When Can Children Begin Serving in The Church?

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While leading a recent training, I asked the children's ministers and leaders who attended to discuss where children could serve at their church.

They said, “Greeting, helping, helping with the offering.”

It was my joy to show them a bigger picture for children in the church today.

For the last 17 years, I have had the joy of witnessing firsthand the Holy Spirit working in the lives of children.

There is nothing wrong with taking the offering and greeting on Sunday morning.

However, children can also teach, work with younger children, take on administrative tasks, and so much more. We had three 5th grade girls begin teaching 2nd graders at our church.


They faithfully prepared every Sunday and did an amazing job teaching and leading those children.

In fact, they taught the 2nd grade class for seven years straight.

They became terrific young teachers and leaders.

Their spiritual maturity surpassed that of their peers.

They had adults assisting them in amazement as they witnessed the girls flourishing in their gifts.

I have heard the argument that they need to be fed.

Nevertheless, as they taught, they grew in faith because of the challenge of being a teacher.

You see, children do not have a “baby” Holy Spirit.

The Spirit gifts all believers for ministry within the body, even our children.

Helping them find their gifts and providing a platform for ministry allows them to discover God's purpose in their lives. 

Here are some steps you can take now to engage children in ministry within your church.

  1. Do not look at their age; look at what God can do through them. Children can do amazing things for the Lord. Sometimes, we have to step aside and allow Him to do a work through them.
  1. Give children hard tasks. The greatest mistake we make in the church is to underestimate the gifts and abilities of children. We are afraid to give them too much, or we do not believe they can do certain things. However, I have found that giving them the impossible allows the God of the impossible to work through them.
  1. Help children discover their spiritual gifts. Give your children a spiritual gift test and creatively find them places in your ministry to use their gifts now. Go beyond the call of duty. The fact is that children and students who serve are the ones who will stick around. Be sure to download a copy of our free spiritual gift test. 
  1. Develop young leaders now. In most churches, there are huge leadership voids. The problem is not with the adults. The problem is in our churches when we make children and students just sit and listen for 18 years as they develop spiritually. So, we do not have any right to get upset when they don't want to serve because either they do not know how or we have taught them that church is non-committal.

The joy, Brothers and Sisters in children’s ministry, is that we do not have to wait for kids to begin serving; they can serve now. They are called to minister using their gifts. Through ministry, they discover God's plan and purpose for their lives. Make it a top priority in your ministry to develop a platform for children to use their gifts and you will discover one of the greatest privileges of being a minister—equipping the saints (kids) for works of ministry.