With limited resources to staff a church, I am going to staff for children and teenagers. A mistake I believe mid-size churches make is hiring staff for adults, then using volunteers to be the department leaders for children and youth ministry. While I have high respect for volunteers who are department leaders in churches with no staff budget, that respect doesn’t change my opinion. When having the choice between staff for adults or kids, choose kids.
People will put up with mediocre ministry to adults if their kids are fulfilled. If you have the slickest and deepest ministry for adults, but the kids are not being ministered to, that family’s future with the church is in jeopardy. An effective children’s and youth ministry engages adults in ministry, which disciples and creates community for all ages groups.
At CIL, all of our paid staff have significant roles in children’s and youth ministry. As we grow, more specialized staff for adults will emerge. Still, I believe the growth we will experience to bring future staff is a result of our current emphasis on children and youth. I’ve always believed this, and I’m see it work at CIL!