Bridging The Gap Between Preteen and Student Ministry
The other day I was talking with a children’s pastor in my area. She was very frustrated because she had moved a group of preteens that she felt were ill prepared into the student ministry of her church. She talked with the student pastor shortly after the transition, and he told her that it was too late, that they were set in their ways and there was little hope of their lives changing at this point.
The fingers point in many directions in the church trying to cast blame; however, the answer to the problem is to stop doing what we are doing and move to a model of intentional discipleship and empowering of children and preteens for ministry.
Allen Nelson shares,
Taking a Non-traditional Approach to Children's Ministry
L.I.T. (Leaders In Training) takes a non-traditional approach to children’s ministry.
Most curriculums are knowledge-based, where children are taught stories and information about the Bible according to their developmental learning styles.
In many cases, Christian resource providers have adopted this secular education model.
L.I.T. focuses more on what a child can do through the work of the Holy Spirit in their life.
Children at a very young age can begin developing a steady walk with Christ through daily Bible study and prayer.
A partnership between parents and the church has proven to be very effective in developing spiritual disciplines at home.
What children have studied at home is being reinforced during disciple group time by leaders who are models leading by example.
As a group progresses throughout the year, the leader intentionally gives more and more responsibility to the children in the group.
Only Half of our Kids Are Doing Daily Quiet Times ☹
I was talking to a Children’s Minister recently about how things were going at her church.
She told me that she was really discouraged. She was thinking that what they were doing was not really working…until she sat down with the kids.
She said, “I sat down with them one night and asked them about their spiritual lives, and I was blown away! I could not believe the depth of their spiritual maturity.”
She was four months into her new leadership ministry for children.
“Praise the Lord!” I said.
Joining Parents on The Spiritual Journey of Their Child
Several years ago, I was approached by a deacon’s wife in my church.
She said, “Clint, you are asking too much of these kids to require them to do a daily quiet time.”
She was a friend. I said, “Julie, it is a good thing for your daughter to have a daily quiet time.”
Well, about three month later, she came to me and said:
“You were right! I see a change in Amy’s life. You warned us not to give up, and you were correct.”
How dare me to require a child to do a daily quiet time! 😊