What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry – Infectious by The Lads

Wayne —  May 27, 2010 — 5 Comments

image image In the book What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry, The Lads chose the word “Infectious.”

I was recently turned on to The Lads as a Christian group targeting primarily the tween crowd with their infectious music.  I wasn’t surprised, therefore, when I found out that the Word they chose to answer the question “What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry”?’ with the word “infectious.”

In their contribution to this work, they describe an encounter they had at a church in Chattanooga, TN at the end of VBS week.  At that church, the kids got excited and began to invite other people who were saved in the process.  They write:

Young people are so full of energy and emotions (sometimes it may seem like ‘waaaay’ too much!). If we can funnel all that energy and those emotions into ‘God things’ then young people will have the ability to change their families, their baseball teams and, perhaps, even the world.

So often children’s ministry is viewed as glorified babysitting when, if harnessed, the energy of children has the ability to change the church for the better and change the lives of people for eternity.  As The Lads pointed out, when they talked to the pastor at the end of that week, he remarked,

Everything’s upside down. When I was a kid our parents used to drag us to church. Now, it’s the kids bringing the parents to church.

As a church, and as those who work with kids, we have to find a way to harness that potential of children to impact the people around them for the kingdom of God.  Our role is to equip them with the tools to go along with their enthusiasm and send them on their way.  We should be there to support them and encourage them, and we should bask in how God works through them for his church.  We must remember that the children in our church are not the church of the future but the church of today!

Questions for further discussion

The stated purpose of this book is to spark further conversation.  I have included some of my thought above, but like other chapters I have included a listing of additional questions to spark further conversation.  Here are the questions I came up with:

  1. What are you doing to encourage the kids in your church to evangelize?
  2. How are you equipping them?
  3. Is there anything you are doing that inadvertently stunts the natural enthusiasm of kids?
  4. What kind of environment should you foster to encourage kids to invite their family and friends to church?
  5. What are your stories?  When have you been amazed about how God works through kids in this manner?

By the way, I borrowed the images for this post from the actual e-book which you can download here for free! The stunning artwork was developed by Imago.

You can find a link to this, and all the other articles I’ve done related to this book, on my What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry Page.

m4s0n501

5 responses to What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry – Infectious by The Lads

  1. Great questions… One way that I've encouraged my own kids as well as those in church is to talk about our faith as if it is something that is to normally be discussed and talked about with people. One of my recent revelations when it comes to kids talking about their faith is that they aren't really scared to do it; we're the ones who put the fear in them. We talk about how it can be scary to talk about faith with friends, we tell them we don't have to be afraid, we tell them that they might be made fun of… We plant these fears in kids; they don't already have them. It's changed how I talk with kids about having faith conversations or about inviting their friends to church. I talk about it as if it's the most normal thing in the world to do, which it actually is. Since doing so, I've heard more stories from parents about their kids talking about faith with their friends and their kids inviting friends to church.
    My recent post What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry: Ingenuity

    • Great point Henry! I think we do this in all kinds of areas with kids. As a parent, I see it when my children get hurt. If we react our view gets imposed on the child, and it becomes a big deal. Oftentimes when we don't react, the child will pick themselves up and just go about their daily routine. My wife and I used to get all kinds of dirty looks in public because we would laugh when the kids fell or bumped into something. We weren't being cruel, inside we were hoping they weren't really hurt (no parent wants to see their child hurt), but on the outside we wanted to impress on them that it wasn't a big deal. Most of the times, that worked, and our kids aren't prone to overact to little bumps and bruises.

      That said, I hadn't really thought about that in a spiritual context. I know that when I have shared the gospel with kids in the past and encouraged them to tell their friends that I have from time-to-time talked about how it can be intimidating. And, you're absolutely right, that was me transferring my intimidation to them where they may have had none.

      Thanks again for your insight. It will definitely change how I approach talking about these things with kids. It's funny how something that never occurs to you seems so obvious after someone else points it out. I may steal your idea for a blog post at some point though I have a feeling you might beat me to it. :) One of the things I love about the collaborative kidmin community is that it allows us all to learn and grow from one another – as iron sharpens iron.

      My recent post Collaborate: Join the Discussion

      • You are too kind, Wayne. I wish I could say that realization was a spark of my blinding awesomeness (of which there is no charge) but it came about in a conversation I had with one parent who was talking about how his daughter talked about her faith with her friends as part of her normal interactions with them and was thanking what we were doing in CM that facilitated that. I went away from that interaction wondering what we WERE doing and realized that we had been coaching our leaders to not talk about the fear side of sharing faith and simply present it as something natural to do. It then dawned on me that we most likely had been transferring our fears to our kids previously. Anyway, I can't wait to read your blog post about it! With all the busyness in my life right now with relocating to California from Thunder Bay, Canada you'll probably get to it before I will :)
        My recent post What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry: Ingenuity

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