Child Discipleship – My Priorities for Children’s Ministry

(I am now writing in regard to Children’s Ministry at www.kidtrek-sundayplus.org  I will continue writing in regard to Christian After School Programs here http://www.kidtrekasp.wordpress.com)

Whether we’ve thought about it or not every Children’s Ministry has priorities. A visitor might be able to tell you what the priorities are faster than the Children’s Pastor/Director.

My Priorities

JESUS CHRIST

Jesus is the reason for having a Children’s Ministry. He is the umbrella over everything we do.

The umbrella over the entire ministry also includes continual, intentional, organized prayer – for if the triune God is not a part of everything we do our ministry is useless.

Every portion of the Children’s ministry shall individualistically and intentionally point to the Gospel message…

  • So that kids “will come to the crucified King in repentance and faith, relying on him alone as the perfect sacrifice for their sin and their only hope for salvation” What’s in the Gospel Greg Gilbert
  • So that kids will continually grow in their walk with God as they grow to internally (heart knowledge) know Him more fully.

The below order is based on what I believe kids need – not what they want, nor what will make adults feel good.

ATTITUDE

For the above to happen kids must come to Children’s Ministry gatherings with excitement and openness of heart. They may not know why they are there but they want to be there.

Thus every adult involved in the children’s ministry asks over and over, “Will “this” be fun, challenging, relational, and is there potential for life transformation to happen?”

Is the Body of Christ becoming essential to “this” child so he will want to continue to be a part of the Church for his entire life?

Are we running programs or ministry?

ENVIRONMENT

Leadership encourages an environment which kids long to be a part of – not just for today but on into adulthood. The Body of Christ becomes an essential part of the kids’ lives forever.

Leadership is aware of each child that comes into their ministry – they are unwilling that any shall fall through the cracks.

Leadership is aware of Jesus’ warning of Matthew 18:1-14 and takes it seriously.

The adults who serve the children are the ones who create the environment where kids love to be.

  • Adults want to be there too.
  • Adults are teachable – they want to be trained, they see the need for training.
  • Adults have a passion to see children grow into fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
  • Adults know and understand child development so they know how children learn.
  • Each kid receives individualistic and intentional discipleship.
  • Adults are willing to make sacrifices so the kids will receive the most excellent ministry possible.
  • Adults and kids have fun.
  • Adults understand that though kids are having fun it doesn’t mean they are internally connecting to Jesus Christ.
  • The facility itself is kid friendly – adults don’t have to continually be fearful in case the kids “mar the room.”
  • Every single kid is welcomed with a love that can be felt, but also is concrete.
  • The need of each individual kid is accepted and addressed.

BIBLE KNOWLEDGE

If the above is happening in your children’s ministry then the kids will have hearts that are open to hear the truth – to study Bible.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15

Every teaching points to the Gospel – The Truth, The Way, The Life.

The Bible is presented to concrete thinking children so they can understand and internalize the truth in the scripture. I’m passionate about this – so much of what we present to the kids flies over their heads – will address this in weeks to come.

It is understood that knowledge does not save; knowledge is a tool that leads to A relationship. However, knowledge is vital for kids to grow in their relationship of God Almighty. Knowledge helps in their not accepting man made gods.

MEMORY VERSES

We don’t know how long we will have access to the written Word of God.

I will never forget the day I stood with a friend in the square in Havana waiting for a bus. We began talking to a woman in front us when I felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit and I asked her, “Do you have a Bible?”

“A Bible, a Bible in Cuba? No, no Bibles in Cuba.”

I knew my friend had a Spanish Bible in her purse so I asked, “Would you like to have a Bible?”

She began to cry, “Si, Si” she said over and over.

It was as if we were in a bubble as we quickly took the Bible from one purse and transferred it to another purse.

Just because you live in a free country today we know not what tomorrow will bring. We must equip our children so they will be prepared. We must make sure they are memorizing the scriptures so they will never be with out them.

Let me know what you think of my priorities.

I’m now writing in regard to Children’s Ministry at KidTrek: Sunday Plus  I will continue to write about After School Ministries here.

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7 responses to “Child Discipleship – My Priorities for Children’s Ministry

  1. Hello, I’m curious, why not simply let the children grow up, develop their reasoning faculties, and THEN let them decide whether to become Christian? Your program smacks of brainwashing.

  2. Robert, as a Christian I believe that the Bible is God’s direction of how I am to live my life. Part of that direction/instruction is to teach our children the truth. If you have a Bible look up Deuteronomy 6 and read the chapter.

    Is it brainwashing to teach a child to not put his fingers in an electrical outlet? If you don’t teach him he is apt to kill himself. I believe that teaching children about Jesus’ love for them and His taking the punishment for their sins so they don’t have to be separated from Him for eternity is even more important. Lack of teaching the first will lead to physical death. The latter will lead to spiritual death. I believe that spiritual death means being separated from God for eternity. Separation from God means being separated from all goodness in total isolation.

    Thanks for the question

  3. Hello again. I understand you’re following what you believe to be orders, though I wonder if you skip a few chapters later in Deuteronomy and apply the commands in 21:18-21 also.

    I don’t think your analogy with the electrical outlet is apt, because the consequences are not in dispute and can be tested at any time, by anyone. Not so with the consequences taught by Christians, which must be taken purely on faith.

    We’re also not speaking of “lack of teaching”, but postponing teaching until the child’s rational faculties are sufficiently developed to make reasoned choice about whether to join the Christian religion or not. You know as well as I that children are gullible and naturally prone to believe what adults tell them. Actually, it’s what religions like Christianity rely upon to propagate themselves. The question is, whether such indoctrination is any more morally defensible than punishing an unruly child with the death penalty.

  4. Robert, I’m afraid we will just have to agree to disagree for we will never agree 🙂

  5. I don’t know if we will “never agree”. Every day many individuals leave the Christian religion, recognizing it as a man-made institution, nothing more 🙂

    I would, however, be very interested in why you feel obligated to follow Deuteronomy 6 but not 21.

  6. Pingback: The Children’s Ministry Blog Patrol (November 2010) | Dad in the Middle

  7. a child molested is always the sad truth that happens in every country. we can do our prt to help in a way. its a feel good feeling knowing you brought hope

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