If you didn’t catch Children’s Ministry Matters Because Children Matter, take the time to click back and read part 1 of this series. Let’s keep going.
#2: Children’s Ministry Matters Because Time Matters.
Researcher, George Barna brought to light the truth:
- A person’s lifelong behaviors and views are generally developed when they are young—particularly before the age of 12. TIME MATTERS.
- By the time a child is 9 years old their basic moral foundations have already been formed. That’s 3rd grade! TIME MATTERS.
- By age 13, a person has formed their basic beliefs about things such as the nature of God, the reliability of the Bible, the existence of an afterlife and the everlasting love of Jesus. TIME MATTERS.
- A person’s biblical worldview is in place before they go to 6th grade. TIME MATTERS.
- Nearly ½ of all Americans who accept Jesus as their Savior do so before reaching the age of 13 and 2/3 of born again Christians make their profession of faith before their 18th birthday. TIME MATTERS.
Because time matters we lay foundations of faith and foundations for conversions. Because time matters we make sure the gospel is a priority and shared appropriately and regularly. Because time matters we see each opportunity as a gift with a responsibility to “train up” the children we’ve been given to shepherd.
Children’s Ministry Matters Because TIME MATTERS!
#3: Children’s Ministry Matters Because Spiritual Growth Matters.
Here’s a question for you. When are we discipling kids to be more than “born again” but to be “born again, mature Kingdom building, culture-shaping followers of Jesus?”
We have a responsibility to not only share the gospel with kids but to lead boys and girls past the point of conversion to being growing disciples of Jesus Christ.
To some degree, evangelicals have done a good job of making the main thing the main thing. Evangelizing the nations is the command (Matthew 26:19-20) but what about the first part of the Great Commission? Making disciples? I’m concerned that in our attempt to simplify our programming we deprogrammed our ability to disciple and haven’t replaced that programming with other viable ways to move a child past the point of conversation.
Because spiritual growth matters we need to make sure we have adopted wise plans for discipling kids. Not some willy-nilly approach of “hit and miss” or “whatever looks good” or “whatever they’re doing” (whoever “they” are). We must assess our programming and build plans built on a philosophy of growing disciples.
Children’s Ministry Matters Because SPIRITUAL GROWTH Matters!
Join me tomorrow for the last two points in part 3 of this series.
Bill Emeott serves as Lead Ministry Specialist for LifeWay Kids. He is a graduate of Mercer University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Bill has served in Kids Ministry for almost 30 years and currently teaches 3rd Grade Bible study at his home church in Nashville, TN.