Tony Kummer, founder of Ministry-to-Children.com and kids pastor from Indiana, is back with us today with another guest post on over-churched kids. If you missed Tony’s first guest post, you can find it here.
In my last post, I wrote about recognizing over-churched kids. If you’re new to this conversation read that post first to see what I’m talking about. These posts are talking about kids who have a great deal of church experience, but are getting bored because they need more relationship with Jesus. These children are often drifting away even while sitting in our ministry.
For this post, I’m going to give you some practical tips for helping these children. These are simple steps that will work in most churches.
1. Build Relationships: Getting to know each child is vital for effective ministry. This is even more true with these children. Often their respect for you will keep them engaged and motivated to participate. If they start to drift away from church you can be the person to call them back. On my website, we posted 5 simple relationship building ideas.
2. Be Patient: Bored kids are often a source of frustration and disruption in your ministry. Your patience will demonstrate love and may soften that child’s hardening heart. When your struggle, just remember how patient God has been toward you.
3. Don’t Judge: One temptation is to think poorly of this child’s parents. Don’t assume it’s always their fault. The hearts of children are sinful just like ours. Even with great teaching and authentic family devotions, children will often choose their own paths.
4. Don’t Gossip: When you’re frustrated it’s easy to spread negative talk. Be careful in how you express your concerns to other workers. When possible, describe behavior without implying motive. Say, “Todd has been a little distant during children’s church.” Do not say, “Todd really is not acting like he’s saved, I wonder if his baptism was a mistake.”
5. Never Give Up: Every child has their own spiritual journey. Some take a long time to realize God’s love while others come to Jesus and never look back. I’ve know many kids who need to recommit their lives at every developmental stage. Whatever the case, remember that God is passionate about reaching every child-even the ones who get bored with church.
I hope these post will help you think more about reaching all the kids in your ministry. For more help you can check out my 9 strategies for reaching the over-churched child.
Tony Kummer is a kids pastor from Indiana. He’s also the founder of Ministry-To-Children, a free resource for anyone serving in children’s ministry.