Friday, June 12, 2015

What Are the Top Five Priorities in Your Children's Ministry?

Image result for clipart for top fiveYesterday I asked a number of questions about children's ministry. For the coming week we will look more closely at these questions beginning today with; when you think about your children's ministry, what are the top five things you want to see happen? 

This question goes to the core of your vision for your children's ministry. What do you see as the most important things for your children's ministry to do? What are your top five priorities? I think the first and most important priority is pretty easy to determine, and is likely the same for all of us - to see children come to know, love and walk with Jesus. After all, Jesus Himself said, "Let the children come to Me", so bringing children to Jesus is at the top of our list and is the reason we have children's ministry in the first place.

However; after this, the most important things can vary depending on our own vision for our children's ministries and can include things like:
  • Scripture memory
  • Engaging children in reading their Bibles
  • Volunteer recruitment/appreciation
  • Family ministry
  • Engaging parents
  • Engaging grandparents
  • Ensuring you have a safe environment
  • Training volunteers
  • Programming - curriculum and special events
And, there could certainly be more.

It matters what is most important to us when it comes to our children's ministry because we spend our time, focus and resources on the things which matter the most to us. We want to be sure we are spending these things on the areas which truly are the most important.

My list of the top five priorities for me when it comes to children's ministry; the top five things I want to see happen are -
  1. See children put their trust in Jesus
  2. Parents pass on a heritage of faith to their children, so they grow to know and walk with Jesus
  3. Grandparents pass on a heritage of faith to their grandchildren, so they grow to know and walk with Jesus
  4. Equip volunteers and be sure the know how valued they are
  5. Do all I can to ensure children are safe at church
For me the most important thing is to lead children to Jesus and to engage, equip and encourage parents and grandparents in passing on a heritage of faith to their children/grandchildren.  As I wrote about in the month of May, we only have children at church for a couple hours a week, in the best situation. If we really want children to become people who know and walk with Jesus, we need to find ways to impact more of the 168 hours in a week; this means we have to engage parents and grandparents as they are the people who can impact more of these hours. Yes, I believe what we do at church should be done with excellence and with great thought to being effective, but the hours we have with a child are so few of the hours in a week. We have to be focused on engaging children for more hours and the only way to do this is to engage the parents and grandparents.

Yes, volunteers, safety and programming are all important, but the best use of our time is to do all we can to engage, equip and encourage parents and grandparents so the things we start on a Sunday are carried out at home through the week. If we really want to make the most of the time we have with children at church, then doing everything we can to help children continue to learn, continue to grow and continue to walk with Jesus when they are not at church has to be what we focus on.

For far too many years we have focused all our energies, time and resources on the few hours a week we have children in our buildings. While this does have to be part of what we do, it can no longer be all of what we do. When we engage, equip and encourage parents and grandparents we will find what we do at church is significantly more effective.

So, what are the top five priorities for your children's ministry?

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