Do you wonder about the future state of kids ministry? How will our quickly changing culture affect how we serve kids and families in our churches? Well, this year, we’ve had the opportunity to connect with some pretty dynamic kids ministry leaders across the country who have all been in small, medium, and mega church settings.
This two-part blog will feature what we perceive as current trends in children’s ministry. Today’s blog features some potentially negative trends. Don’t be dismayed, however, as our next blog features some positive movements.
The bottom line is this: God is positioning His church to be a light in the darkness. The gospel shines brightly in the darkness. He’s placing vibrant kidmin leaders in a position to shape the culture of their churches and communities. One glaring idea that has risen from discussions with these leaders is that it’s important to partner families with Jesus. The church is the bridge of that partnership.
Here are some not-so-positive trends noted by various kidmin leaders.
“Churches are still evaluating themselves and their ministries by the number of kids or people they have, instead of spiritual growth or depth of their people. Churches are still trying to reach new volunteers instead of keeping the ones they have.”
– Chad Overton – First Baptist Church- Houston, TX
“It’s unsettling when churches remove the ‘human factor’ from worship. In other words, there seems to be a movement towards media-driven worship, even to the point that there are no people in front of the kids. There is a difference between using media and depending on it.”
– Jonathan Hansen – Passion City Church – Atlanta, GA
“The negative trend I see the most is the need to take the Scriptures and form a drama that mentions nothing about the Bible and call it the lesson. While this curriculum format might be fun, cute, and even drive home positive messages, I wonder what we are communicating to kids when we use everything but the Bible to actually teach the Bible. Dramas done well can still be exciting and even silly, and call for the need to have an open Bible in your lap. Kids should know they are learning the Word of God.”
– Heidi Hensley – Bayside Church – Sacramento, CA
“There are still some churches that feel children’s ministry is not something worth investing in. They feel that money is best spent somewhere else. This is something that breaks God’s heart. Jesus understood that that children are not our future, they are our NOW!”
– Chad Owens – Real Life Church – Valencia, CA
Much thanks goes out to these voices in kidmin.
Add yours in the Comments section below!
Stay tuned for Part Two of “Trends In Kids Ministry.”
Jeffrey Reed serves on the leadership team for LifeWay Kids. He came to LifeWay with a wide variety of ministry experiences including worship leader, director of children’s ministry, and executive leadership in several growing congregations. He, his wife Katherine, and their four kids attend Rolling Hills Community Church in Franklin, TN.