** Reviewed,  Church Planting

From Playdoh to the Pulpit

I spent close to 10 years in children’s ministry and I LOVED it. I loved the kids. I loved playing games, planning events, and more. I loved teaching kids. I loved seeing kids understand Biblical principles and values, often for the first time. I loved seeing kids learn to love Jesus, to receive the gift of Grace from Jesus, and to start living for Him. I LOVED children’s ministry. But, somewhere along the line God decided it would be a good idea to point me in a different direction.

I still love Kidmin.

Yeah, that’s what us insiders call children’s ministry. See what we did there. Kidmin. Get it? Children’s ministry… kid’s ministry… Kidmin. Yeah, we kidmin types are pretty cool. Whatever you want to call it, I still LOVE ministry to children. I still love all the things listed above and more. Truth is I was completely content to spend the rest of my life in children’s ministry. In fact I was pretty sure that I was going to. So, what do I do when God decides that now it’s time to step out of children’s ministry and into something new. Well, if your smart, you do what God tells you to do.

From playdoh to the pulpit.

Throughout all my ministry I had never really considered that I might be a senior pastor some day. Sadly some people see children’s ministry or youth ministry as simply as step towards the role of senior pastor. It’s a “foot in the door” position for many. It was never that for me. I loved it. It was where I wanted to be. Sure, I enjoyed the few opportunities I had to speak in “big church”, but I was not working my way up to a “real pastor” job. I knew that, for the kids and families I ministered to, I WAS a pastor. Somehow I now find myself spending much less time playing with playdoh and much more time preparing for the pulpit.

Why the change?

Well, I certainly can’t even begin to say why God would chose me for this. All I can say is that He did. As is often the case I can look back and clearly see the path that God lead me down that got me here. It was a gradual change. I wasn’t looking for a change. It was just that the things I felt God saying to me in my study, prayer, and quite times began to change. No longer where they really kidmin focused. They became broader, bigger. Over time it became clear that God was leading me to pastor a church. I still had no aspiration for planting a church, but I came to believe that He was calling me to pastor a church.

Over time He brought me around to the idea of planting a church. I still wasn’t convinced, but I was willing to do what He told me to. You see I remember a story about a guy name Jonah who was given instructions from God and chose not to do them. That whole three days in the belly of a big fish thing didn’t sound like a good fit for me.

So, here I am.

It’s kinda crazy. It’s one thing to think about possibly pastoring a church someday. It’s something completely different to look back and realize that almost four months have passed since God started a new church in your town. What’s even crazier is that He made you the pastor of that new church. God has gone a put a church where there didn’t used to be one and I get to be part of that. Man, it has been a lot of work ,but it has been so much fun. It’s so amazing to see what God has already done and I can’t wait to see what He does next.

What it’s like to make this switch?

I’d love to say that I have all this church planting stuff figured out. Truth is I’m kinda taking it one day at a time. I’m just trying to listen to the guiding of the Holy Spirit and do what I’m told. I’ve been writing on this blog now for several years now. Most of that has been about ministry to children and families. Now that God has changed my direction, I think I need to change the direction of my blog too. So, moving forward I’ll be writing more about my transition from children’s pastor to senior pastor/church planter.

What now?

Kidmin was my first love in ministry. I still have a big heart for ministry to children. I also feel that children’s ministry if a key component in building a healthy church. So, I’ll still be writing about ministry to children and families. My blog has always been an outlet for whatever God has placed on my heart and it still will be. Stay tuned as I share stuff about church planting, kidmin, family ministry, family, and basically whatever is on my heart.

Matt Norman

Thanks for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. To ensure that you never miss a post subscribe using the space on the right side of the screen.

I am a Christian, husband, father, pastor, church planter, nurse, and freelance writer.

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