Dwight L. Moody was once quoted saying, “If I had my life to live over, I would give all my time to children.”
Ministry to all ages is important, but I wonder if we make the mistake of thinking ministry to the adults is where the action is.
The whole church is responsible for inviting kids to follow Jesus and often, children’s ministry is just one of many church ministries and unfortunately, at times, the low end of the totem pole!
I’ve been re-reading an old George Barna’s Book: Rechurching the Unchurched. Again the statistic surfaced about the probability of people accepting Jesus:
32% probability they will accept Jesus.
4% probability they will accept Jesus.
6% probability they will accept Jesus.
The very best opportunity we have to help people take the first step toward Jesus is really before they reach the teen years. From there, a person can keep growing in knowledge and faith, but the first step is important!
This motivates me to remind ourselves, as the church, to emphasize inviting kids to follow Christ!
The best and strongest leaders in the church should be serving in children’s ministry. Local church children’s ministry should help lead the way for the congregation to find involvement in working with children and inviting kids to follow Jesus. Typically, the third hire in a new church start, after a pastor and worship leader, is children’s ministry. Church leadership should go to great lengths to organize and invest in quality ministry and leadership. Build the culture of “all hands on deck” when it comes to reaching kids.
Christian Parents In The Home
Christian families should take their role seriously to teach their children about faith. Through faithful worship attendance, commitment to pray at meals and before bed and everyday faith conversations with their kids. In many ways, it’s more caught that taught.
Kids Ministry Events Through The Local Church
Our culture relates well to one time, short term commitment events. People become weary filling up their calendars with long term, weekly or monthly commitments, but if you have a one-time event on a weekend or day somewhere on the calendar, families will typically respond favorably. These one-time events for kids can be a great opportunity to invite kids to follow Jesus! Kids camps are growing in popularity – from summer sport or music camps in local churches to full church camps away from home! These are dynamite for reaching kids and inviting them to trust Jesus.
There is no correlation between the size of your church and the impact you can have on Sundays! Excellence is defined as doing the best with what you have! Make your ministry to children the best possible. Plan worship to be most inspiring and helpful as possible. Give kids incentives for being at church and if they get excited, their families will follow. Invite kids to follow Christ every time the door is open!
The Light Kids Conference
One of my favorite events through the year is The Light Kids Conference! Over the years, thousands of children have attended this event. My prayer is that through this one-time invitation to follow Jesus, kids will grow in the desire to keep following, keep learning and to grow in faithfulness. I’m glad all these kids have an opportunity to get to know faithful and young Harvest Ministry Team Leaders. I’m glad they have an opportunity to make memories and grow in relationships with their local church ministry leaders and other kids in their groups. I have often wondered if we should stop doing everything except kids conferences! If you’re in Illinois, stay in touch with us and make plans to attend next year – kidsconference.org.
Joy in Inviting
One of the best ways for Christians to awaken in children a desire to follow Christ is living by example and having lots of joy in working with and serving them. Every Christian is responsible for “Children’s Ministry” in the name of Jesus. Invite kids to give their lives to Jesus by living a faithful, God-fearing life. Enjoy the journey, respond to children and be faithful to walk closely with Jesus.
How will you invite kids to follow Jesus this week? In what ways is your church intentionally reaching kids?
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