We defined children’s ministry as “partnering with parents to guide kids toward a HEART for God.”
As we partner with parents, what we offer in the church (from the Nursery through 5th or 6th grade!) must include the first element: Heartfelt Relationships. The second element is Engaging Teaching.
5 Elements For Children’s Ministry: Engaging Teaching
Long gone are the days of “childcare” in Children’s Ministry. While we must provide quality care for children, that is not our primary function. we are there to guide kids toward a HEART for God!
We cannot do this with bored, disengaged children. In order to provide a platform for life-change, children must be participating in an active in a meaningful manner. They must be engaged.
That doesn’t mean just occupied. A word search might “occupy” a kids’ attention for a time, but that’s not going to lead to life-change. No, engaged means the child is investing in the process of what is happening, giving of themselves in order to receive what is being offered.
How do we do this? Here’s a few ideas to get the ball rolling (it’s not as hard as you might think!):
Yes, have you heard that before? Ministry happens best in the context of relationships! You will see this over and over again on this site because too many people just don’t get it. It’s the curriculum…the program…the facilities…the music…the equipment…the room design or decorations. It’s NOT! It’s about the people! All other things are important, but engaging ministry leading to life-change can happen with none of them. But relationships are irreplaceable.
Learn to connect with kids on their level.
What words come to mind when you think of connecting with kids on their level? I think of: fun, simple, active, personal and repetitive (not identical, but similar).
Make it relevant and applicable.
When I present workshops or keynotes with adults, I try and use the “this week” principle. In other words, I want those who are learning with me to be able to take what they learn and use it this week. It must be relevant to their life and ministry. Why wouldn’t we do the same with children? Find ways to make what they are learning relevant to their everyday lives and offer them ideas and practical ways that they can apply it “this week.”
As we partner with parents, what we do in the church matters. It is built on the foundation of Heartfelt Relationships and extended through Engaging Teaching.
What other ideas can you give to help us learn to offer Engaging Teaching in our churches?