Why I Destroyed My Kids Ministry Stage

SLAM Stage

This past Sunday, at the end of our Kids Ministry service, I had over 50 volunteers grab sledgehammers, jigsaws, and various other power tools – then DESTROYED my Kids Ministry stage.  We did this even though we had one of the coolest, most colorful, thrilling Kids Ministry stages out there.  In fact, when other Kids Pastors learned I was destroying it – they couldn’t believe it!  They said, “Why would you want to do this?  Kids Pastors come from all over the country to check out your stage.  It is overwhelmingly powerful in its presentation.  It’s something that most of US would KILL to have!  Why would you destroy it?”

You’ve heard the expression, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” Here’s the problem with that.  In ministry, oftentimes something has been broke long before we ever get the memo.  We can become so in love with our own creations that we are not willing to move on when the time is right.

We had built this stage over 10 years ago.  It has been and still was IMPRESSIVE to new parents and children who came to our church.  The problem is – the kids have gotten used to it.  It is no longer impressive to the 600 kids who attend my church on a given weekend.  There are many other practical reasons we are making the change – more than what I will have time to get into on this blog.  My point is, I had to be willing to give up what was GREAT for what is BEST.  Often, in ministry, we are slow to make these decisions.  We allow our own connectedness to something, the opinions of outsiders, and the fear of change to cheat us out of new opportunities.

Effective Kids Ministry Leaders QUESTION EVERYTHING! 

Effective Kids Ministry Leaders are constantly questioning the status quo.  They don’t settle for “what’s always been done.”  They never say, “That’s the way we’ve always done it.”  They are constantly questioning methods, practices, and strategies to ensure they are taking the best possible approach.

Be willing to question EVERYTHING in your ministry – even the things that you think are going wonderfully!  If you don’t have a habit of questioning the methods and strategies in your ministry, you may be so oblivious that something may be broke and you’re convinced it’s never been better.

ASK YOURSELF:  “What area in my ministry has it been a long time since I have questioned its effectiveness?”

(check out the time-lapse video of the demolition of our stage.  These incredible volunteers completed the job in only four hours.  WOW!)

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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20 thoughts on “Why I Destroyed My Kids Ministry Stage

  1. Brian,

    I love the time-lapse of the deconstruction! We are about to do some renovations on our main stage, and we are going to time lapse it – can you find out for me what the interval was for the photos taken? Thanks!

    And, relevant question to your main point – When do you involve others in your evaluation of programs/ministries/events at your church, and when do you go solo on the eval?

    • Hey Aaron! I am always asking for input. I definitely want evaluation so we can always be moving forward. However, there are times when others think we should “stay” when I know in my gut we should “move.” I have to pray, then follow my gut. As the leader, I realize I have to be willing to kill something that is ineffective – or is not as effective as it can be. Also – if you want a SWEET and EASY time lapse video: this is the software we used. It’s free! http://gawker.sourceforge.net/Download.html

  2. We of course need to be in tune with the times trends what works what doesn’t
    What is mist important is never lose sight of purpose, we have a story that we need to share to those who need to know.
    Old school maybe (I teach at Bible clubs after school and don’t get the extras it would be nice of course but what I know is the kids come to hear I hope to see you at CPC next week

  3. We’re changing our name… I know… not quite as drastic as a stage, but we’ve been called Journey Kidz for way too long (and spelling Kids with a ‘z’ is just wrong).

    Can’t wait to see the new set.

    • Well, it all depends on your definition of “inexpensive” and “big”, of course. 🙂 When we built this stage ten years ago, we did it ourselves. We have a lot of incredibly talented carpenters in our church. They came up for three Saturdays straight and built it. Then, we had some artists/painters in our church volunteer the following Saturday to come paint the whole thing. Did the entire stage for under $30,000, including the sound and video equipment. That was ten years ago.

        • We framed it with lumber (no real cost cutting ideas for ya, sorry), then covered it in styrofoam, painted it with “foam coat” to harden it, then painted it with stage paint. Again, it was ten years ago – so not sure I can give much on cost-cutting measures that would even matter.

  4. So what are you doing in the mean time? meaning. Where are you meeting? What are you going to do. Next blog post talk about the joys of sharing space with your other team members. I am dong remodel in which I have currently displaced my resource room and large group kids ministry. I learned this is a bad idea. What are you learning?

    • In the meantime, we have no stage. 🙂 Doing Kids Church Service on a flat concrete floor the next several weeks while we do some repair on walls, flooring, and paint. New stage install is the week of Feb 26 – new stage unveils March 2. No shared space, thank the Lord!