We have been leading our church for nearly twenty years now and in that time there are a few areas where we have struggled, one of them is with Children’s Ministry. I know that’s hard to believe seeing as we ourselves have four children and when you add up the kids in our congregation… they easily outnumber the adults. It’s not that we haven’t valued that area of our community or discount the importance of that department within the Church either.
But the fact remains, we have had a hard time getting people to volunteer – to want to work in that area – week in and week out. When that happens you go through the gamut of why’s and after dozens of introspective conversations with yourself, you find yourself no closer to finding the answers than before.
This morning I was in a session during the ReInnovate Conference, “The Whats, Whys, & Hows of Kids Ministry” with the team at Granger Community Church. Ted Bryant, Director of Granger Kids and father of six, took 50 minutes to walk us through what they do, why they do it and how they lead kids with Biblical truths at all ages, enlist volunteers and why it’s so important to partner with and equip the families / parents. To train up children to trust, love and serve God together as a team.
As Ted’s session unfolded, you could hear and see his deep passion for kids, it comes through every time he opened his mouth. This was no baby-sitting club he was leading! Their success with volunteers and growth in their children’s ministry and the impact they’re making on this world has nothing to do with the size of their church.
It has to do with REfinding their vision, REdefining their purpose and letting their passion for these kids shine through.
What we can use in our context, what I can take home and help implement in our church for our congregation… is the bigger understanding and need for multiple teams / areas people can get involved in, providing on-ramps for more people, at all levels, to participate. To focus on developing true community in the classrooms. That training kids is not always easy, fun and fluffy – we’re called to do more than simply nurture them – we shouldn’t skip over the difficulties, life isn’t magically easy because God is in our life… that’s real. To continue to help the kids know/trust God, love and serve this truly broken world and how to partner with the families so everyone grows / changes in the process.
Ted, your passion is contagious… thank you for leading by example!
“Point your kids in the right direction ~ when they’re old they won’t be lost.” Proverbs 22:6