I am an unashamed advocate for a generational focus in our churches.
Jesus was too. He’s my role model. With open arms and open heart He welcomed children and presented them as a model of response and heart posture before God.
Significant portions of Christians make their response to Jesus before they’re 13. Healthy kids ministries are environments where children can explore and experience faith and a resource parents can draw upon in THEIR role of raising kids in faith.
It’s a given that Kids ministry is also a high-volunteer-engagement department. Duty of care requirements and the sheer practicality of how mobile, inquisitive and active children are means lots of adult supervision is required.
But here’s my case for why you (whoever you are!) should do a stint in Kids Min at some point.
1 Kids min requires a broad range of skills, gifts and personalities.
IT & A/V; physical set up and pack down of rooms; craft and game planning; administrative tasks; leading in music or dance; preparing or delivering teaching; developing relationships; prayer and more – a successful Kids Ministry is sustained by a diverse team each contributing their part. I guarantee you have a skill that your Kids department could benefit from.
Some children will respond more to a quiet, gentle personality and others will gravitate to the loud and playful.
Commonly, kids ministry teams are filled with teens and young adults. It’s true in my context. They are the engine room of our kids min with their energy, passion, availability and relational “cool factor” with the kids. But the wisdom, experience, knowledge and security of more senior team members is required too. Both as a resource to the younger leaders AND to the kids themselves.
2 Sharing faith with a child builds and inspires your own.
They say if you can’t explain it to a 6 year old you don’t know it. As we more simply and clearly express the gospel and the work of God in our life to young people we crystallise our own understanding and faith.
Watching someone grasp God’s truth for themselves is incredibly exciting. Encouraging young people to establish themselves in the love of God, anchoring themselves in His truth and His faithfulness as a starting point for their life is an incredible gift we give to others.
Children lead us in joy and awe. They remind us to be uninhibited in our response to the activity and knowledge of God.
3 You demonstrate church in action
You show parents that you really are committed to supporting them in their role. You show the children that everyone serves everyone. You give opportunity for intergenerational relationships (which are a crucial contributor to the feeling of “belonging” in a faith community – for all involved). You model body life – showing the feet, hands, arms and ears all acting as they ought. You share testimony of God’s activity in your life and how He works across various ages and stages of life.
And before you’re even thinking it – here’s three excuses that just won’t fly!
I’m too something (old, young, new, uncool etc) God uses all types of people to reach all types of people. Your unique “something” could be just the tool He needs to connect with specific people. If you don’t serve, that “something” is missing.
I’m busy. No one currently serving in your kids min team is doing so because they have nothing else to do. You prioritise what you value. And there is always flexibility in regards to time commitments, frequency and scheduling required by each ministry.
I don’t want to miss the sermon/service. Podcast the message, attend a second service at a different time (and consider why it’s ok for others on the teams who make kids min possible in your church to miss out on what you think is unmissable – just sayin.).
So how about it? Why don’t you give it a go? At least for a season. Consider the impact you could make in the life of the team, the church …or even just one child. Be prepared for God to do something big with your availability and willingness.