By Jeremy Carroll
What is most important? Ok, that’s a fairly broad question. What about this: what is the most Important message we can share with kids?
If I had the opportunity to sit across from you and ask this question, we might discuss simple statements like: “Jesus loves you.”
“I love you.”
“You matter to me.”
“You were created on purpose, for a purpose.”
And I’d concur with you that all of these are great messages that children need to hear. In fact, I believe they really are just different ways of making the most important message kid friendly. Let’s hear what Paul says is the most important in 1 Corinthians 15.
“For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…” – 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (CSB)
This is the most important message that kids need to hear. We call it the gospel, or good news of Jesus’ love and forgiveness.
The kids we serve are hearing messages from a multitude of voices, aren’t they? These voices are all competing in the minds of children to be considered “most important.”As followers of Jesus, we have the most important message in the history of the universe. We have the message that will meet every child’s greatest need. Click To Tweet
But as followers of Jesus, we have the most important message in the history of the universe. We have the message that will meet every child’s greatest need. This is no small assignment.
In fact, Paul reminds the church in Corinth earlier in his letter just how important our job is when he writes that we, as Christians, should be thought of “. . . as servants of Christ and managers of the mysteries of God. In this regard, it is required that managers be found faithful.” – 1 Corinthians 4:1-2 (CSB)
As followers of Jesus, and possibly to a greater degree as kids ministry leaders and teachers (see James 3:1), we are required to be found faithful managers (stewards) of the mysteries of God, otherwise known as the gospel – this most important message.
So allow me to encourage you, kids ministry leader. Whether you are paid staff or volunteer staff, whether you are a weekly Bible study teacher or VBS rotation leader, what you do matters. The role to which you were called matters. Your ministry and relationship with the children of your church matters. You have been charged as a manager and steward of the message of the good news of Jesus’ love and forgiveness. Let’s strive to be found faithful with how we handle that message as we take that assignment seriously to share this good news with kids.
Here are 3 tips to take our role as managers of the gospel message seriously.
- Invest in your own personal relationship with Jesus. Jesus loves you. He died so you could be forgiven, as well. It’s not just a message we want to share with others. This is the most important message for us, too. If we are to be found faithful, we must first believe it and live it out in our own lives.
- Pray. Pray for the kids in your class/group/ministry. Pray for them by name. Pray for their families. Our ministry is a spiritual ministry, and we must fight on the spiritual battlefield. (See Ephesians 6:10-20.)
- Plan and be prepared. Faithfully managing the mysteries of God (the gospel) will not happen by accident. Be intentional with how you plan your time with the kids you serve. Build in times of direct gospel conversation. To borrow a phrase used by CentriKid camps, “use your 60” – make every minute count.
Jeremy Carroll is the Lifeway Kids Ministry Publishing Manager for VBS and Discipleship resources. Before coming to Lifeway, he has been active in local church ministry for nearly 20 years in TN, TX, and AL. Jeremy earned a Master of Arts in Christian Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. A Middle Tennessee native, he and his family live in Murfreesboro, TN.