Have you ever gone to a thriving church? Perhaps you belong to one. Two identical churches can both be filled with people who want to see God move and are passionate to make a difference for Jesus. However, one is moving forward with families and individuals being drawn in, while others just seem to be getting nowhere! There is no substitute to a strong praying church, that is commitment to the Word of God and sharing the Good News of Jesus. This must to be the foundation of any church that wants to impact the community within its influence and reach. However, I also believe we should think strategically about how we get things done in the church. One of those areas is Children’s Ministry.
…we should think strategically about how we get things done in the church. One of those areas is Children’s Ministry.
I believe that a strong and vibrant children’s ministry is paramount to a strong church. The obvious benefits are young children who grow up with a solid foundation in God. However, I believe, the flow on effects of creating a strong Sunday School can mean the difference to a church thriving and just existing week to week.
So, lets get started.
1. Families will choose your church just because of the children’s ministry!
I saw this with my own eyes. A church turned its focus to children and young families and it grew! Instead of Sunday School being an after thought, real resources (i.e. money) where invested. It made me sit up and take notice. Wow, people who I knew would probably never go to church normally are coming just because its good for their children! Parents simply seeking to give their children the best experience possible are now themselves in church and being impacted by the Good News!
Qualifiers and Winners
In business there is a theory that says “A product or offer has qualifiers and winners”. Qualifiers are those things that make a product or service simply ‘qualify’ to be considered by a potential customer. On the other hand, a winner makes a product or service stand out above the rest. I believe that a church with a decent Sunday School is just a qualifier, but a church with a strong and thriving Sunday School is an absolute winner.
2. Children are NOT the church of the future – they are the church NOW!
A strong Children’s Ministry can build a new generation of young servants who are ready to serve and minister at any age! We do not have to look at children’s ministry as a long term investment only, we can see impact today! A church cannot expect to be a whole body unless it completely embraces all generations within a church. Children have so much to offer, they can build so much depth into a church in ways that I can not even begin to list here. Children have insights into all sorts of subjects that we ‘adults’ have long forgotten how to tap into.
Making use of spiritual gifts is required for churches to grow. Children have amazing gifts to offer at any age. The church does not need to wait until they ‘grow up’ to start to use them. Getting children involved today will add so much value to a church’s culture and life. Where do I start you might ask? Start simple and build from there: Get children involved in serving, greeting or multimedia and music. Of course all this needs to be done in an encouraging, supportive and protective environment. But that is my point, we need to invest (and invest means resources, time and energy) into the lives of children.
Children can teach us so much about the Christian faith. Jesus made this point in the Gospels Matthew 18:2-4 when he said,
“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” NIV
I am just sharing the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how children can contribute to a stronger church. Does your church have a strong children’s ministry focus? Let me know in the comments. Share your ideas and tips!