For a lot of us ministry has always been connected to spaces and places. A lot of kids ministries — and churches in general — find a lot of their identity in where they meet. — Some of us have cool large-group gathering spaces with stages, screens, lighting & theater seating. You may have a kids hall with murals on the wall. You might have classrooms with TVs and technology, or resource rooms that are filled to the rim with glitter and glue and rolls of colored paper. You might have a gym or playground, or a ball field… or maybe you have little classrooms for each age group that your teachers have decorated with a personal and individualized touch. Maybe it’s formal. Maybe it’s casual. Maybe it’s traditional. Maybe it’s modern.
Whatever your space looks like, you have a space. And whatever space you have has likely played a large part in defining the way that your ministry feels and functions. I know a lot of you who put a LOT of thought into choosing your paint colors, and arranging your rooms and making your kids areas attractive and appealing and fun and conducive to whatever kind of kids ministry you like run —
But right now… you’re probably not using those spaces very much. Even if you have begun meeting again, it’s likely at a reduced capacity. — Because of COVID our spaces are emptier and quieter than they have ever been.
For a lot of us Kids Ministry has always been something that kids COME TO. And largely, coming to our places and being in our spaces has been prerequisite to ministry happening. Ministry happens when we are together in the same place at the same time. Ministry has been about those moments. Those regular touchpoints. Those real-time interactions with the kids who SHOW UP.
Anyone who misses a meeting misses out.
They miss the moment.
Miss the message.
Miss the MINISTRY.
Now… We have all always known that the real church isn’t a building. Every one of us could preach a sermon or lay out a lesson that passionately proclaims that the church is the people not the steeple. Even so… that hasn’t kept us from relying on locations as we serve in our vocations.
Our ministries haven’t only been limited by location, they have been tied to times. It’s not just where we gather, it’s when we gather. We ‘minister’ on Sunday mornings from 8-11, Sunday nights from 6-7:30 — Wednesdays from 7-8:15. We don’t just need to be in the same place, we need to be there at the same time. Those meeting times have become… sacred.
We are all mourning the loss of gathering. We all want to be back together. So our default tendency might be to wait and watch and wonder what’s going to happen next and when this will all be over, so we can just get back to normal. — But while we wait, time is slipping away.
In Eph 5:16 Paul warns us, the church, to make the most of the time that we have because the days are evil — the implication is that time is short and there’s urgency around the gospel. We don’t have a moment to miss or a minute to waste.
We can’t afford to wait for the old normal to come back. We can’t afford to wait for our kids to come back to our places and our spaces. We can’t wait for them to come to us. — We have to actively, URGENTLY seek out new ways to go to them — wherever they are.
A lot of people in the business world have adjusted to a new way of working — they have learned to WFA to ‘work from anywhere’ — We need to adapt to do CFA (Church from anywhere)… KMFA Kids Ministry from Anywhere…so we can continue to connect with our kids and to connect our kids with the truth of God’s Word no matter where they are.
This isn’t all about mastering technology… although, if you can make simple videos, or host a Zoom meeting, or post material online… technology makes this easier than ever before. — It’s not about your personal technical aptitude… it’s about your attitude. It’s about your desire and determination. Virus or no virus, our ministry to kids must not be deterred and it can not be deferred. We have to find new ways to reach our kids and to teach our kids and to disciple our kids. The mission is too important. The gospel is too urgent. Our time to influence is too short.
If we can’t meet with kids in our churches, we need to meet them in their Mailbox, or inbox, or Online… and when we do we can’t just wing it. We need to stay faithful to teaching trustworthy biblical content. This isn’t a time to change WHAT we teach, but HOW we reach.
Yes we are facing obstacles. But every obstacle is an opportunity. — Satan wants us to give up and bow out. He wants us to think this is a terrible time for ministry. But he is dead wrong. He wants this to be a WAIT TIME… but God can make this a great time. A great time to minister!
- This Is a great time to review and revisit your mission and vision and values
- This is a great time to update your policies and procedures
- This is a great time to equip and empower your current volunteers
- This is a great time to recruit new leaders with new skill sets for a new season.
- This is a great time to tap into the training on MinistryGrid.com and Kidsministry101.com
- This is a great time to double down on equipping families to do discipleship at home.
- This is a great time to invest more energy than ever into resourcing moms and dads and grandparents.
- This is a great time to leverage the digital components of your curriculum.
- This is a great time to teach kids to have their own personal walk with Jesus by spending time in His Word on their own
- This is a great time to reinforce the fact that God knows their names and their situations and that He loves them and has a plan for their lives.
- This is a great time to remind kids that no matter what happens, God is all-powerful, sovereign and good.
If you need ideas, we are here to help! The LifeWay Kids team has created a webpage dedicated to helping you find new ways to disciple kids. Here you’ll find strategy ideas, eBooks, training videos, and Bible study resources to help you reach, teach, and disciple your kids in new ways.
Someday soon we will gather again in our spaces at our churches and slowly things will start to feel familiar again. But we can’t just wait until that day to continue our ministries to kids & families. We can’t wait for kids to come back to the church. Let’s invest ourselves in finding new ways to take the church to our kids.