God created us for relationship with one another and with Him. When we model faith for kids, they are more likely to grasp it for themselves.

What is informational discipleship and what is transformational discipleship? And why is the distinction important?

While both are important in ministry, our focus should lean toward transformational.

Informational discipleship is focused on delivering content to children. This is having a focus on Bible stories, character qualities, and spiritual truth. All of these things are important and necessary in ministry.

However, if we stop there, we are only giving information. It’s simply not enough.

Transformational discipleship is focused on relational investment first, then delivery. You see, relationship allows for real-life interactions that give us space to journey together. For example, we can teach about grace, forgiveness, and the power of the Holy Spirit. But when a child not only hears it, but sees it in action, then the potential for transformation is multiplied.

That’s not to say that God is not in Himself sufficient, because He is.

But He created us for relationship with one another and with Him. When we model faith for kids (instead of just telling them about faith), they are more likely to grasp it for themselves.

So, take the time and ask yourself: Am I only practicing informational or am I also practicing transformational discipleship?

4 Ideas for Taking Ministry from Informational to Transformational

1. Live Transformed

Be transformed by the Spirit and walk with Him. And expect your leaders to do so as well.

Ministry should flow from a transformed life. We should be characterized by a deep and abiding relationship with Jesus. And a commitment to being in the Word and praying should be lifelong, non-negotiable practices.

It’s so important that we depend on the Holy Spirit in our lives, our teaching, and in every interaction. He should be evident. It is by Him that we are able to live transformed as we help point others to Him.

Making an Impact in Your Children’s Ministry

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There are moments in every leader’s journey that defines whether they move forward or give up. Things happen, life gets hard, and opportunities come and go. Download this guide to be encouraged in your leadership walk with the Lord!
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There are moments in every leader’s journey that defines whether they move forward or give up. Things happen, life gets hard, and opportunities come and go. Download this guide to be encouraged in your leadership walk with the Lord!
Free Guide

2. Create a Relational Culture in Ministry

The culture of your ministry, begins with you as the leader! We have to live out the culture we want our teams to live, whether staff or volunteers. As we teach and lead in this way, it’s always done best through modeling.

Firstly, begin with the recruiting conversation and let the idea of relationship be infused in every conversation forward. Teach your team to speak the same language and live it out in every interaction.

3. Find Ways for Every Child to Be Connected

A natural part of building relationships is making connections. It’s key that we find ways for every child to be known and seen in our ministries. We must be intentional about meeting their needs.

While discipleship as a group is important, we have to do more than simply have the kids show up, hear us speak, and then go home. They need relationship!

Because the one child whose family is struggling doesn’t only need to hear the story of how God used Noah today, He needs to be seen by someone. He needs connection and someone to speak life into him. We can’t do that without connection.

Be aware and listen to the Holy Spirit. Allow Him to lead you as you create connection points for children in ministry.

It’s key that we find ways for every child to be known and seen in our ministries.

4. Partner with Parents

Partnership with parents is key to a thriving ministry. The investment by mom and dad (or another guardian) is critical. Their relationship with the child is the one that really matters more than any other.

As church leaders, we need to understand that most parents want to invest in their children, but most feel completely inadequate to do so. Take time to encourage parents in leading their children! It’s one of the greatest discipleship opportunities we’ll have as leaders!