This is my first attempt at blogging. I don’t much care for writing, but I thought I’d give composing short articles a go. The purpose is to help me flesh out and share KidMin thoughts and ideas. Some posts will be solely about Children’s Ministry philosophy, and some will include family ministry tips and helps for parents.
Importance of Children Within the Local Church
Children are not incomplete humans in need of being shaped into adults in hopes of rearing better-leaders-of-tomorrow. They need to and should be valued for who they are not for who they can become. In the Old Testament, children were considered blessings and were included as equals in God’s covenant with His people (Psalms 127:3). By Jesus’ day, this tradition was all but forgotten. As part of His ministry, Jesus re-establishes the place of children within the community. One well known example of this is when Jesus is angry with His disciples who were rebuking parents for bringing their children to Jesus. He said, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.”
Children have much to contribute to mature adults. They remind us how to be dependent, a characteristic one needs if he or she is to trust only in God. They also help us recapture our sense of awe and wonder, creativity and excitement. Adults tend to be too independent and rational. Kids remind us of how God views His children: created beings in need of love, care, grace, and guidance.
Why Children’s Ministry?
As seen above, children are a vital and important part of a community of believers. They can be saved, they can share the gospel with others, and they remind adults about what it means to have childlike faith. But no one wants children to remain children forever. Children grow much like Jesus did: mentally, physically, socially, and spiritually (Luke 2:52). Children’s Ministry helps kids during their journey to maturity in these three areas. At Sixth Street Baptist Church, the Children’s Ministry exists to partner with parents in helping children become disciples who love God passionately, grow in community, and live missionally.
I believe Children’s Ministry is important for three main reasons (there are others but these are the main ones):
An active Children’s Ministry draws families to the local church because parents want their children to be involved in something meaningful were they can develop relationships with other church kids, have adults who are not their parents speak into and invest in their lives, and learn how to apply their faith in every day life.
What happens during Children’s Ministry small groups, events, camps, etc. are spring boards for family worship in the home. Everything we do at SSBCkids can be reinforced during the week around the dinner table or in the car. The conversations between a small group leader and a child can continue between that child and his or her parents. The concepts learned during SSBCkids can be lived out by the parents as examples to their children and talked about during various challenging life situations. The verses we memorize at Wild can become a family goal where each family member is held accountable to learn God’s Word by heart.
Children need adults who are not their parents to speak into and invest in their lives. An adult truly wanting to know who a child is and showing interest in their interests builds self-esteem and confidence in the lives of kids. We see this in coach/player relationships quite often. When a coach believes in a player, tells the truth when the player needs it, shows grace at the right time, and works to help them better their game, the player will most likely succeed. The same happens in the lives of young believers when discipled by adults who choose to give of their time to get to know some of the youngest members of the faith family.
Kids are able to love God passionately, grow in community with other believers, and live missionally. Children’s Ministry in the local church gives them opportunities to learn how to do this and to live it out. This is why I’m passionate about KidMin. Next up, the partnering-with-parents part of our mission in SSBCkids. But not today. I think that’s pretty good for my first blog.