This morning, I am one tired children’s pastor. I have every reason to want to crawl back into bed for a few days. Two weeks ago, I oversaw our district Kid’s Camp. And, while it was a great week filled with non-stop activities and life-changing ministry, it was still 5 energy-draining days. After getting home late Friday, we raced through Saturday and Sunday trying to catch up on the work that we’d missed while we were at camp. Then, Monday we drove to Orlando for the General Council of the Assemblies of God. After the Council ended Friday evening, we stayed in Orlando so that Vickie could teach at a conference on Saturday. We made it back home Saturday afternoon, did the service that night, and then the two services on Sunday.
Was adding these two all consuming events to my calendar worth the investment? Yes. Emphatically yes. There were plenty of reasons to not make the investment. Like you, I constantly maintain a schedule that stays too full. It would have been easy to not go to the camp or just send our kids to camp without me going. It would have been easy to allow my calendar to preempt me from going to the General Council. But, early in my ministry, I learned that ministry isn’t governed by ease or convenience. In each of these events, I saw a golden opportunity to invest in relationships.
In today’s hurried lifestyle, we are prone to ignore these types of investments. We have too much to do and too many places to be. Consequently, investing in relationships gets pushed further down our list of priorities. And yet, relationships can yield some of the greatest rewards of ministry.
Investing in relationships is rarely convenient or inexpensive. There is generally a price to be paid. Attending and overseeing a Kid’s Camp is far from being on my Top 10 List of fun activities for the summer. It is hard work. But, the 5 days at camp gave this shepherd the rare opportunity to rub up against my sheep morning, noon, and night. Memories were made in our kid’s lives that will last a lifetime. Being a part of a 35,000 attendee Council was overwhelming. And yet, I renewed so many friendships and nurtured other relationships as we stood and visited at a vendor’s booth or sat a dinner table for a meal that stretched into a 3 1/2 connecting time.
Do yourself a favor. Pick up your telephone right now and connect with another children’s ministry leader in your area. Your relationship doesn’t even have to be a part of your particular “flavor” of Christianity. You’ll thank me for this blog in the days to come!