What is the most important
thing you do?
By Joni Lum, Children's Ministry Consultant
Regathering Kids Ministry
As we restart our kids ministries, it’s important to take a step back and remember why we do what we do. I’m guessing, if I were to ask you, you'd say that we do kids ministry to grow kids that know and follow Jesus. In other words, we give our time, our very lives, to growing child disciples. We champion others, and ourselves, to mentor kids and help them know Jesus and live his way. It’s all about the relationship, it’s never only about the program.
Growing child disciples starts with relationships.
Sometimes we get busy and bogged down in the planning and organizing, recruiting leaders, buying supplies, and staging rooms. It's easy to focus on the elements of our programs. All of these are important, but the one thing that must be done is to create space for leaders and kids to talk. That sounds so obvious and simple, but during this time of returning, the lack of leaders and the number of kids, might make having personal conversations difficult. Here are some shifts you might want to make:
Prioritize Small Group time. However you meet, be sure to carve out time and space for kids to meet consistently with their leaders. They need time to chat and become friends.
Train and Cast Vision with your Small Group Leaders. Some might think, “all I do is talk to kids,” not realizing how important they are to the faith formation of a child. Help them to see the importance of their role. Train them to have short and meaningful, age appropriate conversations.
Help your Small Group Leaders to prioritize relationships. Challenge and resource them to really know the kids they serve. Can they identify all of the kids in their group by name? Do they know anything about them?
Barna research shows that only 2 of 5 kids in kids ministry have a positive, meaningful relationship with a mentoring adult. That’s only 40% of kids in our ministry. Faith is passed from one generation to the next through relationships, not through programs. If we want to grow the next generation of disciples, we must go and make new friends so we can introduce them to our very best friend.
Cheering you on!