• Keeping Up with the Big Boys

Posted by: kidhelper on Monday, January 28th, 2013

Keeping Up with the Big Boys

My son Ken and his wife Jennifer have four children, ages 8, 6, 4 and 2. The youngest is the girl Geneva. Recently, when I was visiting them in Baltimore, we visited a playground in a park in Annapolis. MD. When it was time to leave we walked quite a way back to the car that was parked more than a 100 yards away. As we walked back I noticed that the closer we got to the car, the more spread out the boys were. Actually, they were walking in order from oldest to the youngest. And there was Geneva. She was trying her best, with those short chubby legs to keep up, she was still trailing dead last. Of course, I was there too, “bringing up the rear.”  It was then, that I noticed just how hard she was working to keep up with her brothers. She was really…“trying to keep with the big boys,” I thought.

I began remembering just how small beginnings work again. When I started out in children’s ministry, I did not have much experience to bring to the table, just a lot of heart and desire to make a difference. I am sure that I was putting more effort than my progress required. I was working really hard, like a rocking chair, a lot of motion and activity, but dubious forward progress. As time went on, I found others who were trying to do what I was doing. Those with more experience and years of service “under their belt” became my models. I began to emulate what they were doing. These guys became the “Big Boys.” I was keeping up with the Big Boys.

Even now the Big Boys are still with us, you know, those national leaders who portend to be the spokesmen and women for our profession. They speak at the national conferences, write blogs and author books. They set the bar higher than our little legs can reach, but they are in front and we still try to catch up.

I have learned from their models, paradigms, and visions, but it is not about working harder, it is working smarter. I have stood on their shoulders. I have built successful programs. I have caught up to them over time. Now, I am not so small anymore. But, I am acutely aware, that for years, I was keeping up with the big boys, now I am one those Big Boys. Some are following me. It feels good.

Here are few of my observations about keeping up with the Big Boys:

1. Your own experience, calling, vision, character, and maturity matters now and later.

2. Program development that meets real needs is always more strategic than copying what someone else if doing.

3. Keep working hard at finding your own stride, your own process and your own identity.

4. Try to experiment with delegating. You will get more done and doing everything yourself, ultimately fails.

5. Allow others to participate in your ministry, to share the load, the process and share results.

6. Be determined to find what works for you. It is always better for you to be following God, than just copying the Big Boys.

7. Some Big Boys are gone now from the scene, not because they got old and died, but because sin disqualified them. Sad, but they are no longer in children’s ministry.

8. There is always someone who will believe in you and stay with you while you bring up the rear. Take their hand and welcome their help.

9. Find those who will walk with you and speak encouragement into your process.

10. Don’t give up, if God has called you, He believes in you and will be with you, even when you do not believe in yourself.

It is a small thing for us to compare ourselves among ourselves, as the manor of some is. Compare yourself only to Christ. You and I rise and fall in His presence (not in the shadow of the Big Boys).

P.S. Oh, by the way, Geneva will eventually catch up to those big brothers of hers. I predict, she will probably pass them up like they are sitting still. Mark my words!

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