1) Why is children’s ministry so important?
a)- Jesus made it a priority.
Matt 18: 3 and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you
will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is
the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 “Whoever receives one such child in my name
receives me, 6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it
would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be
drowned in the depth of the sea.
b) – It has become a primary need among parents in the 21st century. Ministering, caring
for their children is an access into their lives.
– both parents working
– dysfunctional parenting
– social media, Digital entertainment forming values
– parents desperate to do the best for their kids
– competitive world
– feel they messing up
– idolise their children
c) – The older a person gets , the more resistant they become to receiving the gospel.
– anti God messages hit our children so early these days because of an acceleration in
2) Traditional models of ministering to children
– As a local church we do not want to slip into these practices
a) We are a family, so kids should be in the adult meeting , because families worship
– we don’t compel our children to stand in our shadows all day, when we visit friends they
play in the garden. There is a balance here. If Sunday messages are aimed at adults, the
children are likely to remember church as a very boring place.
b) Children’s Sunday school works best when it follows school principles. These principles
include discipline, routine, a preoccupation with knowledge, forced attendance etc. Most
children want a break from school over weekends.
c) We just need to occupy the kids while mom and dad are ministered to. This normally
results in a lack of imagination, purpose and ultimately kids get up to nonsense or feel like
they are a nuisance.
d) We admire those who do it, they are amazing people, but I am not getting involved. A
high child to parent ratio, dumbs things down to various forms of crowd control. Skilled
adults develop coping mechanisms designed for survival rather than discipling children.
e) We split the ages up into small, age specific groups and disciple them that way. This is
a good philosophy provided you have stax of enthusiastic and skilful leaders.
3) The indicators of a fruitful children’s
– happy when they drop their children off.
– partner with the messages/curriculum.
– they speak to their friends about it.
– they volunteer on ministry teams.
– they bring their children regularly.
– getting saved
– bringing friends
– asking their patents not to miss church
– growing in faith
– participation in meetings
– noticed, welcomed and followed up
– return a second time
– existing volunteers develop a habit of recruiting their friends
– specialisation of volunteers
– high levels of commitment and reward
– the volunteers growing in their faith.
e) View of rest of church
– they talk to their friends about it.
– they give financially into it’s development.
4) – principles that we use at Uptown
: Jesus centred, not children or leader centred.
: Holy Spirit presence evident in the meetings
: excellence in presentation
: simplicity to allow child access and multiplication.
: integrity of process, ie it has been thought through
: ratio of kids to adults 1/8 minimum
: partnering (communicating) with parents
: experts in their field operating in their gifting.
: communicate in the way/ style that they understand
5) – Model
To make Jesus irresistible to children we need to expect God’s presence, have loads of
energy, memorable facilities and have a model that is sustainable.
Our model includes:
– engaging parents at drop off and pick up and with (take home media)
– volunteers who specialise in admin, hosting, story telling, worship, small groups, MCing,
sound, lighting, back up logistics, media etc
– small groups
– regular, specialised volunteers
– worship and story telling in big groups.
– ministry in small and large groups
– our age splits are 1-4; 5-6; 7-12.
Even our new/small sites are to use this model, we don’t water it down for numbers sake.
6) Practical issues:
a)- raising teams:
: create culture
: work with site captains
: create the need/post
b)- holding teams:
: gift fit
: pray for
: redeem service
c)- dealing with parents:
: first impression
d) -dealing with new-comers:
: fear factor, unknown, saftey, contactable,
: follow up.
: energy for return
f) – Sunday meeting:
: set up , mood , enviro clean, music, team waiting and prayed up
: car park presence
: sign in, parent touch
: uptown brand
: parents wow factor