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September Children's Ministry Ideas and Winning Entry

In September we asked Senior Pastors: “Why do you think Children’s Ministry is vital to your church?” In September we asked Senior Pastors: “Why do you think Children’s Ministry is vital to your church?” 
“Pastor Don” sent us his winning entry:
 
Children are the future of the Church. They may not directly impact our community at this time but they certainly will as the years go on. Our goal is to have our children deeply committed to God and His word so that they can impact their peers as well as the community as a whole as they grow. If we don't start teaching our children sound biblical doctrine at a young age we will lose them by the time they become teens. Therefore it is incumbent upon us to begin to develop understanding of God's word and the skills necessary for them to be strong faithful servants of Jesus Christ. We are located in a small rural community so we don't have a huge impact but here are some of the things we do. We have a VBS program each summer which brings a 4 fold increase in our children's ministry. We have written and created our own programs for the past two years because we wanted to ensure that the children were getting strong bible based instruction. We focus on basic truths that children and adults for that matter need to know to become a follower of Christ. We have had a fair amount of success. We also have a MOM"s group which was an out growth of a MOPS group that we established a few years. In conjunction with that we started a children's ministry to compliment it called Adventure Kids. We have activities on the same night as the MOMS meet and we also do a "field" trip once a month where kids and parents can come.
 

Here are some other responses we received:
 
“I am a big believer in children's ministries although sadly I do not believe I am gifted in this area. As the Senior Pastor of my church, one of my "visions" was to find a way to get both children and the elderly involved in our church because as I sat and looked at the makeup of the church I realized that we were a small group of mostly 25-40 year olds.   We had just recently planted a church and I feared that our reasons for doing this may have been out of an inability to relate to those younger or older than us (even though most of us had children and parents!). I started by immediately getting us involved in an assisted living home so that we could "learn" what it was like to simply sit and listen. Most of the elderly in these homes can't do anything for themselves, so it gave us an opportunity to help out as well but the one thing they could do was tell stories! I believe this act of listening is doing worlds of good!
 
Now how this relates to your question is simple. It was not long before we started doing this that we saw the smiles of the elderly just because there were young kids around again. They loved to watch them play and run around being kids and they loved to talk with them and just watch them. I believe that the younger kids helped them feel young again or perhaps they remembered fondly those times when they were raising their own children.
 
Also we had another child in our group - age 11 - that COMPLETELY fell in love with the elderly and is always reminding us to lift them up in prayer and is constantly coming up with ideas to make them smile. Clearly the children are given their own gifts and uses by God and as a church and parents we need to learn to foster and grow that.
 
It also gives the parents of the church an opportunity to do one of the central things that the Bible teaches us to do regarding children and that is to raise them in the way they should go. Raising them is more than sending them to church while we sleep in on Sundays, it is an opportunity for us to share in worship with them, to teach them how and why we worship, to allow them to lead us in worship at times. After all Jesus told us that unless we become like little children we could not inherit the Kingdom of God. Clearly there is a thinking and a way of life that He wants us to remember and hold onto as we develop into adults.” (Author first name/city)
 
What about you? Why do you think Children’s Ministry is vital to church ministry? 
Send us a note if you have other ideas or suggestions! Join the group on users.bible.org called Children's Ministry and post your ideas.