A few quick thoughts tonight before heading to bed…
I LOVE our children’s team here at NewSpring Church…their passion for teaching kids about Jesus on a level that they can understand is SO appreciated by me as a pastor AND as a dad!
I see a monumental problem in churches today…when we consider that unchurched people are not being reached AND we combine that with the fact that MANY students that were raised in church walk away when they graduate high school…well, that’s a problem.
I think one way to combat that issue is striving as a church to have a healthy youth and children’s ministry. (I won’t say that much about youth ministry in this post…I did cover some things a few months ago here if you are interested.)
Here are three convictions I have about children’s ministry…
#1 - If you want to reach kids…then you’ve got to spend money on them. It BLOWS me away that church world always seems to be scratching our heads and wondering why kids FLOCK to Disney (even the Baptist ones) but they don’t flock to church. MAYBE it’s because Disney spends “squillions” of dollars on them…and many churches have more money in their graveyard fund than they do their children’s budget. We will spend money on what is important…and I think children’s (and student) ministry is THE most important mission field in the church.
#2 - If you want to reach kids…they’ve got to have fun. When I was growing up “fun” and “church” were never used in the same sentence; therefore, as soon as my mother died and I didn’t have to go to church anymore…I didn’t. Kids are not growing closer to Jesus by being forced to sit and listen…or by coloring (with crayons provided by their parents). They should want to come to church, should look forward to coming to church…and so we unapologetically go all out every week to make sure these kids have a GREAT time.
#3 - If you want to reach kids…they’ve got to learn something. I’ve told our children’s ministry that when parents come pick up their kids that they will ask two questions - the first will be “did you have fun,” and the second will be, “what did you learn?” I told our children’s team…make sure kids can answer both in a positive way…and THAT’S a win. (BTW…a “WIN” is when the parents and the kids actually talk about what the child learned! When parents and the church work together…its an awesome team!
Does it work? Well…Charisse (my three year old) quoted her memory verse to me the other day. (AND…she asked me the other day when we were riding around the other morning could we go to the church because she loves it so much!) Kids LEARN about Jesus on THEIR LEVEL…thus the Great Commission is being fulfilled, disciples are being made because a biblical foundation is being laid in an environment that they LOVE!
To ALL of our staff and volunteers at NewSpring that work with our kids…YOU ARE ALL AMAZING! THANK YOU for the COUNTLESS hours of prayed and preparation you guys gave in order to make today happen! The Gospel was preached…and according to Isaiah 55:8-11 there WILL be a harvest. Thank you for fulfilling I Peter 4:10 and simply doing what the Bible says to do, because of the way YOU ALL served today…God’s Kingdom was both honored and enlarged!
Keep up the GREAT work!