Friday, May 8, 2015

Have We Lost Focus in Children's Ministry?

I've been serving in children's ministry for almost 44 years, so I know what it is to choose curriculum - even write curriculum - plan events and work to engage children and families. I know what it takes to recruit and train volunteers and communicate with parents. I understand wanting to be focused on being effective in helping children to know and walk with Jesus for the rest of their lives. But I wonder; in trying to focus on engaging children, have I - and we - truly lost focus?
Let me explain why I ask this. When I began serving in children's ministry it was during a time where we tended to teach children in traditional ways; the teacher "taught" and the children listened and wrote on paper. As we taught in traditional ways, I became concerned children were not really learning. They were not being engaged. They were going through our Sunday school classes and leaving as teens and young adults and literally "leaving"; they were not becoming part of the church as they made knowing and walking with Jesus the focus of their lives.

So, when "hands on", active learning came around, I was all for it. It made sense to me. My focus turned to being sure we were, "engaging" children "actively"; but I still wonder, are children really understanding what it means for them to personally know and walk with God? I still want children to be "engaged" in active learning because I do believe we have to get their attention if they are going to "learn", but have we focused too much on the "glitz" and the "production" and not enough on helping children learn to open their own Bibles, so they can develop a love for God and His Word? 

It is for this reason I have developed a line of curriculum which will help children to "go deeper" into God's Word. It is focused on getting children to open their own Bibles, discover what God has to say and then see what it means in their real lives. Over the coming week I will be introducing this new curriculum to you - and announcing a give-away . . . one where you can win up to two years of curriculum!

What do you think? Have we lost focus in children's ministry? Do we "focus" on "engaging" children in active learning, but fail to help children actually know God for themselves? Do we, "focus" on "engaging" children in active events, but fail to help children truly understand what it means for them walk with Jesus each and every day of their lives? Have we failed to really introduce children to Jesus?

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