When Beginning A new cm leadership position – How to support the current cm team

Your Question:

“I am directing a CM that hasn’t had a CM director before me.  How do I minister to those currently serving in the CM?”

The Issues:

The current CM team IS the children’s ministry!  You can assume that they are faithful servants who understand the vision and purpose of their service (even though the CM vision may not yet be formally stated).  To assume that they feel supported is a dangerous assumption.  The belief that they won’t quit the ministry is also a risky belief. Quick action that indicates your support and thankfulness for their service is imperative! Failure to express this appreciation may result in some current CM team members leaving during your transition!

Scripture Foundation:

“For the body does not consist of one part, but of many. … But in fact, God has arranged the members of the body, every one of them, according to His design. If they were all one part, where would the body be? …the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts we consider less honorable, we treat with greater honor. …its members should have mutual concern for one another. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.”  1Corinthians 12: 14-26

Short Answer:

Since you have been hired to lead a CM that hasn’t had a formal leader in the past, your hiring may produce relief in some current CM team members, or it may produce “suspicion” in the minds of those who have enjoyed the freedom of serving without a “nosey” leader. 


Hopefully, you have been formally introduced to the current CM team by the senior pastor or another church leader who is respected by those serving on the CM team.  If you weren’t formally introduced, you may find yourself “swimming upstream” to gain the respect of some of the current CM team members.


If you haven’t been formally introduced, a good idea might be to schedule an all-team CM appreciation lunch or dessert. The time that works best for most people is right after the Sunday morning services.  Since you’ll probably have to deal with children, and you want all of your CM team present, you might make this a “family event” and welcome all children of the CM team members.  If you do this, you “solve” the “What are we to do with the children?” challenge, but you also shift the length of the gathering to a much shorter time.  This is okay because it doesn’t take very long to make a good impression and introduce yourself to the team.


During this short (less than an hour) time with the current CM team, you should validate how much you appreciate their service, share some short information about yourself, and give a short talk about your vision for the CM. 


Beyond this gathering, you should also employ the “MBWA” principle.  This principle finds its roots in the world of business management, but it applies to ministry as well.  The letters stand for “Ministry By Walking Around.” This principle reflects the power of your presence during services, instead of just sitting in your office.  After the “rush” of check-in at the beginning of the service, spend time in the CM hallways and “pop” in to each room.  You may not make it around to each room, but make sure to complement each CM team member as much as possible.


You may encounter team members facing challenges or team members who need something special that day.  “MBWA” provides time for you to pray with team members and to listen to their needs.  Do all you can to provide immediate help to the team members who need it. Do all you can to provide the supplies the team members need to be successful. 


These are just a few ideas to support your current CM team right away.  For more ideas, click on the links below.

Visit other articles in the “Leading The Ministry” APPENDIX

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Support those who serve on your children's ministry team