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Sep 06

A Case for Children’s Ministries with Faithful Friday Link Up

It is sadly one of the more overlooked ministries of the church.

I have worked in children’s ministries for more than half my life and I now serve as the children’s ministries coordinator for my church.  What I have witnessed over the years is not only a lack of interest in children’s ministries, but a severe lack of vision for children as a whole.

Cookie-cutter programs filled with boring games, art projects that end up in the trash, and stories that are often irrelevant to the culture children face today do little to lay the sturdy foundation children will need to face a level of peer pressure my generation could never be able to comprehend.

It was while reading the first chapter of George Bara’s bookTransforming Children Into Spiritual Champions: Why Children Should Be Your Church’s #1 Priority that I began to get a small glimpse into what my children will likely face.  He explains – according to recent statistics – that the vast majority of children will at least experiment with risky behavior: alcohol, drugs, illicit sex, etc.

That left me stunned!  I literally could not read further. The thought that my tender 3 ½ year old and almost 2 year old would one day experiment with drugs, engage in illicit sex, or come home drunk was literally too much for me to take in.

As I sat at my table, staring at the words glaring back at me from my Kindle, it suddenly became clear to me that today’s children lose their innocence far too early!  Today’s grade school children are more street wise than I was in high school.  And it grieves me more than I can describe to think that I will have to somehow prepare my children for that.  I suddenly wanted to turn back the clock 40 – 50 years and raise my children in an era where my children can remain innocent longer!

ros

Photo Credit ~ Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

One of the best ways we can minister to our children is to view children through the same lens that Jesus viewed children.

 When the disciples turned the children away because they were bothersome, Jesus rebuked his disciples and received the children. Let us ask ourselves, what our motive is behind having a children’s ministry in our church. Is it to get the bothersome children out of the church service or to provide them a place where they can encounter Jesus on their level?  And are they truly having a living and lasting encounter with Jesus?

Jesus also said it would be better that one have a millstone tied around our neck and that we be cast into the sea than to cause a little one to stumble – or sin. Certainly we are living in a world of those who cause little ones to sin every day.

Jesus’ perspective on children was forward thinking.

He invested in them. He valued them.

He did not view them as bothersome.  He didn’t consider them “the church of tomorrow”.

With Jesus’ perspective, we can create a ministry for children that truly ministers to them; that invests in them, and that arms them with spiritual weaponry that will protect them from a world of entrapments that threaten to alienate them from their Heavenly Father.

Do you work in children’s ministries?  May I encourage you to fall on your face and seek a vision from the throne of God? After you have received a vision for those precious children, begin laying out goals that will enable you to accomplish that vision.  Finally, begin to formulate a program for them that will engage them and bring them to a place where they can experience Jesus.

Children’s ministries should never be boring.  Children’s ministries should never be endured.  Children’s ministries should never be only fun.  Children’s ministries should be one of the first places a child encounters Jesus!

Children can and should experience Jesus on a deep level. Children’s ministries can and should create an atmosphere that fosters that desire in them.

By doing so, you partner with the parents in your church in laying a durable foundation that will support them as they venture out into a world that seeks to “offend”, and will ensure that they successfully withstand the storms of peer pressure with their structure firmly in place.

rosilindsiggie

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10 comments

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  1. Mel Caldicott

    What a fabulous post! We moved churches recently after a long time of praying and agonising over whether we should or not and part of the reason was that the quality of the children’s work at our old church wasn’t great. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great. Our children were becoming disillusioned about the relevance of their faith and they weren’t being inspired or challenged.

    I think the point you made about kids growing up too quickly was so right. One of the things we are intentional about as parents is that our kids hold onto being innocent children who enjoy playing and using their imaginations as long as possible.

    Thanks for sharing at Essential Fridays.
    Blessings
    Mel from Essential Thing Devotions
    Mel Caldicott recently posted..Little Words of Encouragement & Essential Fridays #13My Profile

    1. simplyhelpinghim

      It is hard to find a church that has an in depth children’s ministry. Most of the ones that I have seen recently are more like daycare. It is sad that we are missing the opportunity to raise our children in God’s word, it is imperative to do so in order for them to live for the Lord their entire lives. Thank you for stoppin by! Blessings!

  2. Nancy@ThereIsGrace

    A great post! We are blessed to attend a church with an EXCELLENT kids’ ministry. We volunteer, and the children’s directors are good friends of ours. The kids are taught the Word and disciple but in such a fun way. My kids have been dramatically impacted by the ministry there. I think kids ministry is a HUGE part of any church! Thank you for sharing.
    Nancy@ThereIsGrace recently posted..Letter To A Teenage BoyMy Profile

    1. simplyhelpinghim

      Our kids are the future of Christianity and our churches. It is so important to teach and disciple them correctly. What a blessing it is to have a great kids’ ministry. Thank you for stoppin by! Blessings!

  3. Debbie @ http://kidsbibledebjackson.blogspot.com/

    Thanks so much for hosting!

    1. simplyhelpinghim

      You’re very welcome! Thank you for stoppin by to link up! Blessings!

  4. Joanne Viola

    I volunteer in our children’s ministry due to the very statistics you shared. Although my children are grown, I want to invest into the lives of my grandchildren & the children of other families in our church. There truly has been no greater joy than developing relationship with these children! May we realize the importance of raising up that next generation! Thank you for this beautiful post. And for hosting the link up :)
    Blessings,
    Joanne
    Joanne Viola recently posted..RedMy Profile

    1. simplyhelpinghim

      It really is an amazing investment in children’s lives to take the time to teach them and point them to Christ. It can be a challenge, but a blessing as well! Thank you for stoppin by! Blessings!

  5. momstheword

    I do work in children’s ministries. I have pretty much worked with children since I was 19, and continued to do so after I got married. My hubby and I taught a children’s Sunday School class together before we got married, and then for seven years after we got married. And I taught many, many years before (and after that).

    I’m still involved in the nursery (I’m the coordinator) and I work in Awana as well. Our whole family does. Well, our children and I do. Hubby comes but he doesn’t teach. He’s a pastor and so he comes and visits club and hangs around in his office in case any parents or anyone wants to chat with him.

    I teach a women’s Sunday School class now and hubby co-teaches an adults class as well.

    I LOVE teaching children. They are so precious and they are so in earnest and eager to learn. When they’re older, it is still a joy to listen to them and chat with them! I have taught all ages but I think that the younger ages are my favorite!

    I cannot see your link up and I don’t know if it’s on your end or on my end. Hopefully my computer isn’t going wacko, lol!
    momstheword recently posted..Lazy Mom Packs For A MoveMy Profile

    1. simplyhelpinghim

      Somehow the code in my link up wasn’t there early that morning. I’m not sure what happened to it :/ I too have always been involved in children’s ministries. When I was younger with little ones, I felt as Rosilind described, that they didn’t feel like I could handle anything else other than kids. As I’ve “grown up” I know that it is a tremendous blessing and calling to work with little ones. Thank you for stopping by! Blessings!

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