In ministry we must be cautious to make sure we are staying true to the calling of Christ to make disciples.
When I first started out in ministry, I was passionate about sharing the Good News of Christ with every lost child.
I would create fun events, lock-ins, retreats, etc.
Throughout the past 26 years, I led hundreds of children to Christ during these events.
As I have learned more and more about discipleship through the years, I realize I was not discipling the kids who were making decisions.
I was “throwing out the baby with the bath water.”
They would move up into the student ministry ill-prepared to face the battles they encountered as teenagers.
One of my greatest joys in ministry is to watch children in whom I have poured my life flourish.
Watching them struggle with responsibility and then come out on the other side doing amazing things for the Lord is such a joy.
What I have learned in the past ten years is that when I incrementally give kids responsibilities beyond their abilities, they almost always step up to the plate.
One young lady who served with me for more than seven years told me during one of our mission trips, “I know what you are doing now.”
I said, “What’s that?” “You always give me the impossible, and after I go through it, I am looking for the next big thing that God will do in my life.”
She got it!
Okay, we have talked about the first model of being a great disciple group leader—being a model for your class or group of what the Christian life looks like (”I Do, You Watch”).
That means you do everything.
You are submitted to the lordship of Christ, you do your daily quiet times, you teach, you pray for them, you memorize the verse, and you take records.
All the while, they watch and observe.
The challenge here as I have explained to you before, is that you cannot stay here.
If you get stuck in the teaching style where you do everything and the kids just sit and listen—you have a problem.
If you are a perfectionist like me, it is really hard to share responsibility with others.
That was my problem years ago when I first started out in children’s ministry. I was at a small church.
I guess I was a little bit OCD.
When it came to setting up the chairs for children’s church, I loved the square titles on the floor.
They were perfect for lining up the chairs in a nice, clean, straight row. It was great until the kids showed up and got them out of alignment.
I was the worst!