In the ministry-to-children.com website is an article asking the question, “Why is Children’s Ministry So Important?” The answer is given in their article which they entitled, “68 Reasons Why Children’s Ministry Matters”. We have broken down those 68 reasons into two blogs, with this week’s blog printed below being part 1 of that article. Next week will be published part 2 of the 68 benefits of children’s ministry:
14 Ways Children’s Ministry Benefits Kids
1. It promotes their eternal happiness. I want my kids to find indestructible joy in Christ.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Constantly work to introduce them to Jesus. Make the good news plain in everything you do. We have a mural in our children’s worship room that summarizes the story of Jesus.
2. It helps them make sense out of life. Only understanding who made the world, what went wrong and God’s plan to fix it can explain this world we all experience.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Teach a Gospel-centered worldview with specific applications that will help them interpret life.
3. It’s their best chance to accept Christ. Research has proven that kids tend to be more receptive to the Gospel than any other age group. I want my children to have every opportunity to believe in Jesus.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Present the good news in age-appropriate ways all throughout childhood. I have different booklets that I give to different age groups to better target their comprehension level.
4. It helps avoid some negative outcomes of sin. Only God’s grace can change our hearts, but knowing the consequences of disobeying God is often a wake up call. When children understand the great price that Jesus paid for their salvation, they are more likely to stay on the way of the righteous.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Be careful to teach both God’s law and God’s love, one doesn’t make sense without the other.
5. It can help counter balance worldly influences. Everyone knows the harmful influences present in our society. Kids need positive influences to tip the scale.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Help them see where God’s values conflict with worldly values. For example, God say love other people and the world says “look out for yourself.”
6. It can help them learn to love others. The 2nd greatest commandment is to love your neighbor. We must teach this as a way of life, because it doesn’t comes naturally.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Provide real life experiences for them to love other people. Some examples are mission trips, prayer partners, and ministry projects.
7. It is something fun to do. Do you know who invented fun? God did. Do you know why? For his own glory. While entertainment and fun seeking can become an idol, we should not think God is against fun.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: As a leader, your should be having fun too. Let the children know that you love ministering to them.
8. It helps kids want to come to church. There is nothing wrong with having a program that appeals to the interests of children, especially when it brings more children to hear the Gospel.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Make a list of the needs, interests and motivations of kids. Use these to inform (not dictate) how you will present God’s truth.
9. It helps them make new friends. Some of the best ones children will ever make is in the church.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Allow time for group activities and relationship building in your programs.
10. It helps discover and intervene in abusive home situations. This is something we rarely address. But the church is often one of the few safe places on Earth for abused children.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Pay attention to what kids are saying about their home life. Try to get to know every family. If you suspect abuse, you are legally (and morally) obligated to report it.
11. It helps children get to know their pastors. One of the best ways for ministers to connect with younger families is by working in the children’s programs.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Draft pastors and staff ministers to serve VBS or other ministry programs.
12. It gives kids meaningful keepsakes. Those VBS and Sunday school crafts often become prized possessions. The Bible verses on their keepsakes will remind them of what they have learned for years to come.
— Children’s Ministry Tip Plan high value crafts that are worthy of keeping.
13. It gives children special memories. Think back to when you were a child in Sunday school. Can you remember a special teacher or event?
— Children’s Ministry Tip Take photos, make videos, or encourage kids to journal their memories.
14. It allows them to make friends with adult volunteers in safe context. In our culture child safety is a constant concern, and rightly so. But there is still great value in kids finding adult mentors in the church.
— Children’s Ministry Tip Design adult led small groups into our ministry times.
8 Ways Children’s Ministry is Important to Families
1. It supports godly parenting. The church was never meant to be the exclusive faith teacher of children. Instead, God’s plan was for the two institutions (church and family) to form a partnership
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Be intentional about helping parents fulfill their calling. Involving them in the ministry, providing resources and offer parents training in family discipleship.
2. It helps nudge some parents into more faithful attendance. Usually, parents become more involved in the church when their kids become more involved in the children’s ministry.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Look for families on the fringe and work to get their kids more active in our programs.
3. It brings unchurched families in contact with the Gospel. In our culture, reaching children is one of the most effective ways to make contact with unchurched families.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Be intentional about family outreach and follow-up. Make a plan, share it with your pastor and stick to it.
4. It helps new families get connected with the church. Even when a new family comes into the church, they still need help to get plugged in.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Recruit new members to serve in our programs (or somewhere else if they aren’t a good match).
5. It helps identify families that may benefit from biblical counseling. Often in working with kids, we discover deeper problems at home that need biblical counseling.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Work closely with our pastors (or counseling ministry) to refer families for help.
6. It helps dads get involved in the church. For various reasons, fathers have a difficult time getting connected with the church family. One great way to bridge this gap is to use kids’ sports ministries.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Explore programs like Upward Basketball as a tool to for outreach and father assimilation.
7. It provides families with meaningful shared experiences. This is true especially when the whole family can participate in events like VBS or summer camp.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Be aware of the potential for families to build traditions through our programs.
