This week children will walk through the doors of your church.
They will come from many different backgrounds, family dynamics and life situations.
No matter what they are mentally or physically carrying as they walk into the doors of your church, there are 5 big things they want from your children’s ministry.
They may not be able to articulate these 5 things, but it is what they are longing for.
Every child wants to hear their name spoken.
The sweetest sound to a child is hearing their name called (unless they are in trouble).
When you call a child by name it shows them that you care enough about them to memorize their name (of course – name tags are a big help with this – but don’t depend on name tags – learn the child’s name and remember it).
Every child wants to be accepted.
Kids are often insecure…especially if they are new or don’t have any friends at church (kinda’ like us as adults – right?).
Help them get connected to other children in the church so they have the opportunity to make some friends. You will often have to initiate this for them.
After we have been in a church for awhile, we tend to forget what it is like to walk into a new place and not know anyone. It can especially be hard for a child to do this.
Go the second mile to make children feel accepted. One key part of this is teaching the kids who are already attending to be intentional about helping new kids or kids who are loners.
If you really want to be intentional, train a team of kids to be greeters. They can meet new children at the door and hang with them throughout the entire service. This will not only help new or lonely kids to feel accepted, but will also give established kids an opportunity to serve.
Every child wants to know they are missed when they are not able to attend.
We often complain (myself included) about kids who only attend church once a month of even less. We often point a finger at the children’s parents for not making church attendance a priority. But stop and think with me for a moment. Maybe one of the reasons children don’t attend regularly is because we don’t show them that they are missed. Why attend when it doesn’t matter to anyone that I will be absent?
One of the big things you can do is to send personal miss you cards to children when they are absent. Let them know you missed seeing them. Let them know it matters a lot when they are not there. Send the card through the mail to the child. It’s a big, big, big, big deal for a child to get a miss you card. As adults, we are always getting mail (like 10 credit card apps a day). But kids rarely get mail. Use the postcards you send to show them that you care and they are missed. It will make a difference.
Every child wants to know more about Jesus.
This is another thing kids may not be able to articulate, but it is something they want and need. They want to know more about this person who died for them. They want to know more about how much Jesus loves them. They want to know more about why He died on the cross and rose again.
They want to know what happens when they die. They want to know about this place called heaven.
Remember, that the most important thing you can share with a child is the Gospel. We can teach children a lot of important things, but it is essential…above all else…that we teach them about Jesus and what He did on the cross for them.
Every child wants to be prayed for.
Ask them what prayer requests they have.
Ask them how you can pray for them.
Take time each week to pray for the children in your ministry. Call out their name and prayer requests to Jesus. Celebrate with them when He answers their prayers.
If you consistently do these 5 things for the kids in your ministry, you will see children become followers of Jesus and begin to grow in their faith.
p.s. Have you gotten a copy of my book – Fertile Soil…see kids’ faith grow and flourish for a lifetime?
In this book, I share the 3 big reasons why kids walk away from the faith and how you can see them become lifelong followers of Jesus instead.