Leading change through children's ministry

March 8, 2018

The days when families attended church without question and every time the doors were opened is a pleasant memory.

Today’s families are busier than ever. Practices and extracurricular lessons, two-income wage earners, family commitments and travel sports teams mean families often spend more time in the car than at home or church.

Church attendance, in general, is on the decline due to many reasons, including affluence that permits frequent vacation travel, online church, general exhaustion and parents’ work schedules. A child who is considered a “regular attender” today comes to church three times per month, on average.

If church attendance is no longer a priority for families, what is the church to do? Churches need to focus on equipping parents to disciple their children at home (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). Sermons, training opportunities and teachings on the importance of discipleship for children need to be offered. Training can be offered to parents in using the supplemental materials provided by church curriculum, such as take-home sheets, social media information and apps for electronic devices.

Churches must acknowledge parents’ expectation of safe, secure, clean and attractive teaching environments. This includes conducting background checks for all volunteers and having written safety and security policies and procedures that are clearly enforced.

Using technology in children’s ministry has its place, but churches need to balance the use of technology and “edutainment” with opportunities for building relationships between children and caring adults who desire to disciple children in small-group settings. The Bible should be taught as God’s one grand narrative made of many stories, chapters and books.

Consider the importance of children’s discipleship in the life of the child and the church. George Barna’s research states that a child’s moral standards are set by age nine. Their spiritual foundations are set by age 13.

We must make the most of this critical time both at home and at church. Excellence in facility and teaching staff is critical. Children need to know that they are part of the church family and should not always be segregated from the adult population. Children learn to be disciples as they interact with adult leaders and parents who model the life of a disciple. Churches that understand and see this truth as a guiding principle for their children’s ministry will thrive.


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

4 qualities that every children’s ministry leader must have

For children’s ministry leaders, the days are often long, but never boring. Every day can be an adventure. In the busyness of ministry, there are four foundational ingredients to a successful children’s ministry that cannot be overlooked.Teaching
Children’s ministry leaders teach...

How camp can be key to a child’s growth and discipleship

Camp can be a significant life-changing event for children. Camp is a spiritual investment unlike anything most kids experience at home. Attending camp allows students to retreat from the norm of life, limit distractions and focus on truth. I serve as the children’s program...

13 tips to maximize your church’s outreach events

Fall is a time when many churches host community outreach events like fall festivals, craft fairs or trunk-or-treats. Beyond creating a fun and festive time for attendees, church leaders’ often envision these events as outreach to unchurched members of the community. However, the...

How to use your child’s lunchbox for discipleship

Deuteronomy 6 instructs parents to teach their children about God throughout the routines of the day. Parents pack healthy lunches for their children to take to school so they will get the nutrition they need to learn and grow. Why not add something to help nurture their spiritual...

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...

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 N.C. Baptist newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!