In the book What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry, Sarah Killelea chose the word “Memories” as what matters most. She explains that so much of her early impression of church is based on memories. She writes:
When I reflect on my early images of God, my feelings toward the church, and my childhood prayers, it’s the memories I held that shaped each of those.
Did I like going to church? Were they nice to me? What was the funny skit about? Did I feel included?
While the Bible tells us that the heart is deceitful, the truth of the matter is, kids won’t be interested in coming back if their time with you is not memorable. In Sarah’s words, “Memories Matter.” She notes that we are competing with an unlimited number of activities for the attention of children, and,
As we seek to build relationships, care for parents, educate in Christian knowledge, and ultimately raise children in Christ’s love, our lens ought to be, “Is this worth remembering?”
If kids can’t remember what you did in kids’ church, then it will not have an impact. What counts is what they walk away with.
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 make sure that your kids’ services are memorable?
- Do you agree that if what you do isn’t memorable it doesn’t matter?
- What practical things can you do to help build memories for children in your church?
- Do you believe that most memories are based on relationship? If so, how are you building relationships that will lead to lasting memories?
- How do you compete in today’s day and age with all the other activities which kids are involved in?