Occasionally Jesus flipped typical life on its ear by demonstrating the importance of children in the kingdom of God. I would imagine that when He put His arm around a young child and mentioned that the kingdom of God belonged to these, He likely stunned and confused the adults around Him. Seeing Him welcome children to His lap makes us like Him a lot, but does it impact our ministry thoughts?
Truth is, our care for children and the priority we give to their ministry needs reveals a lot about our connection to the ministry focus of our Savior. But that priority also speaks volumes to the crowd around us.
People seek the best for their children. That’s why they often choose brutal schedules of ball games, music recitals, and a host of other activities their kids enjoy. Providing children with opportunities is what parenting seems to be all about in our culture.
Churches need to be aware of this priority and demonstrate their own love and care for children. Attractive classrooms, newer (and clean) toys, quality teachers and leaders, all say, “We were expecting your children,” to moms and dads. Creating kid-friendly environments in our churches elevate the expectation of the child and the contentment of the parents.
Additionally, providing a safe environment is essential. Making sure your classroom workers have been screened appropriately and trained for their work, and making sure safety issues in the classroom are addressed shows that the church takes the care of children seriously.
Do you realize that when we offer a nursery or children’s classroom to a guest family, we are asking them to entrust their children to total strangers? For many parents, that isn’t as easy as it might have been a few decades ago. Children cry when they experience separation anxiety. Parents sit in the auditorium distracted when they feel that same anxiety.
Excellence in children’s ministry is an absolute essential for the growing church. Yes, it can be a lot of work, but there may be no other effort that can most effectively strengthen your church and connect you to the heart of the One we seek to worship.
Give your children the very best…