Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Yes, Our Children's Ministries Need to Change

I'm going to say something you may not have heard before . . . the church has allowed parents and grandparents to "outsource" their job of handing down confident faith to their children and grandchildren. Not only has the church allowed parents and grandparents to do this, but, sadly, we often encourage it. Even more, we communicate to parents and grandparents we in the church are the people best equipped to hand down confident faith. We must stop doing these things.

Yes, I just wrote we must stop doing these things. "Why?", you ask? Because God did not give the church the job of handing down confident faith to the next generations. He did not. He gave this job to the parents and grandparents. It is absolutely the job of parents and grandparents to be the people who hand down confident faith to the children they love. Just look in Deuteronomy 6 and you will see no mention of the church or the Children's Ministry, but plenty is said about parents and grandparents. When you read throughout the Bible you will see this holds true.

Why did God give this job to parents and grandparents? One reason is because parents and grandparents are the first and second most influential people in the lives of children. Another is because most children live with their parents and see their grandparents (hopefully) often. Parents and grandparents are best suited to talk about and show what a life of faith is all about. Even in the best scenario, there are 168 hours in a week and the church gets children for one hour - or maybe up to three if children participate in the mid-week ministry - let me say this again, one to three hours out of 168 hours a week. 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 336 hours. Yes, 336 hours. This probably has your attention - or at least it should. Clearly if genuine faith is handed down in the day-in-day-out living of our lives as God said in Deuteronomy 6, then it is easy to see how the church and the Children's Ministry is unable to even come remotely close in doing this, but parents and grandparents are.

If we sincerely want to see children become people who have a confident faith, then we must change our perspective on Children's Ministry. I mentioned above one of the things we may be communicating to parents and grandparents is they should "outsource" the handing down of confident faith to the children they love because we are the best equipped to do this. Sadly, this is mostly true. Most publishers publish curriculum for churches to use to hand down faith - there are few resources to equip parents and grandparents to do this. Few, but not zero.

We need to refocus our Children's Ministry to be a place which equips and encourages parents and grandparents to take their place as the primary people who hand down confident faith to the children they love. We need to equip them with resources - such as the Life on the Goldilocks Planet curriculum/book series (find it at this link). We need to encourage them to hand down confident faith and cheer them on as they do!

And, we need to focus the things we do with children to build upon what their parents and grandparents are doing and to provide additional voices from adults they know who care about them and who are saying the same things their parents and grandparents are saying. We need to be a place where children are able to build solid relationships with other children who believe - we must focus and be certain no child in our church feels left out or alone or unknown.

Yes, our Children's Ministries need to change - and when they do, we will find we are more effective in what we do than ever!

No comments:

Post a Comment