I’m so excited to be back at the CMConnect Conference again this year. This year I have the honor and privilege of being on the social media team as well as leading a few breakouts. The conference began on Monday evening, and there have been two main sessions as well as a day full of dynamic breakouts so far. If I had to leave tonight, I would have already received so much from the conference, but we still have two more days! A word that keeps standing out to me in the main sessions and breakouts is the word, “community”. Community is important for anyone, but in ministry, it is absolutely essential. Karen Rhodes says, “One of the reasons churches have stopped growing is because we have stopped being a community.” We begin to believe that we are in competition with all of the other churches in our area, instead of coming together as a community to support and take care of each other. Heidi Hensley says, “God designed us for fellowship it’s in our DNA.” God wants our ministries to be in community with others.

3 Ways to Create Community

1. Encourage each other.

Ministry is hard, exhausting, and discouraging sometimes. It can feel like you are all alone during these times if you don’t have a community of other ministry leaders around you. It is amazing how much a small word of encouragement can mean to someone even if it’s only on social media or in a text message. Heidi Hensley nailed it by saying “When you encourage other leaders, you fan their flame for ministry.” Your encouraging words and support might be just what that person needed to keep them from quitting on their ministry. If you want to start receiving encouragement, start by giving it out to others.

2. Pray for each other.

This might seem like a no-brainer, but we should be praying for our friends in ministry. I am on a lot of kid’s ministry facebook groups, and people post prayer needs every day. I have made a commitment to actually pray for people when I comment, “praying ??”I know we might not want to admit it, but we don’t always pray for people when we say we’re going to. Imagine what could happen if we all took the time to pray for each other. When was the last time you asked another ministry leader what they needed prayer for? Go do it right now!

3. Resource each other. 

We need to stop worrying about competing with the other churches in our area, and stop hoarding all of our resources or even worse, throwing them away. If you have resources you are no longer using in your ministry (curriculum, props, decor, anything that might be useful to someone else) share them! I love what Karen Rhodes has to say about resources: “Share your resources because they don’t belong to you, they belongs to the kingdom.” Be a blessing to others by sharing your resources, and you will be blessed in return.

Always remember that we are all on the same team, working towards the same goal of reaching kids and advancing God’s kingdom! Let’s start creating a community that encourages, prays, and resources each other.