So you said “yes” to being part of children’s ministry. You said “yes” to getting involved in a ministry that partners with families to see children being transformed by the gospel and starting on the journey of being lifelong disciples. What a privilege!
Perhaps you were asked could you “help us out” and be on a roster a few times a term and you said “yes”. Perhaps you said “yes” to ministry with children a long time ago and you are still involved.
What does the best “yes” look like? Yes means creating genuine community. Its choosing to speak to the children wherever you see them - not just in the program time at church but as they arrive with their families in the car park or at morning tea.
Yes means not making it all about 1 hour on a Sunday. It means seeing how you are contributing to the development of lifelong faith not just filling a spot on the roster. It means getting to know the families these children come from. Yes means hearing the stories of how parents are sharing faith with their children. Yes means being genuinely interested in what life looks like for the kids you are teaching and how what you are doing links with that.
Yes means praying for the children and their families by name. God is ready and waiting to hear your prayers for these children. What might he do in and through them if you commit to bringing them before God?
Yes to Ministry with Children means giving our best, not settling for what we might be able to get away with because children are so forgiving. Yes means taking the time to prepare those lessons. It means looking for a variety of ways to explore the truths of the Bible and put them into practice. Yes means taking time to get to grips with the key message of the scripture yourself and not making the delivery of it so simplistic that it dilutes the truth.
Yes means being part of a team. It means looking for ways to involve others in this ministry and not being a one-person show. If you choose to serve in ministry with Children all on your own, you’ll soon be wishing you said “no”. Burnout in ministry is often from doing too much in our own strength and not partnering with others and with God.
And what if all of this sounds very challenging to you, even though you know at a head level that this ministry is important. Maybe you have kids in this stage of life and recognise your responsibility to be part of this ministry, because you want it to be there for your children. But if you were to be honest you would have to say it’s not something you feel much passion for. What do you do then? Can I suggest praying for God to give you a vision for the ministry and then start living the steps outlined above. You might be surprised at how your heart shifts.
Your Yes could mean being fully present and showing genuine love for each child as an image bearer of God. Our best yes sees the opportunity to serve in children’s ministry as a real privilege.