For so many families in today's world, life revolves around the kids. If you have kids, your calendar is probably full of events related to them. And it's certainly not a bad thing that you love your kids and make them important. If you're a parent, think through these questions:
- What are the next 5 things on your personal to-do list?
- Do you change your schedule/plans last minute when your children have something come up?
- Do you plan your days, food, events and outings around your kids?
- Do you remember the last time you went to one of those "nice" restaurants?
- Whom do you spend the most time thinking about? Praying over? Encouraging?
Parents will likely attend church where their kids want to go and, hopefully, where their kids get loved and discipled. As a children's minister, I want your kids to be loved. I want the best for their future. I want the gospel to invade the next generation of leaders. I want churches to reach kids, draw them in, and to equip parents to disciple their children well! I want them to love the time they spend at church so they are excited about showing up and learning about Jesus. So if you want to reach families, engage kids!
Though there are a TON more I could list, here are five reasons why children's ministry at your church matters so much:
1. Kids need a solid spiritual foundation. As humans, we go through stages of life that require different methods of learning. Kids are in a beautiful stage in which they are open to hearing and receptive to truth. They desire to learn because they are in a stage of seeking knowledge. They are curious.
Scripture tells us to build up their foundation, and children's ministry allows us to teach God's truth early in life. We desperately need mature Christians, but before we mature, we need spiritual milk (1 Pet. 2:2). In children's ministry, we seek to build a basic foundation that will produce fruit when it is tested (James 1:3).
2. Kids are the next generation of leaders. Today they seem wild and irresponsible but they will be the next generation of church leaders, community leaders and world changers. And if we pray and seek God's face, they can be even more effective in leadership than our current generation. This is exciting stuff!
How do you stop gossip among believers? Love kids well. How do you get Christian men to love their sisters in Christ? Love kids well. How do you impact the divorce rate among Christian couples? Love kids well. Love them well today and impact a whole generation of adults tomorrow.
3. Kids are learning to form relationships now. Life happens in relationships. Not only is church a great place for your kids to build godly friendships with other kids that can last a lifetime, it's also an opportunity for kids to connect with adults and leaders. This happens through mentoring or disciple-making relationships, often through children's small group leaders who hang out with them every Sunday.
We all need Christ-centered relationships, and the church is best positioned to make these relationships happen in intentional ways.
4. Parents need to be equipped for family discipleship. In children's ministry, I love to teach the gospel, to share God's love, and to see life change. But even more, I desire to see families excited about discipling their kids. We can't stop teaching after a child receives Christ. That special moment is just the beginning of a whole new life.
Afterward, we get to disciple them and deepen their beautiful relationship with Christ. We have the privilege of watching that relationship grow and flourish.
No one is better equipped for the work of discipling children than parents. One of our biggest jobs in children's ministry is to equip parents with the tools and resources to disciple their kids beyond Sundays.
5. Kids need to experience the unconditional love of God through us. As church leaders, we want to share God's love with people. It's our goal every single week! It's simple, it's genuine, and it's radial and life-changing. Encourage your children's ministry volunteers and love them well. They are the life blood of ministry. And as you love those leaders, encourage them to pass that love along to the kids you serve every chance they get. Let's love kids well!
Meredith Chapuis is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University and now serves as Children's Ministry Director at Grace Hills Church, a new purpose-driven church plant in Northwest Arkansas. She recently co-founded BE:Kids, a ministry that equips parents and families for discipleship at home with free devotionals and other resources, including the BE:Box, available on a monthly subscription basis and filled with everything a family needs for amazingly fun at-home discipleship.
For the original article, visit pastors.com.
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