Kids’ Ministry is simultaneously easy and hard. There are many jokes about kids’ ministry being draining, chaotic, and messy…that’s because it is! For those of us who currently work in kids’ ministry, we can assign a name to each of those seed-planting scenarios from the parable of the Sower in Luke 8, but the truth is, we won’t see the harvest of many of those seeds. Seeds planted don’t often ripen and mature until they are past the years we have as secondary spiritual influencers in their lives. God calls us to plant seeds obediently. The maturation of those seeds, however, is God’s job. As a child who grew up in church, I don’t know that I remember many of my Pastor’s sermons growing up (and he was my dad). I do remember Ms. Annie and Mr. Mike, who played the silliest songs and taught us about the Bible week in and week out. I still even remember the words to those songs.
The sacrifices we make to share the Gospel with the youngest generation of our church are necessary and worth it. We don’t know what the future holds for these little ones, but we are called to obedience today while we have them.
As we surrender to the call, here are 4 effective tips to help sow seeds into those who are under the care of our church’s Kids’ Ministry.
- Get the Parents on Board.
We are not the primary spiritual influencers in a child’s life. We need to be equipping parents for that. Every church should have a high value on marriage and parenting. At our church, we have yearly events intended to offer a variety of training on these important topics. We also have a list of resources we provide parents for a variety of encouragement scenarios. (To Name a few: Mama Bear Apologetics, Intentional Fatherhood, 8 Great Smarts, and The Talk by Luke Gilkerson).
- Get Gospel-Centered and Disciple-Making.
Make sure that your weekly curriculum constantly puts the Gospel in front of kids’ faces. Make sure that you are providing an opportunity to grow deeper in discipleship. Biblical literacy is so important. We should be teaching kids about what the Bible says and how God loves them. If kids are in your care, even for events, teach them the Gospel! Our former Senior Pastor, Roger Spradlin, constantly voiced the idea, “keep the main thing the main thing.” Don’t waste an opportunity to teach kids the MAIN THING!
- Go Into Your Community.
I recently read a book by JD Greear called, “Gaining by Losing.” Greear said it is becoming less and less likely that unbelievers will cross the threshold of churches in this current generation unless they have a contact on the inside. We must get out there and go to them. Create opportunities to reach people with the Gospel and invite them to church. Now, if you are accomplishing #2, the second important step is to teach kids to go themselves! Let us teach our kids to “be a friend” and to “bring a friend.” Mother-son events, Dad-Daughter events, Skate Nights, and Vacation Bible Schools are all opportunities for kids to bring a friend. They are going to hear the Gospel when they come.
- Say “Yes” to VBS (Whatever that looks like for your church).
Vacation Bible School works! Over nearly 18 years of ministry, I have done just about every kind of VBS imaginable: backyard, other countries, park, nighttime, daytime, weekly, and traditional. They all work if you put the time in. Every person in your church can play a part in VBS. While it can take months of planning, VBS can easily be broken down into a few simple steps:
- Find a curriculum that focuses on the Gospel.
- Get everyone in your church involved in some way (Pastors, that means you too). Go into your community and invite kids.
- Then, the most important part is follow-up afterward.
If you are a Christian, God has called you to make disciples who make disciples. Many years ago, God laid it on my heart that He wanted me to pour into the youngest of these. I have found no greater joy than being obedient to the call. There are so many ways we can share the Gospel with kids.