I can tell how important children's ministry is in your church by walking through your building.
Many churches say they value kids, but their facilities reflect the opposite. They spend a lot of money on elaborate stages and lights in the "main" worship environment.
But then you walk down to the basement and see children's ministry rooms that look like they would be a good backdrop to film another "The Green Mile" movie.
I can also look at your children's ministry budget as it relates to the overall church budget and tell you how much you value the next generation. Many churches say they value children's ministry, but then their budget says something different.
The third place you can look to see how much your church values children is your volunteers. The quality of a children's ministry is always in direct correlation with the quality of the volunteers who serve in it.
A children's ministry will never rise above the quality of the people who are serving in it. Something isn't right when a church has dozens of choir robed people, but only a small handful of people who are trying to reach the next generation.
Jesus experienced this when some parents tried to bring their children to be blessed by Him. The disciples (who were the bouncers) forbid parents and their children to meet Jesus. In their mind, there was no room for children to see Jesus up close and personal. They could sit and watch from a distance, but their was simply not enough time or space for Jesus to minister to them.
But Jesus quickly showed the disciples they were wrong about this. He would make room for the children.
Then the little children were brought to Jesus for Him to place His hands on them and pray for them. And the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them! For the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” And after He had placed His hands on them, He went on from there. -Matthew 19
So Jesus stopped right in the middle of ministering to adults and made room to pray for and bless the children.
Here are some questions to ponder.
Do our facilities show that we make room for children?
Does our budget reflect a strong commitment to reaching the next generation?
Does the quality and number of people who serve in our children's ministry reflect a heart for kids?
I want to challenge you to...
Make room for the precious little ones in the nursery.
Make room for the inquisitive preschoolers. You can answer some of the thousands of questions they ask that are highlighted with the word "Why?"
Make room for the 3rd grade boys who never stop moving and creating their own church experience.
Make room for the pre-teens in your church. What a critical time they are in with many deciding if they are going to love and serve Jesus or bolt from church as soon as they are old enough.
Make room for more people to volunteer and invest in the next generation.
If you want to reach young families, then you've got to make room for their children.
If you want to see God bless your church, then you've got to make room for children.
If you want to see your church thrive, then you've got to make room for children.
If you want your church to still be reaching people in the future, then you've got to make room the children.
If you want to leave a legacy, then you've got to invest in children.
Make room for children. That's what Jesus did. That's what He is calling us to do. That's what we must be about.