The senior pastor or administrator refers to the cm as “childcare” or “babysitting.”

Your Question:

“How do I work with a senior pastor or administrator who refers to the children’s ministry as ‘childcare’ or ‘babysitting’?

The Issues:

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.

Scripture Foundation:

“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

Short Answer:

What you might be dealing with is a habit.  It might be that your senior pastor or administrator has adopted this terminology because it is all he/she has known.  It is very difficult to change this terminology because it is so deeply ingrained in his/her psyche. 


Rather than making this issue “personal” with the senior pastor or administrator, make it a “corporate” decision of yours that you propose to the entire church staff.  Do this during a staff meeting.  Say something like, “As I consider how to build a healthier CM that supports everything we do here at our church, I’d like to suggest that we do all we can to change the perspective of the CM by not using the terms “childcare” or “babysitting.”  I’d like to propose that we use the term “children’s ministry” when referring to any time we minister to the children. This would affect what we say in the bulletin, social media, emails, website, and announcements on Sunday morning.” Your proposal will probably stimulate conversation among the staff. You may hear others mocking your proposal.  If needed, respectfully remind them that what happens in the CM is about affecting the lives of children.  You are not just keeping the children “occupied” so the “real” ministry to the adults or youth can happen. 


You might need to refer to Jesus’ statement in Luke 18: 16-17 to underscore God’s view of children.  You will probably have some on the staff who agree with you, while others will be more challenging.  The value of doing this “corporately” is that you avoid personally “attacking” the senior pastor or administrator. 


If the use of “babysitting” or “childcare” is deeply intrenched in the terminology of the church, you may continually “battle” to get people to use the term “children’s ministry.” Don’t get discouraged.  It is a worthy battle!  Eventually, you may see church staff members correct themselves without you saying a thing. 


This “battle” is about the very core of what Jesus said in Luke 18.  It goes way back to what God told Moses in Deuteronomy 6: 4-9 as well.  Stay faithfully consistent in your “battle” for the right terminology.  It is all worth it!


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More help on the “Working With The Senior Pastor or Administrator – APPENDIX” 

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