Today we’re talking with Dave Pearson, Director of Children’s and Family Ministry at Medinah Baptist Church in Medinah, Illinois. Dave came to know the Lord at summer camp when he was 13 years old. He decided to go into ministry when he was about 20 and has been involved in ministry all of his adult life. He worked for Awana for just short of 33 years. He is married to Donna for 31 years. He says he is more than blessed to serve the Lord at the very church where he grew up.
When Dave was hired at Medinah a couple years ago, he stepped into a wounded and bruised ministry. Many families had left the church as a result of the state of the children’s ministry. So we asked Dave, what did you do to revitalize the Children’s Ministry at Medinah when you arrived? Here’s what he shared:
When I was hired to be the Children’s Director at Medinah Baptist, what was once a huge and thriving Children’s Ministry, had been reduced to a small handful of kids. I knew that coming in, but I wasn’t aware of just how bad it was. So for the first few months I just watched and learned. I quickly noticed that I had a lot of work to do. I started by adjusting meetings so that the volunteers could get to know my wife Donna and I better and so they could find out where we wanted to go and how we planned to get there. We invited them to be part of our grand idea and have some real input as to how we would pull it off. We loved these people like family and wanted them to know we did.
We found a new curriculum that would allow all our kids at every age to learn the same principle each week. We wanted our kids to learn one thing a week so there could be some “in the car discussions” on the way home from church. In addition to the many faithful teachers who all were very welcoming to the “new and improved” children’s ministry, we recruited a handful of new, younger teachers so that no one would feel like they were being taken advantage of. I began a different rotation schedule for teachers to allow them time with their ABF classes and time in service, I added some new ideas, and gave the volunteers a chance to give input so that everyone knew they were loved and cared for. I did weekly email or phone calls to our volunteers not just about the current weeks’ lesson but about their lives in general and I prayed for them individually by name, along with taking time to get to know them.
We (my wife and I) spend a lot of time with the children themselves. In classrooms, teaching and playing with the kids, watching kids play sports during the week, talking to the parents about their kids and their ideas as to how we can better serve the families. We have a long way to go and we are going to get there soon I hope, but the biggest thing we have done to revitalize a dying ministry is to bring a sense of us, the staff, caring about the whole family. Loving and valuing our teachers and other volunteers while we teach the Word of God without apology.
Thanks for sharing Dave!