Recently, I had the privilege of speaking to more than 400 Filipino children's ministry pastors, coordinators and volunteers at our annual Victory National Kids Ministry Summit. The delegates came to Island Cove from fifty Philippine cities, plus Singapore, Cambodia and Dubai.
My topic was the “why” of kids ministry. I told some stories, read some Bible verses, and asked four questions. Here are the Bible verses and questions:
Are we bringing kids to church or to Jesus? Getting kids to church is a good start, but it is only a start. The goal is to get them to Jesus. Let’s not be like the disciples in Mark 10:13 who completely missed the point: "People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them" (NIV).
Jesus valued kids ministry ... do we? Jesus thought it was pretty important that the kids were getting close to him. The disciples saw no value in ministering to kids, so they tried to stop it with a rebuke. “When Jesus saw this, he was indignant…” (Mark 10:14) “Indignant” is a Bible word for “really ticked off.”
What are we doing that hinders children from coming to Jesus? Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these” (Mark 10:14, emphasis mine). I’m afraid we inadvertently do much that hinders children from coming to Christ.
What can we learn from children? Jesus not only allowed children to come to him, he honored them by making them the example for all to follow. “Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Mark 10:15).
If we seriously ask and answer these four questions, the result will be verse 16. “And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.”
Jesus desires to take our children in his arms and bless them. Often, the only thing preventing this is our sorry attitude towards kids ministry.
Steve’s blogs can be found at stevemurrell.com.
Steve and Deborah Murrell went to the Philippines in 1984 for a “one month” summer mission trip that never ended. They are the founding pastors of Victory Manila, one church that meets in 14 locations in Metro Manila and has planted churches in 60 Philippine cities and 20 nations. Currently, Victory has more than 6,000 discipleship groups that meet in coffee shops, offices, dormitories and homes in Metro Manila. Steve is cofounder and president of Every Nation Churches & Ministries, a family of churches focused on church planting, campus ministry and world missions.