Saturday, May 19, 2012

Why Should the Senior Pastor Care About the Children's Ministry?

Is your senior pastor the biggest "cheer leader" of your children's ministry? Does he know what is happening in your children's ministry and is he able to share the vision/purpose of the children's ministry with others? Or is he very "hands off" when it comes to the children's ministry? Happily, at my church, the Senior Pastor cares very much about the children's ministry, but I've worked with a lot of churches over the years and sadly in most instances the senior pastor not only didn't know what was happening in the children's ministry, he didn't want to be "bothered" with it. In far too many cases the senior pastor's view of the children's ministry was, "This is why we have a children's pastor/director".

The senior pastor needs to care about the children's ministry - more than in just words. I'm not saying the senior pastor should be completely "hands on" with the children's ministry and he should definitely not micro-manage everything, but he does need to truly care about the children's ministry and he needs to know what is happening in the children's ministry. Consider the following -
  • According to the Barna Group - "When it comes to church engagement, those who attended Sunday school or other religious programs as children or as teens were much more likely than those without such experiences to attend church and to have an active faith as adults. For instance, among those who frequently attended such programs as a child, 50% said they attended a worship service in the last week, which is slightly higher than the national average and well ahead of those who rarely or never attended children’s programs. Among those who frequently attended religious programs as teenagers, 58% said they had attended a worship service in the last week. In comparison, less frequent participation as a teenager correlated with less frequent adult participation."
  • "The highest proportion of unchurched adults was found among those who had never attended as children or teenagers. Weekly activity as a child and weekly or monthly activity as a teen were connected with the lowest levels of disconnection from church attendance."
  • "Individuals who recalled frequent religious attendance as a child were less likely to have changed central faith views than were those who attended less often. For example, among those who frequently attended religious programs as a child, 22% had significantly changed their faith views from their childhood faith." 
  • "The current Barna study indicates nearly half of all Americans who accept Jesus Christ as their Savior do so before reaching the age of 13 (43%), and that two out of three born again Christians (64%) made a commitment to Christ before their 18th birthday. One out of eight born again people (13%) made their profession of faith while 18 to 21 years old. Less than one out of every four born again Christians (23%) embraced Christ after their twenty-first birthday."
These are four solid reasons the senior pastor has to really care about the children's ministry. We want children to be reached for Jesus and then grow in their faith so they know and walk with Jesus every day of their everyday lives. Can you imagine what the church would be like if this is what happened in the children's ministry?

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