An article for children and student pastors:

Every weekend my family lives at church. Elevation has ten locations, so my kids have several “home away from homes.” The pace of life as an Elevation staff member is faster than most. As a husband and wife team, we rarely have a day free of at least some sort of commitment.


We love it. My kids do TOO!


Being a staff kid at Elevation is a huge honor. From limited trading cards in eKidz to monogrammed beach towels for the pool, my kids feel as if they are a part of an exclusive society. A group of people whose parents have committed their lives to expand God’s Kingdom. A tribe of friends that understand the highs and lows of growing up in a life of ministry.


It’s been a priority since the beginning. Pastor Steven has long said he wants a church his children will want to grow up in and a ministry they desire to be a part of.


As a staff, we make exceptions for our kids. Many staff kids serve in a volunteer role at a younger age. They eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner in volunteer headquarters, a privilege normally reserved for adults, and they are given the coveted acrylic name badge, which prominently proclaims their elite status as a staff kid. Pastor Steven hosts incredible holiday events for staff families, and every summer staff kids are invited to a one-week event called Camp Juggernaut, where they will play hard and learn exactly what it means to live a life of impact.


It may go against everything you’ve been taught in ministry, but here goes…show preferential treatment to staff kids. Make intentional exceptions that convey how much you value them. Treat them as the next generation of church staff and watch what happens. They just might start to believe it themselves.


Still need proof…last week my seventh grader asked me this question, “What comes first, college or internship?” It’s not a question of whether he’s going to be on staff one day. It’s an assumption.


How does your church go above and beyond to make staff kids feel special?


Jessica Bealer


Jessica Bealer has been leading children’s ministry for 17 years. The last five years have been spent overseeing standards, systems, staffing and atmosphere for the children’s ministry of Elevation Church. She has overseen the launch of nearly twenty locations, and is considered a specialist in kidmin multisite. Jessica is a mother of four and published author. She is married to Frank, the CEO of Phase Family Centers and Executive Director of Leadership Development at Orange. Together they are the founders of FamilyMinistry.Church.

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

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4 thoughts on “Staff Kids = EXCEPTIONS

  1. As someone who takes care of staff kids as babies and toddlers, I totally agree. As little ones, Sunday is a long day for them, so I encourage everyone to give them extra love. So what if their age group doesn’t nap, because the other children are only there for one worship experience. They will be going home soon and can nap there. Staff kids are there way before and usually for some time after ALL the experiences. They still need what every little one needs – naps, snacks, meals, play and love – and on my watch they will get all of that and anything else they need. Their parents know they only need ask and I will make it happen. I consider it an honor and privilege to love on and care for ALL the Elevation kids, but especially the staff kids, because without their parents, Elevation would not be the amazing place it is for EVERYONE to grow. I am grateful for the opportunity to show them how much love there is at Elevation.

  2. I love loving on your kids – just seeing Isaac fills my heart with joy because it is so very evident that his heart is full of the joy of the Lord. Thankful for all the Bealers!

  3. Love this post it’s so true at times I as a church leader have looked at raising my kids in the ministry as a hardship not a blessing I want to do everything I can to help them see what a privilege it is to have this calling on our lives and serve as a family in ministry.
    I would love to hear more about camp juggernaut! Love the idea of doing something special for all of our staff kids, letti them know how loved and treasured they are.