What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry – Wonder by Randy Isola

Wayne —  August 6, 2010 — 3 Comments

imageWelcome back to my continuing series of posts related to the book What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry in which I am reviewing various of the chapters from the book.  Randy Isola chose the word “Wonder” as his description of what matters now.

He begins by reminding us of the sense of wonder that the disciples has about Jesus,

I believe one of the most compelling questions in Scripture is the disciples’ asking about Jesus, “What kind of man is this?” After a glimpse of his power, the disciples were driven to discover the answer. Our churches should instill that wonder in children and propel them to a lifelong adventure of finding out the truth behind that question.

I think it is easy to lose that wonder that most of us felt at the moment of our salvation.  In most relationships, you have to work to keep the relationship fresh.  In our relationship with Jesus Christ, we must never lose sight of the awe we felt the first time we really grasped the fact that Jesus Christ died for our sins.  That is the wonder that we should be working to instill in kids – a wonder that will persist and grow as their relationship with Christ grows.

So, how do we cultivate that sense of wonder?  The author continues:

When it comes to children’s ministry, we all want engaging programming, flawless theology, deep relational communities, great tools to equip parents, etc. Ultimately, we want all that so we can point children to Jesus. Sometimes we do that by giving answers, other times by raising questions.

I wish that children would always leave churches with answers and questions, with a sense of wonder and amazement at the person and work of Jesus.

Questions are the key!  When kids learn to ask questions and really think about the life and work of Jesus Christ, that leads to that sense of wonder and awe that we are seeking.  As they continue to work through those questions, that sense of wonder can only grow and be strengthened.

The author concludes with a simple yet profound prayer:

I pray that every child influenced by children’s ministries everywhere will wonder so fully, so deeply, so passionately that they embark on a quest to know, “Who is Jesus?”

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 in your ministry to instill a sense of wonder and excitement in the kids you minister to?
  2. What specific things can we do to help kids get to the point where they explore the question of “Who is Jesus?”
  3. How do you help kids distinguish between doubt (Is Jesus who he said he was?) and wonder (Who is Jesus)?
  4. What steps do you take to encourage kids to continue to ask “Who is Jesus?” outside the confines of your ministry?
  5. How do you encourage kids to process through their faith in terms of questions and answers?

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.

3 responses to What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry – Wonder by Randy Isola

  1. Hello, Wayne. You've got a great blog. I especially like your personal testimony. In some ways it is similar to mine.

    I've read What Matters Now In Children's Ministry and have forwarded the link to the book to our Sunday School teachers (Calvary Chapel MidValley, Encino, CA).

    Would it be possible to contact you via email? Our children's ministry has developed a series of 21 Sunday School lessons that we are currently using. The series is based on a book I've written for kids called The Ruby Float: A Tale of Hope. The lesson structure is similar to that which we used for Pilgrim's Progress and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Like What Matters Now In Children's Ministry, it is available for free as a PDF file. A shorter print version will also be available in the near future.

    You can see the book and all lessons if you go to: http://www.dancingpenbooks.com.

    All God's Blessings

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