Children’s Ministry – A Philosophy

By Wanda Parker

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I.          The purpose of a children’s ministry is to lead children to put Jesus Christ first in their lives, to equip them to serve Him, to care for one another, and to proclaim Him to the world.

This is accomplished through three different focuses.

Equip parents to train up their children according to who the child is (Proverbs 22:6).  Parents are also encouraged to be the primary teacher of their children (Deuteronomy 6).

Minister directly to the child. Childhood is a time of creating memories and building a positive attitude toward Jesus Christ, including a desire to develop a dynamic, intimate relationship with Him (Joshua 4:6,7).  It is important for a child to be folded in, sensing that he or she is a viable part of Christ’s local Body (Matthew 19:13-15).  Active participation in the local church will have a direct influence on the child’s relationship with Jesus as an adult.

Equip adults to build significant relationships with children.  These adults will be the role models who support mom and dad’s teaching once the child begins his or her steps toward independence (Matthew 18:1-14).

II.         The message I want each child to catch and make the motivating force in his/her life is:

A. Jesus loves me. (John 3:16, Matthew 19:13-14, Mark 10:16)

B. I am a sinner separated from God. (Romans 3:23)

C. God has a plan for me to be united with Him for eternity. (John 3:16, Romans 8:16-17)

D. Once I accept forgiveness of my sins by receiving Jesus into my life, I will begin to grow.
(I Corinthians. 3:6,7, II Corinthians 10:15, Ephesians. 4:15)

E. There is only one God made up of three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  I acknowledge this as a mystery. (Galatians. 4:6)

F. The Bible is God’s inerrant Word. (II Timothy. 3:16)

G. Every believer has been given a gift to use in the building up of the church. (I Peter 4:10)

H. Every believer is commanded to make disciples. (Matthew 28:19-20)

I. Prayer is communication with God. (Matthew 6:9-13)

J. The Holy Spirit provides the believer with the power of God for sanctification. (John 13:12-31)

III.        The methods used to communicate the message are chosen due to the uniqueness of children.

A.         Children are relational, therefore:

1.         Each year a child is assigned an adult who will disciple him. (Colossians 1:28)

a.         Disciplers must have a personal growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
b.         Disciplers must be able to accept children at their developmental level.
c.         Disciplers must be teachable.
d.         Disciplers must be willing to allow God to stir enthusiasm within them.

2.         Children are encouraged to build quality relationships with other children within the church through. (I Corinthians 15:23)

a.         Sunday morning and weekday club programs
b.         Special events and summer ministries
c.         Small group activities with assigned discipler
d.         Retreats

B.         Children are concrete thinkers. Therefore, when a concept is taught, the child will actually
experience the concept as part of the lesson. (Matthew 19:13-15)

C.        Children are in process; therefore:

1.         I do not expect a full understanding of the gift of grace.
2.         Activities and teaching are age-appropriate.

D.        Children have high energy.  Therefore, programs will usually include physical activity.
(Proverbs 22:6)

E.         Children are part of a family unit.  Therefore, some ministries will be geared to the whole
family. (Acts 16:32-34)

F.         Children are unique; therefore we attempt to meet each child at his or her own level.
(Proverbs 22:6, Matthew 18:1-14)

G.        Children have the potential for deep faith.  Therefore, we will challenge them to pray and
experience the power of God. (Matt. 18:1-14; I Corinthians 2:4-5)

H.        Children are learners. Therefore: (Luke 2:52)

1.         The Bible is used in all teaching programs.
2.         We recognize that adult behavior and attitudes are constantly teaching the kids.

I.          Children are developing attitudes that will remain with them their entire life.  Therefore:  (Proverbs 22:6, Matthew 18:1-14)

1.         Programs should be fun.
2.         Room environment is important.
3.         Adults need to generate enthusiasm.
4.         Discipline is an important part of every program.

J.         The child’s primary teacher should be his or her parents. (Deuteronomy 6, Ephesians 6:4)  Therefore:

1.         Parents will be the first ones encouraged to fill volunteer positions.
2.         Parents will be equipped through seminars, conferences, and counseling.

K.         Children are naturally self-centered.  Therefore:

1.         We will challenge them to think of others who need to experience the love of Jesus.
(Matthew 28:19-20)
2.         We will challenge them to become “difference-makers” for Jesus.
3.         They will be encourage to participate in activities which they may not enjoy,
because
in the church we are a family, “I will do what you want and then you will
do what I want.”

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2 responses to “Children’s Ministry – A Philosophy

  1. Hi

    Your site is informative. I can relate with all your sharings in dealing with kids. This will be a great help for me to raise my kids in accordance to His word.

    More blessings this yea

  2. Thanks Mafe. Be sure to find at least one strong believer to disciple each of your children. You can’t do it alone. The church should help you in that search – but sadly most don’t.

    May the Lord give you wisdom as you raise your children to walk with Him.

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