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