Welcome to Tuesday Talk. Today we’re hearing from Bo Harrington. Bo has been in Children’s Ministry for the past 13 years. He served at a church in Montgomery, AL and most recently at a church plant in Millbrook, AL. Currently, he is the Children’s Pastor at Hope Church in Springfield, IL. In January of 1997, Bo married his high school sweetheart, Amy. Amy enjoys spending time with her family and friends, shopping and being a stay at home mom. Together they have 2 beautiful children.
Get this – Bo has a waiting list of volunteers! So we asked him how a kidmin guy gets to the point in his ministry where he has a waiting list of volunteers when so many children’s pastors are short-handed and trying desperately to find help. Here’s what he shared with us.
I looked to businesses and not for profit organizations that are successful at keeping staff members. Some of the things I found were easy to translate to the Kidmin world.
Because I coach little league football, I was able to easily translate this to Harvestland. I recruited a top notch leadership team. The team is made up of staff members from every area within Harvestland. The leadership team then, and this is very important, chooses their staff. Why is that important, because we want people that understand and catch the vision. Remember, Jesus chose his disciples. That means he didn’t choose some people. Just because they are breathing doesn’t mean they can serve in children’s ministry.
For those that are visual it looks like this:
- Kids Pastor chooses Leadership Team
- Leadership Team chooses Staff (Program Directors, SG leaders, LG leaders, Tech team, etc)
- Staff chooses Helpers
The Helpers mentioned above can be anyone that clears security. They come in and assist and learn the what and the why. When they are ready, we then release them into a Staff role. Then the process starts all over again. They then choose a helper.
Back to the sports analogy. As I mentioned earlier, I am a football coach. I have no clue what it would take to coach soccer. In order for me to learn I would need to be around the sport. Same with kids ministry. We want people to be around our environment and learn the way we do things and why we do them that way before we set them out on their own.
When we started this a few years ago I didn’t imagine we would have a waiting list. Who knew that was possible in Kids Ministry? But I think it is a result of creating a culture of empowering and training staff. They know they are never alone and will be constantly praised.
When you create a culture of high value and fun, everyone wants to be a part of it.
Thanks, Bo, for sharing your heart and experience with us!