3 Ways to Deal with Discouragement in Kids Min

Any type of ministry has its ups and downs.

Some weeks parents and kids will  tell you how great a job you’re doing.

Other weeks half the kids are missing, and it seems like no one really cares.

It can feel like an emotional roller coaster.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Before I go any further, I want to say that dealing with discouragement should always begin with prayer.

With prayer assumed, here are 3 ways to deal with discouragement, so you can then move past it.

1. Stop measuring success by numbers.

If your feelings are based on how many kids you have on Sunday, you’re setting yourself up for discouragement.

No matter how well things are going, you’re gonna hit a down week.

And when that happens, you’re gonna feel like a failure.

The truth is, growth in a church or kids ministry is not an end in itself, it’s a byproduct of what you do.

For us, everything we do is about partnering with families to add value to them.

We believe that if every family knows and feels we’re adding value to them, they’re gonna begin to talk about it, and the byproduct of their talking will be growth.

So look at your vision for families, whatever that looks like, and focus on fulfilling it; instead of getting a bigger crowd.

Growth is important because the church should be reaching lost people, but it shouldn’t be the focus, and it’s best measured year over year, not week over week.

2. Start measuring your value adds.

When you measure how you’re adding value to families instead of how many kids you have; it allows you to celebrate people and faces instead of numbers.

It also lets you know how healthy you are and where you need to make improvements.

Some of the things we measure are kids doing devotionals weekly, kids inviting friends, kids praying, kids participating in hands-on ministry (We do the kids measurements in small groups), parents bettering themselves by reading our parent tip emails, parents giving positive feedback.

We gather all the information and write it down.

What’s great about this is that we can celebrate what’s happening in the lives of real kids and real parents every week.

Also, by measuring these value adds, we inevitably get more stories of life change, and for me, on an emotional level, stories are always more encouraging than lifeless statistics.

3. Always keep improving.

This piggybacks off of number 2.

Once you begin measuring your vision instead of numbers, you’ll quickly find out exactly where you need improvement.

For me, discouragement mostly comes from a place of helplessness.

I don’t know what to do, so I feel discouraged.

But as long as I know where we need to be better, there’s hope and even a sense of excitement.

This is how my thinking goes: “I know where we need to improve. Let’s take a step in that direction. Let’s measure how that step worked.  Now let’s take another step.”

I believe that as long as you’re moving in the right direction, eventually the results will take care of themselves.

And in the meantime, you get to have the fun of coming up with new ideas, implementing the new ideas, and the fun and excitement that comes with that.

Are there still days where I look at where I’m at and wish I was further along? Of course.

But then I’m able to pick myself up, look at the next thing the kid’s ministry needs to improve upon and go after it, leaving discouragement in the dust.

How do you deal with discouragement in ministry? Leave a comment!

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