember, the curriculum is a base for what is taught on the weekend, so it holds quite the weight in the Children’s Pastor role.
- Special event planning, which would include midweek plans if your church provides kids programming on a Wednesday night. Other special events would include family events, parent/child events (i.e., mother & son, dad & daughter), and holiday events. The Children’s Pastor must create, plan and execute this effectively.
- Summer Events are another must for expectation for the Children’s Pastor. They need to have great insight into how to plan a summer effectively for the community your church resides. If there are expectations involving Vacation Bible School, overnight or day camps, specify those up front in this section.
- Administrative duties will be known with the caveat that more may come as the ministry grows. Your church might have an administrative assistant or it may not be helpful that the Children’s Pastor has administrative qualities. These would entail: creating email communications, printing curriculum and newsletters, preparing curriculum, creating and managing a website, making logos, and creating any media that might be needed for the weekend services. Including “other administrative duties as assigned” would help to cover any updates that would arise.
- Communication expectations to parents and volunteers could be outlined in the job description if there are clear expectations for how you would want the Children’s Pastor to communicate with parents and others. It may be part of your church culture to communicate weekly to parents and volunteers (which is a great guide), or it might be every couple of weeks or even once a month. Those communication elements, if not directly performed by the Children’s Pastor, need great oversight by that position.
- Recruit, train, and equip those that serve in that area. Recruitment is an ongoing, almost constant, process that requires the Children’s Pastor to set up meetings for those that may join the volunteer team. They also need to be required to train and equip them effectively. If your church hosts a church-wide training, the Children’s Pastor needs to know they will be in charge of their age range.
- Maintain a safe and clean learning environment throughout the children’s area. This could involve communications with the custodial team, the ability to organize supplies or lead the team that does so, and having oversight on the maintenance needs that arise.
- Purchasing supplies and maintaining a budget is also a great thing to add to the job description. Managing a budget may be one of the highest priorities as it involves the money from the congregation’s tithe, and stewarding them well is essential. Especially if the children’s pastor will lead a team, it is helpful that they can manage the budget effectively and give direction to the team they lead.
- Stewarding resources is an overall theme that would be effective in any job description. The Children’s Pastor will have oversight of financial resources but also physical resources in the area. Knowing how to steward them well will set up that ministry for success.
- Other duties as assigned by the supervisor. This statement is always needed at the end as other needs and duties may arise over the course of their year. Whether the Children’s Pastor role is brand new or a continuation of years of ministry, there will always be new duties as the ministry continues to grow.
As you meet with the team looking for someone to fill this role, it is helpful to have a baseline of ideas to implement in the perfect job description. These sections together will help create a great job description for the children’s pastor role and guide the person God intends to lead this amazing ministry. Children’s ministry is ever-changing, and the job description may evolve. Starting with a great foundation and making a note to adjust yearly, is a fantastic way to set the children’s pastor and their team up for success.