About the Children’s Department: The Other “Basket”

Yesterday I wrote about how we tend to put all our “eggs” in one “basket” when it comes to Children’s Ministry – we focus on ministry to children which means Sunday School – sometimes children’s church, mid-week ministry, and typically some type of Summer ministry – a VBS-type opportunity. I’m not saying we should not do any or all of these things, but I do believe we need to “move some of our eggs” into a different “basket”; the “basket” of ministry which engages, equips, and encourages parents and grandparents to pass on a heritage of confident faith to their children and grandchildren.If we really want to reach children for Jesus and help them learn to know and walk with Him all their lives, we can not think one hour a week – or every other week for more and more children, will be enough to do this. Deuteronomy 6 shows us God intends it to be a day-in-day-out impact; this means it has to involve parents and grandparents. If we fail to engage, equip, and encourage them, we are limiting our ability to impact the children in our ministries.

Having said this, it is true not all children in our ministries have parents and/or grandparents who are able, or willing, to pass on a heritage of confident faith. These parents/grandparents may not be believers themselves. This is where the Children’s Ministry can really “step up” and engage grandparents in the church to befriend children in need of a “grandparent” who can pass on this heritage of confident faith.

So, what should you do to, “move some of your ‘eggs’ to another ‘basket”? Consider the following:

  • Pray. Ask God, and engage other in asking God, what He wants you to do to engage, equip and encourage parents and grandparents to pass on a heritage of confident faith to their children/grandchildren – and to other children in your ministry.
  • Communicate – with parents and grandparents in your ministry. Help them understand it is NOT the “job” of the church to teach children about Jesus. This is their “job” and joy!
  • Collaborate – team up with the leaders in your church who work with adult group leaders. Brainstorm ideas of how you can work together to engage, equip, and encourage parents and grandparents to pass on a heritage of confident faith.
  • Keep in mind, Senior Saint’s Ministry is NOT Grandparenting Ministry. While many, if not most of the seniors are grandparents, they are already retired and people become grandparents for the first time around the age of 48 – long before they retire. Grandparenting Ministry equips young grandparents so they are able to start from the start by knowing how to hand down confident faith. It also must be ready to encourage those grandparents who experience the extreme pain of watching those they love turn from their faith. Don’t leave them alone. Far, far too many churches fail these grandparents and leave them to suffer alone. Don’t be a church which fails.
  • Pray. Seek God’s direction and then move forward!

Even the best Children’s Ministry only has one to five hours out of 168 in a week to impact children. Let’s get serious about “capturing” more of these hours to influence and reach the children in our ministries. Let’s focus on engaging, equipping, and encouraging parents and grandparents to pass on a heritage of confident faith!

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