3 Reasons to Pursue Credentials

Why Kidmin Leaders Should Get Credentialed

by Josh Dryer / September 7, 2017

Kidmin leaders across the nation are as diverse as the cultures represented within the borders of our country. From church to church, kids’ ministry is different in how it’s carried out and led. In kids’ ministry, there are full-time, part-time, volunteer, and other workers. We have leaders with 30-plus years of experience (or more), and there are probably Kidmin leaders with just 30 minutes of experience. No matter who is leading or what our kids’ ministries look like, we should all have the same goal in mind: pointing kids to Jesus.

With such an important goal and purpose, Kidmin pastors should be well prepared and equipped to spiritually direct kids. One way of being well prepared is to pursue credentialing with the Assemblies of God. Maybe you have considered getting your credentials, and maybe you haven’t thought about it. Here are three reasons why being credentialed could help you reach your goals in ministering to kids.

1) Credentialing furthers your education.

I grew up in church and felt like I knew a lot about the Bible. I knew the stories, the people, key verses, etc. But when I went through my AG district’s school of ministry and then on to Bible college, it was as if I left the shallow end of spiritual growth and jumped off the diving board in the deep end.

I was learning and gaining knowledge I would have never thought was important. In the seven years I’ve been a kids pastor, I’ve seen how a better understanding of leadership, biblical literacy, theology, ethics, and administrative development have prepared me to lead and pastor.

Does everyone have to go to Bible college to further their biblical education? No! As leaders, pastors, or lay people, we should strive to be life-long learners. If we become stagnant, we will lessen our ability to lead others. Below are three ways that becoming credentialed will help you continue to grow as a leader and help you lead more effectively.

2) Credentialing assists in showing yourself approved.

2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (ESV).

Outside the church world, and certainly in the educational world, almost everyone who works with kids must have some sort of certification or degree. This proves to the employer that the person has taken the appropriate steps to be educated and trained sufficiently to pass on the information.

Now that’s not to say someone who hasn’t been credentialed is not qualified to teach kids. Credentialing does not qualify you. Being called by God qualifies you, and credentialing is a significant way of showing yourself trained and prepared to minister.

As Kidmin leaders we are helping kids lay the foundation of their relationship with God and understanding of who He is. For us to help them lay a firm and unshakable foundation, we need to be well grounded in our understanding and interpretation of the Bible. If we are unprepared and don’t have the depth of knowledge to pass on, we will see later that the kids in our care are ill-prepared.

I have a quote by Charles Spurgeon hanging in my office to remind me of the responsibility I have as a kids’ pastor to correctly teach kids. It states, “If you teach the child wrongly, he believes you; if you teach heresies, he will receive them; what you teach him now, he will never forget.”

3) Credentialing raises the value of the position of Kidmin leader.

Over the years, the selection of children's ministry staff has been less deemed less important than the hiring for other church positions. The church has taken big steps in this area, but we still have a long way to go. Kids’ leaders around the nation can help other leaders see the value and show the importance of the role by seeking credentials.

When we take steps to further our education and understanding of the Bible, and take the teaching of kids as serious as it should be, together we can change the perception of what a kids’ ministry leader should be.

Credentialing doesn’t qualify you for ministry; the call of God does. Credentialing, however, will help you deepen your understanding, show yourself approved, and raise the value of Kidmin in your local church.

If you are not credentialed and want to be, you may be concerned about funds and/or the time required to obtain this important designation. But there are some very doable options now available. Connect with your lead pastor or your district office for best credentialing options available to you.