When Your Ministry Has a Fail
by Justyn Smith
Justyn Smith talks about what he’s learned when you do everything like you always do and things still turn out “blah!”
Ever have one of those services when things weren’t clicking? You do everything that you normally do and things kind of turn out like blah?! That totally describes our night last night. We practiced and did run throughs like we normally do. We setup the stage and created an atmosphere that screams Kid Studios Live and yet at the end of the night we were like “What in the world just happened?” And, it wasn’t like a “God was so powerful…what just happened moment?” It was a “I hope that doesn’t happen again” moment.
The worship band was off a little, sound cues weren’t hit like they normally are, I totally bombed a part of the message that was important—forgot to even mention it. It was kind of odd…I did this cool huge visual interactive object lesson with the kids and then totally skipped right over the point and went to the next. Attendance was down. There’s more, but I’ll spare you. To top it all off all this happened the day after our youth ministry had one of their most powerful God-encounter nights they have ever experienced.
As you can imagine, I was feeling a little down. Last night I was thinking of all the “perfect” children’s ministries that have never experienced a night like we had. If you’re one of the ministries I’m thinking of—don’t tell me you’re not perfect. I enjoy thinking you are and it gives me hope!
God spoke to me and said a couple of things:
• Don’t place your identity in large attendance, place it in your large God!
• I’m totally not blaming anything on God, but I felt as though He said, “Do you still trust me?”
• I’m reminded that I’m still human, but God fills the gaps
• He whispered a verse I just spoke on a week ago, “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” –Philippians 1:6 (NLT)
He spoke to me personally about some other things that both challenged and encouraged me. I figure I should talk about some of the tough times we go through as a ministry so as to not give the impression we’re perfect—because we are not!! The cool thing is that for every #fail we encounter we probably have at least 20 wins. In the long run as long as our wins are greater than our failures and we continue to strive to honor God I think we’ll be okay.
Alright, now to plan this weekend and next week’s Kid Studios Live—they’re both going to be awesome!!
Justyn Smith is married to an amazing wife and is a father to five children. He is the children’s pastor at South Hills Church in Corona, CA and has a passion to help other children’s pastors become great leaders in their local church and ministry. He consults, writes, and is a frequent conference speaker. Justyn is the host of Celera Kidmin (click http://www.celeragroup.org/network-coaching/kidmin.aspx for more info) and has recently been named one of “Children’s Ministry Magazine’s” Top 20 to Watch. Twitter: pastorjustyn Facebook: facebook.com/pastorjustyn
visit Justyn at justynsmith.com