8. It helps answers those hard question. Almost every week a child will come to me with a religious question that has stumped their parents.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Even while answering the question, reinforce parental teaching authority. Help parents to find resources that will answer future hard questions.
24 Ways Children’s Ministry Matters to the Whole Church
1. It helps the church to pass on the faith. In every period of church history, this has been a struggle. Children’s ministry can help the church be intentional about telling the next generation.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Work with your pastor to develop a comprehensive plan for Christian education. These are sometimes called a scope and sequence when you’re talking about Sunday school curriculum. Most publishers have a copy of theirs in the front of the teachers guide.
2. It helps bring in new families to the church. It is becoming more difficult to identify and reach 20-somthings who are prospects for evangelism.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Understand the ministry’s role in opening doors to this demographic and make it a goal for every program.
3. It allows the church body to us their talents and spiritual gifts. Releasing the ministry potential of lay people is often a key for church growth.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: ring first time church volunteers into the ministry. Train them, encourage them and watch God work through them.
4. It helps train future church leaders. We should expect kids who grow up in our ministries to become leaders in the church and in the world.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Involve kids in ministry opportunities. Include children in other church ministries as often as possible.
5. It provides accidental learning for ministry volunteers. Sometimes our grown-ups learn as much as the kids.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Encourage the adults to make learning one reason they serve in the ministry.
6. It raises community awareness of the church through special events. When our church launched ‘Upward Soccer’, it was the talk of the town. It put our church’s best foot forward and brought many first time visitors into our services.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Understanding our events can create positive buzz for the church as a whole.
7. It helps big church go smoothly. Quality childcare is essential to allow parents to participate fully in the church worship service. While our ministry is much more than childcare, this is a clear benefit to the church.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Provide excellent care to help parents get the most out of church.
8. It helps build a strong youth ministry. We should expect children who grew up in our ministry to become leaders in the student ministry.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Work closely with the Youth Ministry toward common goals and a comprehensive discipleship plan.
9. Having children present helps the pastor to keep the Gospel simple. Your preacher will benefit from preaching to kids. It forces them to rethink their vocabulary and provide adequate explanation of spiritual concepts.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Provide regular occasions when children are present for the sermon.
10. Having children present brings joy to the whole congregation. Kids are a blessing from the Lord, and their company will liven up any fellowship.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Involve the little ones in the life of the church, especially for a portion of the worship service.
11. Having children present reminds the congregation that all people were made in God’s image. The innocence and creativity of kids reminds us all that people were created to be holy and happy.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Have children perform music specials or pray in front of the congregation.
12. Having children present gives adults some real life examples of childlike faith.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Tell stories about kids and their natural trust in God. This will be an encouragement to believers of all ages.
13. Having children present helps the church learn to accommodate different music styles. Too many times selfishness is the cause of the ‘worship wars.’ But many times, the church will accommodate a special child friendly song. This is one step toward diversity in musical styles.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Help the music leaders select songs the children can enjoy.
14. Having children present gives a sense of excitement and hope about the future. Few things point us to the future like being around children.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Cast a vision for how God might bless the coming generation.
15. It brings joy for the church to see children grow through the years. Everyone loves to see the little ones growing up. Children’s ministry helps make that happen when we keep the kids in front of the congregation.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Use bulletin board space to chronicle their growth through school pictures of Sunday school class photos.
16. It provides senior adults with the opportunity to be spiritual grandparents. There are great blessings for everyone when the elderly spend time with the young.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Plan special events or establish a spiritual-grandparent program.
17. It provides ways for churches to cooperate with one another.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Consider planning cooperative programs such as Upward Basketball or Vacation Bible School with like minded churches in your town.
18. Volunteers benefit from additional fellowship among one another. Working together on a ministry program helps people make lasting friendships.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Make fellowship a key component of your ministry workers meetings. Encourage volunteers to stay together over multiple years of service.
19. Volunteers receive formal training and additional pastoral oversight. The training sessions you provide can be a great form of continuing Christian education for adults.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Invent time and energy in our training meetings. Make them worth coming to; don’t waste people’s time.
20. It provides a context for women to use their teaching gifts and leadership. In many denominations, the position of senior pastor is limited to qualified men approved by the church. But everyone can agree that God gifts and uses women to teach in a variety of other settings, especially children’s ministry.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Encourage all our volunteers (including women) to fully develop their teaching skills.
21. It allows artistic people to share their talents. Children’s ministry crafts is one area that can greatly benefit from these abilities.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Encourage our craft volunteers to pick an occasional advanced project. Honor the faithful women who serve with little recognition in the children’s ministry.
22. It allows musically gifted people to share their talents. It takes a great deal of patience and charisma to lead children to worship God through music.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Look for the talented people God has sent your congregation for just this purpose.
23. It allows talented cooks to share their gifts. Don’t forget that baking and cooking are valuable talents that God can use for ministry.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Plan special birthday cakes for children in Sunday school.
24. It helps reform families and the church. When a church is struggling to recover its theological and spiritual heritage, often the education department can take a leading role.
— Children’s Ministry Tip: Provide quality resources for families such as worship guides for family devotions and catechisms.