What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry – Us by David Wakerley

Wayne —  June 17, 2010 — 5 Comments

image image In the book What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry, David Wakerley chose the word “Us.”

He begins the article with a brief want through history.  Despite the influence that one person can have, Dave reminds us that even people like Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, Jr. did not accomplish their ultimate objectives on their own.  We live in a day and age, influenced by electronic media and the potential for public exposure, where the ability to be heard and potential influence of an individual far exceeds any other point in history.  That said, true change happens when people unite and come together behind a cause.  Whether it is a cause or a revival, it requires cooperation and working together.  It requires far more than an “I.”  It requires an “US.”  David explains what this means:

Our children need to realize that their individual voices have the potential to be louder than ever before… but volume has never guaranteed influence. When enough voices unite together, a moment happens, a tipping point occurs and a movement emerges. The conversation turns from a lone voice in the wilderness to a crowd in the town square.

In terms of Christianity and children’s ministry, David explains that we can not expect culture to redeem.

A Super Bowl ad is not going redeem a culture that desperately needs God. It will take a generation whose faith is not only personal but grounded in community. Their prayers should be filled with “WE” and “OUR” not just “I” and “MINE”.

I think as Christians we work hard to redeem culture at the expense of point people to Christ who is the only one who can redeem their souls.  As children’s ministers, I think David is right on target when he points to prayer as the means towards this end.  We must teach kids how to pray, and we must teach them to pray selflessly rather than selfishly.

For the record, I would just like to point out that I spelled David’s last name correctly in this article despite spell check’s desperate pleas to change it. :) I think WE finally got it right!

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. How do you teach kids about community?
  2. What opportunities does your children’s ministry give kids to participate in community?
  3. What can you do to encourage kids to think in terms of WE and US rather than ME and I?
  4. What cultural influences do you face that teach kids to focus on themselves?
  5. How does the concept of US relate to a child’s relationship with God?

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.

5 responses to What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry – Us by David Wakerley

  1. Fine! Just rub it in that Wakerley was spelled wrong :)

    David's submission was one of my favorites. For one, he's Australian and has that cool Australian accent. On the serious side, I think it's high time we stop being so stuck on ourselves… me and God… and realize that we are called to be a part of a body… a family… a Kingdom… We need to go forth hand-in-hand although we may not see eye-to-eye and be a part of God's redemptive work in the world.

    One way that we've helped families, children and volunteers at Redwood understand this concept of Us is to connect our lives to mission. In other words, we make sure that everyone knows that our lives between taking that step of faith to follow Christ and eternity are to exist for the sake of working together to reach out to our community and world in love and making it a better place.
    My recent post Free Coaching Sessions!

    • It was more a dig at David who made fun of the name of my blog way back when before it became Dad in the Middle. Come to think of it, that's what prompted to change the name, so I should probably get over it! :)

      I couldn't agree with more, as an Australian, if David gives up children's ministry, he is uniquely qualified to become either a celebrity chef or a crocodile hunter. The options, as they say, are endless.

      I think you've hit the nail on the proverbial head when you say that we need to go hand-in-hand even if we don't see eye-to-eye. Individualism is esteemed so highly these days that it has become an idol even within the church. God calls us to be part of community. It seems to me there is something in there somewhere about it not being good for man to be alone!
      My recent post What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry – Us by David Wakerley

  2. All right!

    Wakerley, Wakerley, Wakerley.

    Thanks Wayne, I have little compassion for crocs and my cooking skills usually involve a menu and me ordering from it, so I will stick with ministry for now!

    Dave
    My recent post Where’s that varmit?

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