By Wanda Parker
Page 36 “Our youth see adults in teh church begrudgingly serving in areas for which they have little passion.”
Does your church have to beg people to serve in Children’s Ministry?
Serving children should be considered an honor, a high calling.
As a Children’s Pastor I had high expectations of those who would serve.
- Attend an all day training in the Fall
- Attend monthly training/planning times
- Write out a plan of how they would disciple each kid beyond Sunday morning
- Minister every Sunday for nine months (yes there were substitutes for when “Disciplers” were sick or out of town)
- Given an evaluation every three months
- Be enthused and prepared
- Be vulnerable – share their own walk with the Lord with the kids – important to share the tough times
Volunteers will give you 80% of what you expect of them so you should always be expecting 120%.
I have watched as the church has lowered its expectations of those serving the children. So as the church lowers its expectations those serving lower what they do. We need strong leadership who will challenge people to move beyond their comfort zone. We need to be continually reminding people of Matthew 18: 1-14 and Mark 10:13-16.
Children know if they are truly valued.
An expensive state of the art space does not mean children are valued. It is all about RELATIONSHIP! plus TRUTH
Below is a story from my personal experience of how adults should be engaging children in Children’s Ministries.
Faithful adults teach coping skills for the hard knocks of life. By being role models, they help children learn how to deal with the injustices in life.
A Sunday school teacher was about to quit. She had had it! The kids weren’t responding to her and they were rude to the point of being belligerent. She told the children’s pastor that, since she couldn’t take it any longer, this would be her last Sunday.
“What is your lesson about this Sunday?” the pastor asked.
“It’s on how God gets us through hard times,” she answered.
“Well, has God helped you through a difficult time recently?” questioned the pastor.
The teacher said, “You know He has. My husband filed for divorce and I didn’t want to have anything to do with it. Without Jesus walking with me each step of the way, I don’t know how I would have survived.”
The pastor encouraged “Well, tell the kids about your struggle.”
“My third graders? Tell my third graders about my divorce?” she asked hesitantly.
“Yes, tell your third graders. They need to know that God helps people today. They need to know that you are a real person with real problems and God is sufficient for those problems.”
The next week as the pastor entered the Christian education wing, the Sunday school teacher came out of her room with mascara streaked down her face.
“You won’t believe what happened today,” she said excitedly.
“Tell me!” the pastor prodded.
“Well, I told them all about my divorce. I began to cry and they cried with me. I told them about how God has really helped me. Then, one by one, each of them told me about a tragedy in their own lives. We all cried with each other. It is the best morning I have ever had.”
Faithful adults can identify needs.
By being open and vulnerable with her third graders, the Sunday school teacher gave the children permission to be open and vulnerable with her. She heard stories of homes that were falling apart, of families needing support and encouragement, and of children needing to know that God can meet all their needs.
Meeting needs doesn’t mean things will get better – it does mean Jesus’ presence and the knowledge there is a purpose in the pain one is going through. It does mean strength to keep on keeping on when you think you won’t be able to. Kids need to grasp these truths – not the lie that if you come to Jesus your life will be wonderful and without pain.