Prioritizing ministry goals and decisions is of utmost importance – especially in Kids Ministry. There are hundreds of decisions to make almost on a daily basis. Everything from programming Wednesday nights (or not), to which craft supplies are needed this month! Big decisions, medium and small decisions, optional decisions and mandatory decisions. In children’s ministry, I like to refer to these decisions as open and closed-hands decisions. Many if not most of the daily decisions we make are open-handed – meaning, there is not just one answer. You have choices (and sometimes that makes it harder!) These could include: how to set up classrooms, do we separate girls and boys in small groups?, which songs to sing in large group, should we do a mission project this year?, and so forth.
However, there are decisions we make that are bigger and more consequential. I put these in a different category – the closed-handed decisions. They are non-negotiable. One of these in the KidMin world is that you MUST have a wise plan of discipleship in place for your children. Cherry-picking content for Sunday mornings based on personal preferences could be detrimental to the spiritual health of the flock you are shepherding. I challenge you as a colleague in ministry to have a plan that helps keep you and your leaders on track in a way that acknowledges what children learn and when. This is beyond a study plan or a curriculum. This is a framework that guides and ensures that by the time kids leave your ministry and head to the Student ministry, they are ready.
In order to stay on track with a wise plan of discipleship, you need just that – a PLAN! Preschoolers, kids, preteens (all the way until adulthood) need to understand biblical concepts that help them engage and grow in God’s word. A plan that our team developed and freely give away in multiple formats is called The Levels of Biblical Learning. This framework centers around eight different age groups beginning with babies all the way through high school – yes, you can get your student minister on board with these! Each age group teaches children and teens ten biblical concepts in a way that makes sense for their developmental abilities. It’s a helpful tool to train volunteers and equip families. You can learn more about The Levels of Biblical Learning and even download free copies and train your team using our free videos by going to lifeway.com/lobl
I’d like to give away a package of 10 Levels of Biblical Learning, Growing In God’s Word booklets. Simply complete the form below to be a candidate. Look for more GIVEAWAYS each month.
Jana Magruder serves as the Director of Lifeway Kids. She is a Baylor graduate and offers a wealth of experience and passion for kids ministry, education, and publishing. She is the author of Nothing Less: Engaging Kids in a Lifetime of Faith, Kids Ministry that Nourishes: Three Essential Nutrients of a Healthy Kids Ministry, and Life Verse Creative Journal, which she co-authored with her teenage daughter. She and her husband, Michael, along with their three children reside in Nashville.