Kim Batson Recognized with 2021 Excellence in Ministry Award

At the closing session of the 2021 Institute of Children’s Ministry (ICM) on Sunday, November 7, 2021, two individuals were presented with the Kathryn H. Creasy Excellence in Ministry Award. The award, which was first announced at the 2019 ICM, was intended to be an annual award presented at ICM and during International Children’s Ministries’ activities at the biennial International Assembly. With the cancellation of the 2020 Assembly, the award presentation was not able to be made, although the recipient had already been selected.

Below are comments made by International Children’s Ministries Director, Dr. Shaun McKinley, when introducing Kim Batson as one of this year’s recipients:

“Our award recipient is no stranger to ICM, having served on our staff for many Institutes and most recently having helped us successfully coordinate a newer facet of the Institute. She is one of the most active and dedicated children’s ministry directors in our network.

Our second recipient grew up in the home of a pastor where she says she witnessed and learned that ministry was not about title, position, or appointment but rather about seeing and meeting a need. After struggling for many years about what her ministry might be and what it might look like, God revealed something to her from her Bible in Ephesians 4:11. There she noticed the semicolon at the end of the passage which reads, ‘And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists; and some pastors; and teachers;’

She has often shared that her calling, her ministry is in the semicolon. That it doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s and that there are no limits, boundaries, or timelines to her ministry. She has said, “ministry is the courage to run through open doors of opportunity.” And that is precisely what she has done in her ministry involvements that touch children, youth, campers, women, and senior adults.

Her first experience in Children’s Ministry was teaching Sunday School at the local church at the age of 16 and working in camping ministry at the age of 18. That has been 30 years ago. And today, our award recipient, Kim Batson, leads both of those ministries serving as State Children’s Ministry Coordinator and Camping Ministry Coordinator for the Church of God of Prophecy in Tennessee.

Kim’s strategy for developing leaders is simple, to have affordable and relevant training accessible for each local church. One of her favorite ways to train in children’s ministry is to meet one-on-one with local pastors and children’s ministers, to get to know them better and assess their specific needs of ministry. She says the ability to come alongside a pastor and children’s minister to help them to fulfill their vision for ministry is a true honor and privilege.

Over the past 15 years, it is estimated that Kim has trained nearly 2,000 individuals in her state. This does not include her many opportunities to train others in various states and as a member of the International Children’s Ministries Training Team.

When asked what it means to be a leader, Kim shared, ‘A leader is someone that makes those around them better. A leader can see the potential in others before they can see it in themselves. A leader meets people where they are, but they don’t leave them there. They walk with them, side-by-side toward their goals. They care about people. Leaders praise strengths but care enough about others to give constructive feedback that will make them better. Leaders must have a clear vision that invites others along for the journey. Leaders must communicate clear priorities and work side by side with others to achieve success. Leaders take time to invest in others so they may multiply themselves.’

When asked about her ministry vision, Kim said, ‘My vision for ministry is developing leaders that impact children. We must equip, empower, mentor, and develop those that minister to our children each week. I want to put resources in their hands. I want to bring training to their areas. I want to walk alongside of them as they develop their ministry and leadership. I want to be a resource to the local children’s minister and pastor. I want them to know they can achieve their visions and they are not alone in the process.’

One of Kim’s highlights in ministry has been the privilege of mentoring 2 ladies the last 10 years. ‘Their ministry doesn’t look like mine,’ Kim says, ‘it is their unique, divine calling.’

ICM would you help me celebrate another committed leader who is developing leader who impact kids, Kim Batson, also the 2021 recipient of the Kathryn H. Creasy Excellence in Ministry Award.”

Batson received her award to a standing ovation from the audience. To view video of the presentation, click here.