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The Importance of Discipleship in Children's Ministry

If we are going to see kids follow Jesus for a lifetime, we must help them become growing, passionate and intentional disciples. According to Barna, here are the current commitment levels among the generations.

Boomers (ages 58 to 76)

  • 53% not involved in any type of discipleship

  • 28% are being discipled

  • 5% only discipling others

  • 14% in discipleship community

Gen X (ages 42-57)

  • 41% not involved in any type of discipleship

  • 27% are being discipled

  • 5% only discipling others

  • 27% in discipleship community

Millennials (ages 25-41)

  • 23% not involved in any type of discipleship

  • 27% are being discipled

  • 6% only discipling others

  • 44% in discipleship community

Z (ages 9-24)

  • 39% not involved in any type of discipleship

  • 3% are being discipled

  • 6% only discipling others

  • 44% in discipleship community

Without being intentionally discipled, today's kids will grow up and will not know how to defend their faith much less know the key doctrines that the Bible rests upon.

Did you know that 24% of Gen Z says our teaching is too shallow?

They want to be discipled.

They want to know why they believe what they believe.

It's time we move beyond the fluff and engage kids in learning how to defend their faith.

If we are going to effectively disciple kids, then we must...

Have disciple-makers ready. Discipleship happens through relationships. If you are going to make discipleship a top priority in your ministry, then you have to have volunteers ready to invest in and pour into the children. You can't disciple kids when you are in a room with 30 kids and 2 volunteers. It will turn into crowd control. Work hard to build your volunteer team so you can have a discipler ready for every group of 6-8 kids.

Teach Bible apologetics. A big part of discipleship is helping kids know why they believe what they believe. I have an apologetics series that can help you prepare kids to defend their faith. It is being used by hundreds of churches and is available for you at this link. I also have another apologetics series that will be released within the next month.

Teach doctrine. This goes hand-in-hand with teaching apologetics. Kids need to know and be able to share what the great doctrines of the Bible mean. I was in a Sunday morning class a few weeks ago and the teacher was talking to the kids about miracles in the Bible. She asked if anyone could name a miracle in the Bible. There were 7-8 children in the class and not one of them could name a miracle. Who's fault is that? It's our fault for not bringing solid Biblical content into our teaching.

Give them the tools they need to own their faith. As kids grow as disciples, they should begin owning more and more of their faith. We must place growth plans in their hands and encourage them to walk with Jesus and get to know Him better by spending time with Him in Bible reading and prayer.

Have a spiritual growth pathway you follow for your teaching lessons. Check out the curriculum I created to take kids from salvation all the way to spiritual leadership. You can see the teaching series and pathway at this link.

Partner with parents and equip them to disciple their children at home. No one has more discipleship making influence than parents. Put the tools in their hands that they need to succeed in this endeavor. Constantly remind them that they are the primary spiritual influence in their children's lives.

The time is urgent. If we don't disciple the kids in our homes and ministries, the world will. Come alongside kids and walk them. Engage them. Love them. Care about them. Teach them God's Word. Model prayer for them. Show them how to share their faith.

And remember...discipleship is not just taught, but caught as well. May our faith be real and may our walk with Jesus be passionate. So passionate

that the generation behind us is compelled to follow the same pathway.


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