Why High Capacity Children’s Pastors Are So Hard To Find

Danny Watterson asks “what’s the fastest way to wreck your church?”

I can think of a ton of ways to do it: bad message content, miserable music, little to no connection opportunities, or a scandal.

But one of the primary characteristics we see in churches that are not thriving is a stagnant or failing children’s ministry. If the kids dislike going to church, parents will simply not put up with the kicking and screaming.

On the other hand, one of the fastest ways to ensure families become a part of your church is to develop a world-class Children’s Ministry.

At Vanderbloemen Search Group, we’re being called now more than ever to help churches find their next Children’s Pastor. Our clients come to us because they are struggling to find the right fit with the right qualifications to lead their Children’s Ministry.

The reason why is simple: there is a shortage of high-caliber, top-tier pastors that are called to influence children and families.

In my experience, I see three primary reasons why there is a shortage of Children’s Pastors. If we as church leaders pay attention to these reasons and are intentional about changing them, I know we’ll see a change in the mentality of Children’s Ministry and see more quality candidates pursuing Children’s Ministry long-term.

1. Confused Compensation for Children’s Pastors

I know what you might be thinking…. It’s not about the money. But is it? A quick way to gauge the priority of where your children’s ministry falls on the pecking order is to compare your pastors’ salaries. It’s not a guaranteed indicator but it’s a pretty good gauge of what you value the most at your church. Do your Worship Leaders, Student Pastor, Missions Pastor, and/or Small Groups Pastor all make more than your Children’s Pastor? Some would argue that compensation is based upon tenure and experience or even qualification or education, and perhaps your Children’s Pastor has less training or qualifications than your other pastors. In which case I would pose the question, “Then why have you settled on a less-experienced or less-qualified person for that important role?” The reality is, you get what you pay for.

Think about the life stage of your ideal Children’s Pastor candidate. Are they married? Do they have kids? Do they have a background in ministry? If those are the case, then are you paying enough to financially support the person you’ve just pictured as your perfect Children’s Pastor candidate?

If you need help in figuring out how much you should pay your Children’s Pastor based on your church size, budget, and organizational chart, contact us about our customized compensation analyses we can conduct for your church staff.

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