By Grant Crawford
We have learnt a lot about ministering to children during our years here at NCF Church. Here are a couple of points we think are valuable when it comes to ministering to children.
And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. (Matthew 18:5-6)
Some practical points on children’s ministry to get started:
- The leader of children’s church needs to have all the qualities of a lead elder.
- Buildings don’t make a children’s ministry, but bad ones can make life difficult.
- For a children’s ministry to work you need “buy in” from 3 groups of ‘stakeholders’ as it were :
Here’s how we have gone about pursuing. this “buy in”:
1. To keep the leaders interested, signing up and motivated the following is imperative:
- Gift recognition, and specialisation of leaders (administrators, good with adults, musicians, small group leaders, sound and lighting, serving, welcomers etc)
- Commitments clearly spelled out regarding duties and leaders meetings
- Resourced with a good curriculum and support in terms of media and training
- A ratio of 8 children to every adult is a minimum
- A dedicated “elder caliber” leader in charge
- Appreciation shown by the rest of the church
2. To attract parents and keep them bringing their children the following is imperative:
- It must be obvious that children matter to the church
- It must be safe (doctrinally, facility wise, adults need to be good with kids and have police clearances, peers need to be age-appropriate and monitored at all times)
- It must be accessible i.e. in view of the site as you arrive. Some sort of interface with leaders must occur.
- It must be attractive to their children- the children must like it.
- Excellence is important because increasingly we find that parents worship their kids.
- The entrance to the children’s facility is critical, as it is the interface with the adults
3. To attract children the following is imperative:
- There must be life (Holy Spirit life, life in the leaders)
- There must be energy (excitement, happiness, using young leaders can help generate this life)
- There must be care (the presence of some parent helpers, care is also seen in the effort exerted in the preparation of the meeting and facilities)
- There must be reality (authenticity in story telling and relating)
- There must be relevance (in the buildings, stories, language and mediums used)
We hope that this resource blesses you and your children’s ministry. Feel free to print, edit and distribute this document.