One of my greatest joys as a children's pastor/minister has been getting parents involved in the spiritual lives of their children. As parents begin to understand their influence on their children's decisions, they begin to experience the joy of being a parent in pursuit of the Savior. But first, we have to look at some of the challenges we face. Most parents today do not make their child's spiritual life their number one priority. The majority of families would say their child's education is number one. Number two—and you may know this already—Is sports and extracurricular activities. You have seen it. They will choose soccer practice over the church in a heartbeat. Sadly, Jesus is somewhere between numbers three and thirteen. So, how do we turn the number one spiritual influence in a child’s life (parents) back to a path that will help them join their child on their spiritual journey? Here are four steps you can take:
We implemented the L.I.T. program in May of 2019, and we have seen God answer many long-awaited prayers! We had been seeking God for years with the burdens of equipping families to better disciple their children in the Lord, equipping kids to serve God now in their youth, and reaching kids in our community. God has used L.I.T. to answer all of these and more.
At our church, our Wednesday night service has transitioned from being extremely anemic to full of life! Our children’s ministry grew from one family in attendance and one teacher pouring into them to 13 adults and 17 or so children attending regularly! We had no midweek program for Jr. High students, and now we have 100% participating in L.I.T. with their own discipleship group. We have integrated them into our ministry teams as well, and two of those young ladies are DG leaders themselves.
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.
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.