You walk into the room worn out from the workday and see children running everywhere—madness! They’re tired of sitting in school all day, and you are expected to spend the next hour or two teaching them about God. What do you do to grab and keep their attention? to memorably teach them about God? to accomplish more than being a glorified babysitting service? Do you give in and teach a quick lesson, have a snack, and play a few games so they have fun and want to come back next week? Or are you just convincing yourself and others that your ministry is truly reaching and teaching those children? Are you truly getting the job done in a systematic, fun, and engaging way?
It may be time to rethink your midweek ministry and consider how to get rid of the madness, how to do ministry more efficiently and effectively. Here are 12 reasons.
Children matter to your ministry, so you should have a curriculum goal, such as “to equip children with some measure of understanding of Bible doctrine characterized by authentic Christian teaching and supporting Bible verses.” This goal reflects a direction and purpose for children’s ministry. Other goals may include knowledge of Bible stories and lessons, Bible survey, and Biblical principles to live by or the development of Christian character, morals, and ethics.
Children Learn Using Different Methods
Children Matter to Your Ministry
If you are like me, you do not want to teach children something they will only use today. I want to teach children so they have a deep foundation upon which to grow their faith in God. Using a systematic, Bible-doctrine–based curriculum designed to deepen and build upon what the child has already learned allows children to deepen their relationship with God and provides a foundation for spiritual growth. Children begin to understand the Bible, not see information as fragmented pieces disconnected from the whole. Instead they can visualize all parts fitting together like a beautiful puzzle.
Christians should desire to see their churches grow both numerically and spiritually. It is their mission! So how do you help grow your children’s ministry? Here are five “must-haves” to provide:
You Want Children to Know, Love, and Worship God
You Want to Grow Your Children’s Ministry
You Want to Build a Firm Foundation for the Future
If a program is exciting and engaging, children will want to attend. Think back to your school or college days. What classes interested you the most? What classes made you want to study and come back the next session? Was it the class where the teacher spoke in a monotone, stared blankly at the back of the room as he spoke, and did not interact with his students? Or was it the class where the teacher was excited about the lesson, thought of interesting ways to engage the class, had exciting visuals or object lessons, allowed hands-on activities, and made learning the materials fun and interactive? Those were the classes I loved! I could not wait to see what the teacher was going to do next. More importantly, I learned and retained the most from those classes and activities. Creating a ministry with a similar feel will give the children an exciting, motivating, and memorable learning experience.
You Want to Create Excitement about Learning God-Focused Truths
My husband and I had the privilege of raising five children. We had four boys. Each differed from the other three in many ways. From the book learner, to the verbal, to the hands-on, to the techie—each of them learned in his own way. Add our daughter to the mix, and we had even another style of learning! Because children have different learning styles, a children’s ministry should incorporate different methods to accommodate the different styles. We want to reach all the children, not just ones that learn through hearing or seeing or hands-on doing—whatever our favorite method might be. A mix of different learning methods, review activities, and program activities helps to engage all children in the learning process.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
My greatest desire as a parent is for my children to know, love, worship, and, most importantly, glorify God. If they do, then I know I am a successful parent. A single teacher who taught all five of my children in the Christian school they attended told me, “Each child in my class is ‘my’ child.” She loves them for the rest of their lives. She invests in them, praying for them even after they leave her class. I feel the same way about the children who come through my church’s children’s ministry. Therefore, I desire for them to know, love, worship, and glorify our God. The only way they can do this is if they truly know God and have a relationship with Him. Does the curriculum you use in your children’s ministry point kids toward really knowing God and developing a relationship with Him?
Clubs Program Specialist
Marrena has worked in various areas of children's ministry at her church for over 35 years, including bus ministries, puppet ministry, children's Sunday School, children's church, evangelistic services, children's missionary conferences, and Vacation Bible School. Over the past 18 years, she has helped develop Kids4Truth Clubs. She has a deep desire for children to be taught the Word of God and to develop a relationship with our Lord, and enjoys training workers how to effectively minister to children through training events, children's ministry seminars and conferences, and Christian school educators' conferences.