Children’s Ministry for me starts with feeding God’s lambs. In John 21, Jesus appears to His disciples after on the sea. He cooks breakfast for them. Then he takes Peter aside, to re-affirm who he is. Jesus asks him “Do You love me more than these?”, Peter says yes, and then Jesus tells him: “Feed my lambs”. Jesus does this two more times, but the next two times, he says sheep. Is it that Jesus is saying to make it a priority to feed younglings (in spiritual and physical age). We can look to time and time again while Jesus was alive where He loves on children and even goes so far as to say adults need to be like children to get to heaven. This is the focus of my ministry.
I wasn’t one of those kids that grew up in church. The first taste I got of the Gospels was at a VBS my Aunt took me to. I learned John 3:16 in a little Gideon bible at VBS. It wasn’t until I was in my early twenties that my love of a girl, that would eventually become my wife, drew me to the Love of God. It started with an invitation to my girlfriend’s little sister’s Christmas play. In that little kids play, God began drawing me to Himself. A month later, little old me found myself at a service at the very same church I’d came for the kids Christmas play with the pastor giving an alter call and my heart pounding out of my chest because he was talking about and to me. I had so little clue about church and alter calls, when I made it to the front I face the congregation rather than the alter. I really had no idea about how this thing worked. That was January of of 1993. Since that time, God has continued to draw me closer. That early connection with VBS, has given me a great respect and even passion for VBS, because it was the initial seed planted in my young life.
Another part of my ministry vision is that God calls all children to be His. I have an daughter with special needs, and she learns differently than other typical kids. She’s given me a lesson in how you use many different methods of teaching and the many different methods of learning. A kid might be looking off into space, appearing that they aren’t paying attention at all, but soaking in every word. I’ve had many days when she’s been in a children’s church setting where I’d think she wasn’t paying any attention and on the way home she’s rattle off exactly what I had said.
One last part I think factors into my children’s ministry vision is a parent’s role in spiritually raising their children. I see a kid in children’s church 1 hour a week probably 40 weeks a year at best, so I have 40 hours of influence. I’m lazy sometimes and let them go outside and play. Summer is short here in North Central PA so you play outside while you have a chance, but still even if I didn’t let hem have outdoor time and used all 40 hours with kids, that number pales in comparison to the amount of time a kid has with his or her parents. A parent has the opportunity to do as Deuteronomy 6:7-9 says and “Impress them (God’s commandments) on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” To me, that sounds a lot like while parents and kids do life together. Impress God’s word when your eating pizza for dinner or going to cheer leading practice or by putting scripture on the walls of you heart or home. So in a lot of ways I think #kidmin or Children’s Ministry is more about Family Ministry.
So you can see, a lot goes into what I think Children and Family Ministry is. I’ve really just scratched the surface, and maybe in the coming days weeks months, I’ll dig deeper into what #kidmin really is to me.