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(ate) Words Every Leader Should Know – Motiv(ate)

In Teacher Training by Rev. Daniel Autrey194 Comments

The (ate) Words Every Leader Should Know

Word 1: Motiv(ate)

Motivate- To provide something (as a need or desire) that causes a person to act

In the next few posts, I will highlight certain words and principles I believe every leader whether a children’s pastor or not should know.  In Daniel’s translation, motivate simply means to light a fire in others.  We have all had the experience of working with a leader who had the intensity and fervor of a turtle. It’s no fun serving where there is no vision.  According to Proverbs 29:18- “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” People want to be a part of something great. They desire to be a part of a group that is going places and we, as leaders, can either hinder or heighten our group’s God-given desire to do great things.

We, as Children’s Directors and Pastors, have the job and privilege to shape the direction and future of not only the children we serve, but just as importantly, the teachers, helpers and other leaders that serve in our departments.  The revelation I have received is that I can’t do everything myself, and even if I could, I don’t want to! There are so many others that work in our department that are more creative, organized and funnier than me.  I have decided we can be more productive if I invest my time motivating and directing my leaders. I have seen church and secular leaders who tried to fulfill every job in their department by themselves.  Let me tell you, it’s funny to watch!  I have seen church leaders be the piano player, main singer, announcement person, door greeter, preacher and just about anything else you can imagine.  It’s like they were a chicken running around with their head cut off!  Now of course, we must be willing to do whatever it takes to run a successful service and program, but we could be one hundred times more effective if we would get others on board.  If we would spend our time motivating, teaching, equipping and preparing others, they could take over some responsibilities that is taking all of our time AND they will probably do a better job than us!

One example:  I spent months telling the children of our church I want them to go down to the altar when it’s time to pray.  I had felt like this was something God put on my heart so I stressed, begged and pleaded with them to always go to the altar. It was my desire to see them involved in the adult’s services as well as our children’s services.  I saw some results with this, but I began to realize if I would spend the same energy stressing my desire to see the children praying and being involved in church services to the teachers, helpers and other leaders in our department, we could accomplish so much more.  Think of the impact my message would have on the kids coming from 30 other adults rather than just myself.  So I did everything I knew how to motivate the teachers and ministers working in our department to inspire them to help me make this happen.  I asked them to remind kids they sit around in services to go to the altar and let me tell you, we have seen such a revival in the children of my church!  The children are responding so well in services.  There is a section in our altar where are kids have naturally taken over.  It’s their altar space and what’s better, our church now knows and sees the importance of the children being in the altar.  Also, some leaders who had never whole-heartedly involved themselves in services began to respond in services like never before.  Yes, I could have kept mentioning it to the kids, but I realized I had the resource of 30 other adults ready to be used. I just had to share the direction God had given me with my team!  They could accomplish a whole lot more than I ever could alone.  And what’s more, it creates such a unity amongst you and your team members.

Something I forgot to mention is that motivation starts with YOU. I’m not talking about false hype and a short burst of enthusiasm.  I’m talking about a God-given drive.  You must get a hold of God!  I could have some cool ideas and plans, but unless I hear from God and feel certain of the direction He wants to take me and those I lead, all I am doing is being a cheerleader for a social club. Once we know we have heard from God, it’s easy to be fired up and help motivate others!  There are so many leaders who have no motivation and direction for themselves let alone their departments and churches they serve because they haven’t received a continual fresh touch from God.  It’s so important to spend time every day seeking that fresh touch of the Holy Ghost.  We must realize God has big plans for His church!  He has great things in store and if you’re in a position of leadership, you get the awesome privilege to help carry His plans out.

So, step one: Let God motivate YOU!  You can’t give what you don’t have so you have to make sure you are connected to God so you can share with your team what God has given you.  Do whatever it takes to find the will of God!  Spend time in fasting and prayer. Continually seek direction for yourself, your leadership team and the children you serve.  Step two: well, that’s another (ate) word we will look at soon- Communic(ate)…


  1. Excellent advice! That is so true that one person can’t do it all. By sharing your ministry with others you are helping them grow and empowering them. I love the way you and Lacy have such focus and passion for God–not to mention your burden for Children’s ministry. It is contagious! 🙂

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