The importance of vision in children's ministry

August 9, 2018

Imagine setting off on a ministry trip without thinking about the destination, purpose, lodging, budget or transportation. You might enjoy the ride and see some interesting sights along the way, but chances are that your pastor will not be pleased with your efforts.

Do you sometimes feel like this is how your ministry operates? We can focus on the immediate tasks at hand, like counting construction paper and checking on the quantity of Goldfish, but we neglect to see the big picture. What would happen if your ministry had a God-given vision that guided your decisions, directed your planning and action steps, and motivated volunteers to see Christ’s vision for making disciples in your church and community?

Andy Stanley says vision is, “a clear mental picture of what could be, fueled by the conviction that it should be.” Will Mancini calls vision, “God’s story for your church.”

Do you have a clear picture of God’s story for your church and children’s ministry? What possibilities does He see if your congregation was obedient to His vision?

Oftentimes we forget to look up and see what God desires for our church. The drive for meeting budgets, recruiting volunteers, maintaining attendance numbers and the “tyranny of the urgent” deaden our sense of what could be. The echo of “no” kills our desire to dream. We fail to answer the call to make disciples who make disciples.

A sustaining God-given vision built on prayer can resurrect and restore a sense of purpose for your ministry. Vision answers the question, “What is worth doing today for a greater tomorrow?” It asks, “What does our church do that no one else is doing?” Vision can define your unique ministry and calling.

Vision motivates and challenges us to take risks and reach out beyond the property lines of our building. It releases volunteers to think and serve in new ways. It excites and builds momentum for the long haul and empowers others to join God in the work He is doing in His kingdom.

Vision acts as a filter and a lens for programming decisions. It can help as you gracefully end a ministry that no longer serves a purpose in light of the church’s vision. Goals, objectives, action steps, budgets, schedules, mission projects and discipleship are all affected when a ministry embraces the vision for disciple-making.

The starting point for discovering the vision God has in store for you and your ministry is prayer.

I ask you to give yourself permission to dream and pray for a vision from God. What is God’s story for your ministry, and how will you share this good news with others?

The Israelites were given the vision of taking the Promised Land. They were told that obedience was the key to their success.

Embrace the vision even though it may seem overwhelming in the moment. How will you fulfill Jesus’ vision to “Make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19-20)?

Imagine setting off on a ministry trip without thinking about the destination, purpose, lodging, budget or transportation. You might enjoy the ride and see some interesting sights along the way, but chances are that your pastor will not be pleased with your efforts.

Do you sometimes feel like this is how your ministry operates? We can focus on the immediate tasks at hand, like counting construction paper and checking on the quantity of Goldfish, but we neglect to see the big picture. What would happen if your ministry had a God-given vision that guided your decisions, directed your planning and action steps, and motivated volunteers to see Christ’s vision for making disciples in your church and community?

Andy Stanley says vision is, “a clear mental picture of what could be, fueled by the conviction that it should be.” Will Mancini calls vision, “God’s story for your church.”

Do you have a clear picture of God’s story for your church and children’s ministry? What possibilities does He see if your congregation was obedient to His vision?

Oftentimes we forget to look up and see what God desires for our church. The drive for meeting budgets, recruiting volunteers, maintaining attendance numbers and the “tyranny of the urgent” deaden our sense of what could be. The echo of “no” kills our desire to dream. We fail to answer the call to make disciples who make disciples.

A sustaining God-given vision built on prayer can resurrect and restore a sense of purpose for your ministry. Vision answers the question, “What is worth doing today for a greater tomorrow?” It asks, “What does our church do that no one else is doing?” Vision can define your unique ministry and calling.

Vision motivates and challenges us to take risks and reach out beyond the property lines of our building. It releases volunteers to think and serve in new ways. It excites and builds momentum for the long haul and empowers others to join God in the work He is doing in His kingdom.

Vision acts as a filter and a lens for programming decisions. It can help as you gracefully end a ministry that no longer serves a purpose in light of the church’s vision. Goals, objectives, action steps, budgets, schedules, mission projects and discipleship are all affected when a ministry embraces the vision for disciple-making.

The starting point for discovering the vision God has in store for you and your ministry is prayer.

I ask you to give yourself permission to dream and pray for a vision from God. What is God’s story for your ministry, and how will you share this good news with others?

The Israelites were given the vision of taking the Promised Land. They were told that obedience was the key to their success.

Embrace the vision even though it may seem overwhelming in the moment. How will you fulfill Jesus’ vision to “Make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19-20)?


by Cheryl Markland  
/  Childhood Evangelism and Discipleship  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

Students: An untapped resource for serving in your church

I’ve heard it said that students are the church of tomorrow, but I really struggle with that — I believe students are the church of today and the future church leaders of tomorrow. Students need adults who love Jesus, love them and take the time to disciple them. They need...

12 ways to involve every church member in VBS

Often churches consider Vacation Bible School (VBS) to be exclusively a children’s ministry event. And yet, VBS is one of the most effective evangelistic emphases many churches offer their community each year. According to "It’s Worth It" by Landry Holmes of Lifeway Publishing,...

A gospel-centered classroom

There seems to be a different curriculum for every church’s children ministry. Curriculums can vary based on the church’s values, mission and needs, but it’s hard to disagree that in any theologically based church the main theme that ties all curriculums together is the gospel. So...

Why you need to attend Church Planting NC’s ‘Start Here Gathering’

When we planted a church, we were the only church plant in our geographic region. I had contact with other pastors of local churches, but at the stage that our young church was in, it seemed that no one really understood where I was as a pastor and church planter. It was during...

5 ways to guard against child abuse in your church

We may tend to think sexual abuse cannot happen in our church, but it is that very mentality that makes it possible. How do abusers manage to have access to children and teens in our churches? This process often begins with intentional “grooming” of children and their parents. In...

Plant a church? Who, me?

I remember well the years of confusion about God’s call to plant a church. I had so many questions concerning the need for more churches, my personal calling and my personal motive for starting a new church in the first place. I also found myself thinking, “Am I crazy for wanting...

Why background checks aren’t enough to prevent abuse in your church

I’m deeply saddened every time I read about accounts of abuse in the church, and I frequently see one statement from church leaders that makes me cringe: “We conducted a background check.” Background checks are important, but they are only one small step in vetting prospective...

6 questions to reframe your ministry vision after COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has forced us all into new rhythms. Stay-at-home orders for all but the most essential of professionals, caregivers and service providers have dramatically impacted families, businesses and government. Churches are not immune from this impact. Social...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the latest news and event information by signing up for the Childhood Ministry newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!