Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Question Nobody Asks About Our Children

The Question Nobody Asks About Our Children - Larry Fowler
A few years ago a book came out which completely changed how I looked at Children's Ministry, so today I'm sharing this book with you again - it is written by Larry Fowler - The Question Nobody Asks About Our Children.

This book may be small, but it will ask you questions you will think about for years. It will challenge you to take a strong and close look at what you are doing, how you are doing it and what you need to do differently if you are serious about keeping children from growing up and away from their faith.

The Question Nobody Asks About Our Children is published by AWANA and they say it; "Reveals an alarming blind spot in Children's Ministry, explains how this blind spot contributes to the epidemic of disconnected youth, then presents real-world ways churches are combating this problem."

Larry absolutely, "hits the nail on the head" when he asks; "How often do the children in our ministries come to church?" because, like he says, there are 168 hours in a week and we get children for one hour - or maybe up to three if children participate in the mid-week ministry. If children actually only participate in our ministry every other week - as so many do, then do the math. They are only in our ministry for one - to three hours out of the 336 hours which make up two weeks. Yes, 336 hours. This probably has your attention - or at least it should.

So, what does this look like over a year? Over the few short years a child is in your Children's Ministry? And, what happens if they do not develop relationships with the volunteers serving them? Beyond this; what if they do not build any deep relationships with the other children in their classes?

Larry lays this problem out very clearly for us, so we do not miss it. And we absolutely need to not "miss" it. We need to sit up and pay very close attention and then act upon it. I'm so thankful he goes on to walk us through five things which make a difference for the children in our ministries, he is very clear about three things the church must do, four things our Children's Ministries must do and three things parents must do.

I am especially happy to see Larry focus on how important it is for children to build solid friendships with other children at church. My church is large - more than 6,000 people on Sundays. A few years ago I taught a training for everyone in the church who volunteered and served with the children. The focus of the training was on engaging children - which is important for us to do. But I also spent time challenging volunteers and asking them to make sure no child in their class leaves without making a friend. As volunteers we have to care about whether the children in our classes/groups are connecting with other children, or not. I also challenged them to pay attention to when a child was not there - to email or snail mail cards - which they could have the other children in class sign for children who were not there.

You will find resources for "The Question" at the following link. Read the book. Then read it again, this time praying through it. Ask God to help you see where your church and ministry truly are and what you can do to, "keep the Zac's" rather than lose them.

The Question Nobody Asks About Our Children, is a must read - and the ebook is free at the link above. You might wonder why I say this; I'll tell you. Because it will provide resources which honestly have the potential to wake you up and change your ministry; in so doing, help you "keep" the children.

1 comment:

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