The Senior Pastor or Administrator Doubts children’s salvation.
“How do I work with a senior pastor or administrator who doubts children’s salvation?
You have been hired to serve under, and support, this senior pastor or administrator. This doesn’t mean that you must agree with everything he stands for, but it does mean that you must be respectful while carefully expressing your own views.
“Jesus called the children to him and said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it’” Luke 18:16-17
It is important to understand the senior pastor or administrator under whom you serve! If your senior pastor or administrator has made statements that indicate his views that children cannot accept Jesus, nor develop a personal relationship with Him, it would be good to respectfully make an appointment to hear more about his views.
He has hired you to lead the children’s ministry, but how does he define “leading”? Does he view your position as an administrator only? Does he feel that the children’s ministry cannot include any spiritual teaching? These perceptions on your part are probably not completely accurate. The best way to understand what the senior pastor or administrator believes is to schedule a meeting during which you ask questions and listen carefully. It might be that the senior pastor or administrator has never considered the concept of children’s salvation from your perspective. It could be that God has brought you to serve under him in order to teach him.
We don’t naturally consider “teaching” a senior pastor or administrator. We, in children’s ministry often feel like the senior pastor or administrator knows everything, and we are there to learn from him/her. Although it is probably true that the senior pastor or administrator has been in ministry longer than you have, and that he/she has more formal education that perhaps you have, but it may not be an accurate perspective to assume that he knows everything about ministering to children.
When you ask him/her for an appointment, clarify that you want to understand his/her views about child evangelism so that you can better support him/her. If you make this purpose plain, he/she will probably be glad to schedule a meeting with you.
At the meeting, ask him/her to tell you his/her views about leading children to the Lord. Make this a very open question, then listen to his/her answers. Remember, the purpose of this first meeting is to listen, not to criticize or try to change his/her views. In the course of your conversations, he/she may ask you what you believe. Carefully share your views, and ask God to show you similarities with his/her views. Ask him/her to tell you how he/she wants you to handle children who want to accept Jesus, or become Christians. If you can identify a process, this will give you a good “starting point” for your CM evangelism plans.
The senior pastor or administrator may want everything to “go through” the parents. This is a very biblical plan! This is what God told Moses in Deuteronomy 6:4-9. If your senior pastor or administrator believes that children simply can’t understand enough about God’s love or God’s offer of salvation until they become teens, you have a larger challenge that may require more meetings. In your conversations, keep asking him/her for suggestions about how to handle situations. Agree with him/her about the seriousness of leading a child to the Lord. Agree with him/her about his/her desire to support the parents as they lead their own children to the Lord. Challenge him/her to give you guidance about how to deal with children who want to become Christians, and whose parents either don’t attend the church, or aren’t Christians themselves.
Your “job” is to broaden his/her awareness of the situations that you may face in the CM. Ask him/her to help you deal with the challenges you know you will face in light of Jesus’ comments about not hindering children from coming to Him (Luke 18: 16-17). Make this series of conversations a mutual “quest” to build a process within the CM that satisfies the calling that God has placed on his/her heart, while also fulfilling the ”Great Commission” (Matthew 28: 19, 20), and supporting the parents’ desire to lead their children to Jesus.