Thursday, February 24, 2011

Children's Pastor v Family Pastor

This is a very interesting read, although again please note the North American context which over and over again I find myself saying does not allow for complete transference across here. Britain is still, on the whole, a nation with one or a few employees per church, not a whole stack of specialisms.

I've been following a bit of a conversation on some US blogs - some churches have children's pastors and some churches have family pastors.

Over here churches tend to have youth workers, children's workers, community workers, children and family workers and (less often) Children's Pastors and (even more rare) what I am, a Children and Family Pastor. Youth and Children's Minister is quite common, with responsibility for those aged 0-18....

Rarer still, I play my part within the context of a team who share many tasks of pastoral care, service planning and vision casting to our volunteers following the elders' lead. I also teach and lead services.

How would you see this kind of role in your church? Does the job title really matter?


  1. " a nation with one or a few employees per church, not a whole stack of specialisms"

    A generation ago churches (in my experience) ran on the basis of a paid employee plus a small army of volunteers who were often stay-at-home parents. They gained their specialisms through a combination of a sense of calling and years of experience.

    The general requirement for two-incomes-per-family (driven both by gender equality and by escalating house prices), has restricted this once-available supply. We may need to revise our congregation size:number of employees ration in a more 'american' direction in order to respond to this.

    However asking people to pay for something they have always got free is hardly an easy sell!

  2. 'ration' is of course a typo
    should read "ratio!"

  3. Just wanted to send a quick note to say that I have noticed a reduction in your posts and I hope that you are ok and it's just due to you being a busy-super-duper-all-round-fabulous-woman-who-loves-to-share-God's-love-with-children-and-families (I think that should be your job title!) x

  4. oh Lindsay, thanks so much for your comment, it's gives a warm glow to read of someone thinking of me :-)
    I have been very busy and have sat down to right a post so many times recently then never finished it!
    A post on spirituality and children is on its way this week and I am determined to write another post that might seem a little controversial that I keep putting off's called "An Open Letter to Parents"...


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