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52 Godly Men : Men of Today Teaching the Men of Tomorrow » My Journey » Week 6: Reaching Children

Week 6: Reaching Children

Pastor Chris Knipp

Pastor Chris Knipp

I have always envisioned the job of a children’s pastor. He drives to work, spends a few hours on his sermon, talks with a few parents, and then goes back home. Actually, probably the biggest lesson I learned while with Pastor Chris Knipp was that I couldn’t have been more wrong.

The main thing we did today was to work on setting up the program for Resurrection Sunday, since it is just around the corner, but first Pastor Chris showed me his smartphone. You see, he gets a lot of messages and e-mails from people, but because of his iPhone, he can check  and send e-mails without even touching his computer. He can also write down ideas for different events, and with holidays celebrations, retreats, musicals, parties, and whatnot, he has to write down a ton.

After that, one of the things that he had to do was to choose the type of bag that the church would be using for their Resurrection Sunday program. He let me watch him as he compared the prices (a big part of ministry is learning how to wheel and deal), and then he found one that he liked. So we discussed colors along with his wife Paula for some time, and we finally decided to go with a black design on a yellow bag.

By then it was lunchtime, so we all went out to eat at Quizno’s (it was my first time, but hopefully not my last).  During our time there, I had the ability to ask him some questions. I asked why he decided to be a pastor, and he said that he and Paula had always felt called toward the ministry; they just weren’t sure which division. But if you look at yourself and see what  talents God has given to you, it will become clear.

Also, I asked him whether or not he ever feels like it’s just not worth being a children’s pastor. He said that because children don’t always voice their gratitude to you, it sometimes feels a bit futile and hairy; he said that if you are not called by God to be a pastor, it might be frustrating, because you have to do it for the pay-off, not the paycheck . But he has worked with kids all of his life, so that is not a problem for him.

Next, I asked what some of his wisest/unwisest decisions have been. He said that following God and his calling was the wisest, and first place for the unwisest was when he gave the van keys to a middle school student while on a trip (the student locked the van, left the keys in the cup holder, and they had to get somebody to unlock the van for them). Second place was when they let the youth group play a game of capture-the-flag in their three story church while a group of elderly ladies were conducting a Bible class on one of the floors (and now let us turn in our Bibles to >BOOM< >BOOM< >CRASH<). Yeah- not good. They loved playing the game, especially during lock-ins; it’s just with all the running and hiding, Chris would actually have to go through and take doors off their hinges to prevent broken fingers.

The Heart Of The Printing Company

The Heart Of The Printing Company

By then, we were finished with lunch, so we rode over to a printing company to decide on how we wanted the Resurrection Sunday shirts to look. They had a lot of cool patterns, but we finally decided on black shirts and white emblems with blue edges. Pastor Chris and Mrs. Paula settled how many shirts they wanted to buy, all of the costs, and then we left. We returned back to the church to brainstorm a bit on some of the details, and then pastor Chris showed me how to work ProPresenter, which is basically how to control all of the songs and videos that play on the screen. He invited me to start working in the sound booth doing that stuff, because his other worker is going to quit soon.

It was very obvious to me that Chris has a definite routine to his work day; he didn’t just pick things willy-nilly. He also went out of his way to be nice to me, and he showed respect for my input while we were making decisions during the day. He is a very strong man of God, and I’m very glad he is working with the kids here at church. He didn’t do any of the things I thought he would do, but it was a great learning experience for me.

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