By Daniel Im: Like anything in life, trends come and go. Fads become popular and soon pass. Kids ministry is not immune to popular trends. Media-driven ministry is popular one day and group ministry is popular the next. Fortunately, there is one ministry that started as a trend but is here to stay. Gospel-centrality has been a critical focal point in kids ministry. Ministry leaders have captured the vision that kids understand the gospel in a profound way with urgency. It is key for ministry leaders help children understand the gospel as one big story about God, not just grooming the kids to become Pharisees. Gospel-centric ministries have grown and are sticking, which is good news for churches.
The Gospel Project for Kids is a resource for churches that creates a chronological sequence to educate children about the Bible. It helps church leaders understand where each story points to the cross. This is the flagship of gospel centrality for LifeWay Kids and is a great starting point for churches.
Advice to Pastors
Kids ministry is really hard work. You have to build and train an army of volunteers that serve faithfully. Although kids ministers get into kids ministry because they love kids, the reality is that they work with adults more than they work with kids. This means reaching both parents and volunteers. In order to do this effectively, pastors need to partner with kids ministers to capture the parents and help them realize the need to disciple their children at home. Kids ministers need the whole church to rally behind the idea.
The best formula for effective family ministry is to involve the entire family by having healthy, intertwined relationships in the approach to ministry. The most important thing we can do in the lives of kids now that will make a difference in their lives later is to help kids read the Bible. Help children grow in their biblical literacy throughout their childhood into adulthood. Prioritize the importance of focusing on Scripture.
Path to Success
One way for a church to be successful in kids ministry is by having a gospel-centric focus. Don’t make the games and activities the starting point. God’s Word is the transformational factor of kids ministry, not sports. It’s also important to maximize the time with kids and equip parents to maximize their time teaching the kids the Bible.
Another key to success is to develop church leaders and pour into them. You need godly men and women who are going to consistently serve with you. They need to see the same face to enable trust within children. Build up a consistent leadership team to pour into the lives of kids. Develop relationships among the leaders serving in kids ministry. Often, they are giving up times they could be serving with other adults. It’s important to create a small group feeling so that the adults serving kids are still in community with other adults.
Kids Ministry in Church Planting
There will be seasons in church planting where it is necessary for adults to be required to serve in kids ministry. In church plant cultures sometimes kids outnumber the adults. In situations like this, it can be a good idea to implement a required sign-up rotation for adults with children in kids ministry for a season. The goal is to cast the vision of how important kids ministry is. It can be seen as a non-glamorous job amongst adults, but it is an important job for the lead pastor to set a culture that encourages adults to serve in church ministry. You are working toward a goal of not having to ask people to sign up. You want people who are standing in line to serve.
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Source: Trends of Kids Ministry