I have heard many arguments about children’s church and why children should not be in a separate service for their age group. Some believe that they should be sitting with their parents in the service—I do, too! Others would say that it is an excuse for them to skip church and hide out in children’s church. I want to challenge your perspective, whichever it may be.
I served on staff in five different churches. At two of them, I did not have a say about whether kids would sit with their parents or were welcome in children’s church. The main reason for children’s church was that our worship center did not have enough room for the kids. So, we provided children’s church. The choice was made for me…I was going to do children’s church.
After years of leading children’s church, the Lord changed my perspective. Why not make it a platform for kids to lead and minister. I set up Wednesday evenings at my church to provide training for them. On Sunday mornings, they applied what they had learned and led out in ministry. It instantly reduced discipline issues, and it provided a place of service for older children and preteens. This resulted in spiritual growth and ownership in the body of Christ.
Here are four steps you can take to make your children’s church a ministry to equip children to serve and grow:
- Look at the places of service in your children’s church where you would allow children to lead out and minister. For example: run tech, lead worship, pass the offering, lead games, teach lessons, sit with younger children, make announcements, lead in the prayer ministry, etc. The children’s pastor at my current church took this approach, and we have seen amazing spiritual growth and maturity in our preteens.
- Provide a day when you can train and equip them for ministry. We used Wednesday evenings to train preteens to minister during Sunday morning children’s church.
- Release them to minister. One of the blessings of training and allowing children and preteens to serve is that it frees you up to meet with parents and take care of discipline issues.
- Develop job descriptions. Don’t expect anyone, including children, to serve without understanding what their responsibilities are. This helps you avoid confusion and keep children on task.
I want to personally invite you to join us for one of our upcoming Empowering Kids Leadership Training events. This is a two-hour event packed full of information that will give you tools to develop a life-changing children’s ministry in your church.