Ever since I can remember I knew that God created me for a purpose as He does each of His children. My “purpose” is to teach children. But, it wasn’t until I started really doing Children’s Ministry, that I knew God was calling me to so much more.
My heart has been burdened for some time with how we can connect the church with our children and especially our families. I know not everyone is called to teach children, but a particular passage of Scripture has captured me ever since I can remember and recently gave me a fresh view on our children. I was listening to a sermon from Matthew 18:1-6. Jesus tells us we must humble ourselves like a child in order to enter heaven and then He goes on to say it is better for a millstone to be hung around someone’s neck and be drowned in the sea than to cause one child to stumble. A millstone? Obviously, Jesus meant business here. He is talking about a new believer and He is using a child as His illustration. In Matthew 19:13-15, Jesus tells the disciples to leave the children alone after they rebuked them from coming to Him. He tells us that heaven is made up of people with faith like children. I read these passages and I can only imagine the love He had for them and has for our children today. If we are saved, we are children of God. We must maintain a child-like faith. Jesus said not to prohibit a child from coming to Him and I take that very seriously. Children are very important to Him.
Because of these passages of scripture, I would like to give you a few reasons why I think Children’s Ministry in the church is so important. After all, for any ministry to thrive, it needs the support of the church.
Children that are raised in church from an early age and hear the Gospel are more likely to accept Christ as Savior than a child who didn’t until later in life. I won’t go into detail here (you can do your own research), but statistics on salvation of children show a significant drop after age thirteen and keeps dropping the older they are.
Children who are a part of the Children’s Ministry on a regular basis are made aware of the consequences of sin at an earlier age. This is done through Bible stories and writing scripture on their hearts through memorization and an understanding of what scripture means.
On a daily basis children are bombarded with the influences of the world. Being an active vital part of children’s ministry can equip them to make wise choices and live out their faith for Christ. It also teaches them from the start that they need to trust their lives to Christ and by Him only they are saved.
I know a lot of families that are Christ followers, teach their children to pray, but what about the ones who come only on Sunday and don’t have that influence at home? Children’s Ministry will teach them.
Children’s Ministry also helps families by giving them resources and engaging them in godly parenting and helping them stay connected. How many times have you had an issue with your child and you obtained help through counsel or a resource given to you? It also encourages faithfulness from both child and parent to study and attend classes and be involved with their church family.
Another way Children’s Ministry helps families is by bringing those that are unchurched together with the Gospel. An example of this would be AWANA. Think about those times a child has attended something like AWANA and the parent will stay for church. And in AWANA, Gospel presentations are made every time there is an event.
Children’s Ministry helps the church by bringing in new families. This is how our church grows. The growth of the children’s ministry is vital to the overall growth of the church. It also brings in new generations of godly individuals, and helps to train up future leaders. Lastly, I believe it gives an awareness of the church’s existence. Ex.: AWANA, church musicals, etc. Again, think of a parent or grandparent, aunt or uncle, who will come see a child sing or recite something on stage and the Gospel message will be given. That person(s) may not even know about your church or what goes on there until they come for an event. By simply attending something, the gospel message will be heard and salvation might become a reality.
With all of these things, the Holy Spirit of a Holy God must be allowed to His work. The Holy Spirit is the One who convicts us. The earlier a child is taught the gospel, the earlier conviction and work of the Holy Spirit can take place. As parents and the church, we should stand in support of our children and make sure they are taught truth from the first word they can understand. After all, they are looking at us to point them to Christ.