If you are reading these words, it is probably because you are involved in children’s ministry at your church—either as a paid staff member or as a volunteer. You care about children, your church families, and God’s purposes here on earth.
And today, it feels like there are so many challenges we are facing, but your children’s ministry is still important, to the very core of your church’s ministry.
Even if you don’t fit the above profile, keep reading anyway. You may discover that you, too, were meant for children’s ministry. Scripture makes it clear that children’s ministry is important.
We Need Children’s Ministry Because Children Matter to God
Jesus made it quite clear that children—all children—matter to God. He values them not only for what they will become in the future but for who they are today.
Jesus even recommended to His grown-up, self-important disciples that to understand God’s Kingdom, they needed to observe, learn from, and imitate young children.
Check out Mark 10:13-16.
We Need Children’s Ministry Because Children Need to Learn About God
We all agree that children need to learn about God. That’s the stated purpose of children’s ministry! However, for children to learn about God effectively, they may not necessarily need more information or newer programs.
The most effective way for any child to learn about God is through example. The attitudes and actions of a person who is willing to live as an example for him or her is important. For every child—from an infant to the oldest child in your ministry—relationship matters.
A relationship with a living, breathing Christian who cares about him or her is the cornerstone of learning about God. This is a reason spiritual formation in your volunteers is important.
Even in the best children’s ministries, there may be an unspoken agreement that the main purpose of a children’s program is to keep children happy and quiet. And, likely to keep them far from the adults so that “adults can do the truly important things” like worship and have Bible study. Sigh.
But this view of both children and ministry to them yields a manager’s mindset rather than a minister’s mindset.
As managers, we see a group to be managed through entertainment (“As long as they’re having fun!”) or pacification (“At least they’re quiet!”). With a manager’s mind-set, a session is considered successful if no one got hurt, if all the adults were left undistracted, and if the children went away reasonably happy.
This is childcare, not children’s ministry. While good childcare is a fine thing, it is only a small part of ministry to children!
When we (and those who teach) choose a minister’s mind-set, we ask God to help us see each child as an individual with whom to build a relationship. As we take time to build loving relationships, children come to see, hear, and experience how the love of Jesus looks, sounds, and behaves.
A minister’s mindset causes us to truly hear, see, and love each child with the purpose of building a relationship that shows that child who Jesus is, while teaching them the Word of God.
We Need Children’s Ministry Because It’s Biblical
Consider these words from Psalms: “We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done” (Psalm 78:4).
The very foundation for our ministry to children is girded with declarations such as these from God’s Word. Psalm 78 goes on to describe the amazing results we can expect from teaching children about the Lord. “Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands” (Psalm 78:7).
When we give our utmost attention and best effort to children’s ministry, we are fulfilling this vision set forth in the Bible for teaching the faith.
We Need Children’s Ministry Because It Provides for The Future
Imagine your church’s future if, for the next 10 years, a group of adults would commit themselves to fostering the spiritual growth and well-being of the children in your congregation. What would your church be like if reaching children in your community became one of its major priorities?
The future is as bright as God’s power and as sure as His promises. To most effectively create real change for the Kingdom of God, children are the ones with whom to begin.
We Need Children’s Ministry Because It’s the Best Investment We Can Make
Research has shown that for children, there is the largest probability that a person will embrace Jesus as his or her Savior. And the percentage drops off dramatically thereafter.
So, in terms of financial and time investment, children’s ministry creates the highest spiritual yield of any age group! The lifetime impact of children’s ministry is immeasurable.
A strong children’s ministry not only gives a great return today, fueling and strengthening the entire church body. But it also yields a brighter future for every area of a church’s ministry. A strong children’s program grows a church from the outside, bringing in new families who did not previously attend church.
The majority of families who become part of the church connected mainly because of the way their children were loved and cared for by the leaders in children’s ministry. Beyond that, children who are growing and learning are the most effective witness to other children who then come to know Christ!
Stay encouraged, even in these hard times. Your ministry to children is saving hearts and lives for Jesus. Keep up the Kingdom work. And stay encouraged in Him.