As I travel and speak at churches about reaching the next generation, I come in contact with lots of different kinds of children's ministries.
It is always interesting how churches approach children's ministry. In just one weekend, you can usually tell how important children's ministry is in that church.
As I thought about the different churches and their approach to children's ministry, it nudged me to write this article.
Here are 10 things I pray every church that I minister in understands and embraces.
1. Children's ministry is not babysitting. Rather it is ministry at the most important time in a person's life. So many brain connections are being made. They are learning so many foundational things that will stick with them for the rest of their life.
2. Parental influence makes all the difference in the world. No one has more influence in a person's life than his or her parents. If you want to influence children, then you must first influence their biggest influencers...THEIR PARENTS. Once you being influencing parents, you will see a huge impact in the child's life as well.
3. Kids were made to move. They are wired with lots of energy that is busting at the seams. Rather than telling them to sit still and be quiet, we should use games and activities that get kids moving while teaching them spiritual truths at the same time.
4. Relationships matter. Nothing can take the place of a caring adult investing in the lives of kids at church. No video game can replace this. No app can replace this. No video can replace this. This is why keeping ratios is so important. It gives the group leader an opportunity to personally invest in each child.
5. Kids influence giving. According to a report by NRF, 87% of parents surveyed say their children influence their purchase decisions. If you want to see the adults in your church giving their tithes and offerings, then first get their children on board for giving.
6. Kids can serve now. Look into God's Word and you will see God using lots of kids to accomplish His purpose. David. The little maid. The boy with the lunch. The children who praised God in the temple. Give kids the opportunity to serve and make a difference and they will respond.
7. Children are a major growth engine for churches. Want to reach young families? Show them you care about their child and they will come. The best way to reach a parent's heart is through their children. Growing, thriving churches normally have growing, thriving children's ministries.
8. Today's kids will one day be the top leaders of your church. What do you want them to know, believe and act like? Start now teaching them those things. You have the opportunity to leave a legacy when you do this.
9. Kids are the greatest mission field. The vast majority of people who come to Jesus do so when they are children. Kids can enter a relationship with Jesus just like adults. There is no "Jr. Holy Spirit." If we don't reach them before they turn 19, their chances of ever knowing Jesus are significantly reduced.
10. Children are the church of today and tomorrow. Invest in them now and you will see fruit come from it now and later.
If you are in a church where children's ministry is not high on the list of important ministries, then I would encourage you to share this article with those who oversee your church ministries. Time is short. If we are going to reach the next generation and see them become leaders in God's army, it will start in the nursery.