2020-02-26 to 28 Pictures: Charleston, South Carolina

One of the few upsides of having to cancel our Spring Break trip last March at the onset of the pandemic is that we are "stuck" with a rather large voucher from one of those discount airlines. Last autumn, Tricia and I spent a weekend in Savannah, Georgia and had a...

A John 3:16 Craft for Kids

John 3:16 is one of the most well known and reassuring verses in the Bible. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16 (NIV) The following is a little craft I threw...

2020-03-01 Pictures: Lyndsey’s College Signing Day

This afternoon Lyndsey made it official, signing her letter of intent to play college basketball for the Hiram College Terriers starting next year. While she made the decision and committed to Hiram before Christmas, she has been looking forward to this day since her...

2020-02-13 Pictures: Lyndsey’s 18th Birthday

I am little behind on posting photos. These are some of my favorites from a couple of weekends ago when we got a chance to celebrate Lyndsey's 18th birthday. It's hard to believe that my little girl is officially an adult. It was nice to have the family all back...


Introduction I love working with kids, and I love teaching them hard concepts in ways they can understand. To that end, for years I have been working on a dictionary of theological terms for kids and teens. In sharing those definitions, there seemed no better place to...

If You Want It Done Right

In all likelihood, you know how the phrase ends: If you want it done right, DO IT YOURSELF! This is a bit of a mantra for me, and frankly, something that I struggle with daily both in leadership and in my Christian walk.  In theory, this is easy to accept. ...

What Does God Hate?

This is the little and humble post that started it all. I happened to be reading through my Bible, and this passage impacted me so much that I posted a little blurb about it on Facebook. That was July 28, 2008, and I've been writing and sharing ever since. (Maybe...

The Ultimate Goal in Children’s Ministry

woman_at_wellI was reading through the gospel of John the other day in my continued study of the teaching methods utilized by Jesus. As I was reading through John 4, I was struck by one particular verse. Amongst a well-known story not commonly associated with children’s ministry, I found the ultimate goal of Children’s Ministry (or any ministry) in the most unlikely of places.

John 4 is the story of the Samaritan Woman at the Well. For those who may not be familiar with the story, Jesus traveled through Samaria (a no-no for any Jew at the time). He met a women Jacob’s well in Sychar (another big no-no as Jews did not associate with Samaritans). Then he proceeded to engaged her in conversation and lay bare her sin (i.e., that she had been married five times and was now living with a man who was not her husband). Despite some vain attempts on her part at changing the subject and debating theology, she soon came to the realization that Jesus was the Christ and went back to tell her acquaintances from the village where she lived. Many were converted by her testimony. It is at this point in the story, that we find John 4:42. The converts from the Samaritan woman’s village exclaim:

They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.” [John 4:42]

These Samaritan converts no longer believe simply because of what they have been told. Instead, they proclaim Jesus as the Christ based on their first-hand knowledge of what they have learned. There knowledge had moved from information to experiential in a short period of time.

So, how is this all applicable to Children’s Ministry? What is that ultimate goal that I spoke of earlier? I think the application is clear. As teachers and workers in Children’s Ministry, we teach kids about Christ. We tell them Bible stories. We explain that Christ died for their sins. We tell them how much God loves them and much more. However, all of these are simply means towards an end, not the end in itself. In all that we do, we must keep sight of this ultimate goal – that the kids we teach would come to their own personal saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. We pray that God will use those things we teach them to lead them to a lasting faith (a real faith). In order for that to happen, their knowledge must expand beyond just the stories and information which we impart. They have to get to the point where they can profess “I no longer believe just because of what you have told me, but I now believe based on what I have learned and understand for myself.” In order for this to happen, we must constantly point kids towards the Bible as that source for this first-hand knowledge of Jesus Christ!
This is my prayer for all of the kids in my classroom!




  1. Scott

    Yes! Great post. I pray that the children I teach will one day be able to profess personal knowledge of Jesus – not just knowledge of what they’ve been told. You have encouraged and challenged me today.

  2. Ephrem Hagos

    Children, with their sense of least developed self-reliance, will be more receptive and less resistant than adults to the self-revelation of Jesus Christ on the cross.

    The basis of firsthand, saving knowledge of Jesus Christ is not any hearsay (including the words of Jesus Himself) but His works producing standard vision of His absolute authority (John 1:47-51) as conclusively provided, for all posterity, in Christ’s death on the cross (John 3: 1-21; 8: 21-28; 14: 15-21; 19: 30-37).

    Personally, I have seen the vision 35 years ago and continued to grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ ever since.