Wednesday, May 16, 2012

So . . . How Can I Tell if My Church Understands the Importance of Children's Ministry?

Yesterday I shared some "clues" you might notice if your children's ministry is not strong and healthy. Today I'm going to give you a few more things to look for. 

  • In this day and age nearly everyone has a computer - or two! Take a moment and look at your church's website. If you were a visitor, what image of your children's ministry and family ministry does your church's website project? Will they have to search to find any information on your children's ministry? Once they find it, does it give them an idea of the vision, passion and plan you have intentionally put in place to reach children and then help them grow in their walk with Jesus? Does it tell them how you intentionally come alongside them as parents to equip them as the primary teachers of their children? Are there opportunities for families to learn and grow and have fun at your church? Take a look at your church's website and this will give you a pretty good idea of the health of your children's ministry.
  • Next, take a look at the location of the children's ministry. Are the classrooms roomy? Is there space for children to be intentionally and actively engaged in the learning? Look at the rooms for the adults. Which rooms have more space? Some churches give their nicest rooms to the adults - even though they will be sitting in chairs throughout the class time. Are the children's rooms up - or down - out of the way or are they "in the middle of it all"? The children's ministry should be the "heart-beat" of a church . . . after all, they are the people are who have the most energy! It is a great thing when the children's ministry is in a location where they will be seen. If the children's ministry is "out of sight" it will tell you something about the health of the children's ministry.
  • Ask for a copy of the curriculum the children's ministry is using. Is it designed to intentionally engage children in the teaching of the Bible lesson? Does the scope and sequence thoroughly cover the topic being taught, or does it cover a lot of topics lightly? Are there specific things for children to do at home during the week to live what they learned? Do all ages learn the same Bible lesson the same week - a unified scope and sequence supports parents in their efforts to be the primary teachers of their children. Are there mission projects and are these mission projects used so children can "Put Feet to Their Faith"?
  • Finally, talk with the leaders in your church. Do the pastors and elders know what is happening in the children's ministry? Can they tell you what the vision is for the children's ministry? Do they have a passion and plan for the children's ministry?
Ask these questions. If you discover the children's ministry is not strong and healthy, talk to your church leaders. Tell them your concerns and let them know it matters to you - whether you are a parent or not - if the children's ministry has a strong and healthy vision, passion and plan!

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