Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Engage Children, Pay Attention & Help Children Connect

Forty plus years ago when I led Children's Ministries, most of the children were brought to church by their parents. There were few children who came because their grandparents brought them. However; times have changed. It is more likely than not you have children in your ministry who are there because their grandparents bring them. Where I used to be able to focus upon keeping parents updated on what we were doing with their children in the Children's Ministry and planning resources to equip parents, so they were able to continue the teaching at home, today it is very possible you have to expand your vision to include grandparents.

You also have to stop and realize what it is like for grandparents who bring their grandchildren to church. IF they are able to bring their grandchildren to church, it is likely they are only able to do so as long as their grandchildren want to go to church. When children are able to decide if they go to church or not, if you do not engage them in the Children's Ministry, pay attention, and help these children connect, you very well may end up losing them.

So how are you able to do these things in your Children's Ministry? Consider the following ideas . . . 
  • Make large group a time where children participate and do not just have to sit on a chair, or the floor, and listen.
  • Pay attention. Pay attention. Pay attention. When a child is absent, send them a card; yes, an old fashioned, snail mail card. Children love to receive mail and if they receive a note saying they were missed, it does make a difference - to them, their grandparents, and possibly even to their parents who are not going to church. Pay attention.
  • Encourage children - and their parents - who come to church regularly to make friends with children who do not come every week - especially if they are children who are brought to church by their grandparents. "Church kids" know each other because they grew up in the church and their parents are friends. They may see one another outside of church, but children who have parents who do not go to church, do not have these opportunities to connect and make friends with other children at church. Put children in groups where they are able to make friends with children who come to church with their grandparents - and encourage their parents to be sure to include these children in opportunities to get together outside of church.
These are just a few ways a Children's Ministry is able to make a difference, for all children, but to especially be a help to grandparents who bring their grandchildren to church. 

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