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

25 ways to make your service ‘family friendly’ as you regather

By now, your church has probably regathered in some format, either outside the building in cars or lawn chairs or inside the worship center with modifications for social distancing. Many churches will wait until fall to reopen children’s ministry areas. If your church is...

Hiccups, voices and Uber drivers: The value of coaching

How are you handling the hiccups in your life? Not actual hiccups, but the short-term disruptions to your long-term plans. The current pandemic is a major hiccup we all face, but compared to a lifetime, it is just short-term even though it seems it will last forever. How can we...

6 new rhythms and new normals for your summer

COVID-19 turned our spring upside down and forced us to create new ways to offer discipleship training to our families. Hopefully, parents have embraced the call to disciple their children at home. As summer arrives and teachers no longer send school work home, parents may have...

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...

9 ways to prepare families (and churches) to worship with children

As we slowly ease out of quarantine, many of us are excited to head back to our church campuses. While we have been grateful for online worship services, nothing can compare to worshipping together with our brothers and sisters. However, there will still be some restrictions and...

Blessings and benefits of bivocational & covocational ministry

What if having a job outside of your church turned out to be one of the greatest blessings that you have ever experienced in your pastoral life? Though full-time vocational ministry may be commonplace in America, this phenomenon is only about 100 years old. Before pastors worked...

Saying yes to VBS: A traditional strategy

As we explore several ways of approaching Vacation Bible School (VBS) in the world of COVID-19, the most familiar approach will be a traditional VBS. If restrictions on large group gatherings have been lifted and it is considered safe to gather, VBS could be implemented in similar...

Saying yes to VBS: An alternative strategy

Due to the coronavirus, the world is changing constantly, but it is an amazing reminder that God is the one sure constant. Vacation Bible School (VBS) was originally designed to be flexible to fit the needs of each church and community. If a traditional approach to VBS is not...

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!