If you are like me, you find yourself collapsing across the finish line at the end of the school year in your children’s ministry. Before I could catch my breath, I quickly moved to Vacation Bible School, camp, and all the other summer activities.
In the midst of the craziness, is it difficult to find time to evaluate and process your successes and failures from the school year and your midweek program?
Here are several questions you might want to ask:
- Did I see the lives of children in my ministry change through the school year?
- How are their lives different now?
- Is the direction I am heading going to have a lasting spiritual impact on the children in my ministry?
LifeWay research shows us that there are four predictors that indicate if a child will have lasting faith as a young adult:
- Daily reading of Scripture
- Praying daily
- Serving the local church on a regular basis
- Participating in missions both locally and away from your church
All four predictors move away from Christian education and toward children learning spiritual disciplines and finding their purpose in serving and being on mission for Christ.
If you have a minute, take my “Education vs. Discipleship Assessment.” This will help you determine if you are heading in the right direction. Is your ministry educating children or discipling children?
Twenty-three years ago after years of frustration, I broke away from the norm and from what I had been taught in seminary. I turned my focus to discipleship and taught children how to spend time in the Word of God daily, how to pray, and how to share their faith. I allowed children to serve in the church using their gifts and equipped and released them as missionaries.
That summer, I saw lives change rapidly like I had never seen before. Children were different because they learned how to walk daily with the Master. From my 34 years of experience in children’s ministry, I had the privilege of developing a ministry called L.I.T. (Leaders In Training) that encompasses multiple spiritual disciplines.
I recognized the importance of families being involved in the spiritual lives of their children and developed tools for training them. Yes, parents are at the top of the list of importance. We need to train them and give them the tools to disciple their children.
But what you do at church has major significance in successfully discipling a child. We trained teachers on how to mentor and disciple children. We helped children discover their spiritual gifts and gave them opportunities to serve using their gifts. We moved from missions education to training and releasing missionaries.
L.I.T. is a complete children’s discipleship ministry (program) for every church. We are committed to providing you with tools to disciple children to be in the Word of God daily, spend time at the feet of the Master, and serve in the local church. You will be equipping them to be missionaries of the Good News of Christ today.
Don’t forget to take the assessment to find out where you are today. I look forward to hearing from you.
Leader Testimony: We Have a House Full of Jesus Lovers by DeAnn Noyes