Children’s Ministry plays an essential role in the spiritual growth of children and families. Studies have shown that if a person doesn’t make the decision to follow Christ by the age of 18, they probably won’t until much later in life. Most people believe that outside of parents and family, the church is responsible for spiritual growth in children. Children’s Ministry has a vital role to partner with parents and families to instill godly values that will serve kids for a lifetime.
But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.”Matthew 19:14
Children are obviously important to Jesus. There are so many verses that point to the value of raising godly children. The reality is that families may not have a growing relationship with God or the confidence to teach their kids about His saving grace. This is where Children’s Ministry shines in it’s ability to start conversations and help families grow on their spiritual journey.
How does Children’s Ministry impact kids?
Children’s Ministry is excellent for kids as they participate in activities that strengthen their understanding of God and the world around them. While children grow up in various situations, they have questions about God and how to deal with their struggles in life. Children’s Ministry can bridge the gap between their understanding and the truth of God’s word. Kids develop friendships with others who are learning the same things they are, and they spend time with leaders who will present the message of Christ in a way they understand.
Getting to know their leaders and making new friends at church can be an exciting time for a child. Because the church is a relatively safe place to meet new people, kids can come away from the experience with friends from different schools, families and backgrounds. Getting to interact with others in a an environment where God is the center, can make a life-long impact.
It’s hard to know what children absorb from their experiences, but you can count on kids remembering what a great time they had in Children’s Ministry. Later on in life, kids who attended a Children’s Ministry will not forget that they were safe, loved and that God is their best friend.
How does Children’s Ministry impact parents?
It’s not about the break parents get when their kids are with Children’s Ministry Leaders; it’s about the conversations they have about who God is and how we can apply the lessons learned in Children’s Ministry. For parents who didn’t grow up with faith-based education, Children’s Ministry can have a significant impact on families.
Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.Proverbs 22:6
The impact may be subtle at first like your child stopping everyone at the dinner table to praying for their meal or asking their parents to read a Bible story to them at bedtime. When that isn’t usually the custom in your home, it can be a catalyst for lasting spiritual growth as God becomes the center of the family.
For parents who decide to become teachers in their child’s classrooms, they get the constant reinforcement of the week’s lesson. Although simple for adults, each message has a powerful impact and will serve as a reminder for parents during the week.
How does Children’s Ministry impact volunteers?
One of the greatest things you can do with your life is to empower kids to be all God has called them to be. Every week you’ll meet kids, parents and family members that come from all walks of life. Some are riding the wave of success while others are feeling the struggle in a way you can’t imagine. Some kids will have severe behavior challenges; others will sit quietly and say nothing at all. For one child, you might call on them to open the door of conversation and others you might redirect to use their energy positively. Each experience is unique and powerful in a unique way.
“…and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”Matthew 20:27-28
Every now and then, you’ll have the opportunity to help a child pray the prayer of salvation. What a thrill of excitement as they start their spiritual journey by developing a relationship with God. Because children form their entire personality by the age of 5, you can have a direct impact on who they will become as they grow and have a multitude of new experiences.
You don’t have to be a perfect example of life and godliness to be a volunteer in Children’s Ministry. Introducing kids to the REAL Jesus is the next step in your spiritual growth. You have the opportunity to take your knowledge, no matter how small, and help a child understand the concepts of faith and how they apply to life. Years later, they’ll remember you and they may not remember the lesson of the day, they’ll remember the love you showed and the example you set for them to follow.
How does Children’s Ministry impact the church?
His disciples didn’t think it was important, but Jesus made time to minister to children. One of the most significant areas of growth for a church is families. In a society of introverted and smartphone-obsessed people, excited kids can make the difference where parents may not be so inclined. Many chose to give a church a second try when their kids are excited to come back.
One of the best things churches can do is provide resources and people needed to make Children’s Ministry the best it can be. Having a paid staff Children’s Pastor is key, it can be done with a group of dedicated people. Focusing on kids in your church produces far more benefits than it takes away.
A Personal Story
As a child from a broken family, the one stable thing in our lives was the church. Every Sunday and once during the week, I received life-changing instruction and life-long friends and adopted family.
Our Children’s Ministry volunteers didn’t know what was going on at home, but every week, they were there to help us understand something new and exciting about God’s word and how it applied to everyday life. We did something called an “altar call”, meaning that children who wanted to be friends of Jesus forever, would come down to the front of the class, say a prayer. I must have gone down there every weekend for 6 months. I wanted to make sure it stuck.
While my home life was nothing but chaotic, Children’s Ministry bridged the gap between my home chaos and a safe and loving environment where I had friendships that I still have today. Personally, I remember a handful of lessons taught, songs sung, and activities we did outside of the church. What I do remember is that the people there loved me and wanted to see God use me in a way that only He could.
After almost 20 years of serving as a volunteer, paid staff and eventually a Children’s Pastor, you could say that God, through Children’s Ministry, has had a positive and life long effect on my life.