“It’s All About Relationships”
CAUCE REFLECTS October 2018
By Debi Mastroni-Kenyon, Director of Faith Formation at the Monroe Congregational Church and Member in Discernment with the Fairfield (CT) East Association
This past August I had the privilege of serving on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in La Plant, South Dakota. Every year, I take some time to go and serve people I have grown to love and care deeply about. This year was a bit different. I was there for an extended time and was able to re-evaluate my service to the Lakota people and form new relationships that will change my ministry with them in the future.
I was also able to read a book that has changed the way I go about my service to the Monroe Congregational Church (MCC) as their Director of Faith Formation. The book is Sustainable Children’s Ministry by Mark DeVries and Annette Safstrom.
It outlines how to establish basic systems (Database, Calendar, Volunteer Recruitment, Outreach Communication, Delegation, etc.) so that I can spend my time visioning and pioneering. You see, I had been going about my ministry at MCC backward. My Christian Education Board would come up with a vision and then I would work to bring it to life instead of the other way around. I have been busy writing articles, taking attendance, even teaching Sunday school and while these are worthwhile activities they are not the best use of my time and resources.
I now have begun anew with my Board with clear boundaries of tasks for myself and a clear understanding of their tasks as well. This also means that there are things I need to let go of. Sometimes things happen and volunteers can’t always do what they volunteer to do and that’s ok.
I jokingly say they should take out the word ‘Children’s’ from the title of the book and ALL church staff and volunteers should read it – maybe there’s a bit of truth in that. We all need to know and do our part so that we can form relationships and bonds with each other so we can share in the love that Christ brings.
To learn more about the book, Sustainable Children’s Ministry or to order:
We invite users of this website to post comments in response to posts published here. In order to maintain a respectful community, we insist that comments be polite, respectful and tolerant of opposing viewpoints. We reserve the right to remove comments that are hostile, hateful or abusive to others, or that constitute personal attacks. In the interest of transparency, we highly recommend that users comment using their full names. For those who feel a need for more anonymity, however, we will allow posts using first names and last initial.