Pursuing Growth in Children’s Ministry: Mind-Heart-Hand
It’s already the end of July and we are now past the half mark of the year of 2021(how time flies!). In our June blog, we shared a case study on how children and youth ministry in Uganda used the five D’s of design to help evaluate ministry to children, reducing hindrances to their spiritual formation that allows them to experience God through their realities. Today we would like to continue this conversation on children’s ministry through a different lens.
Have you ever wondered how you can grow yourself as a children’s worker and make yourself relevant to the different children God has placed in your care? Have you ever second guessed your effectiveness as a teacher in delivering the gospel to the children or wondered how you can help the church leadership realize the importance of children’s ministry in the Church? You have the opportunity to pursue growth and self-development as you serve in children and youth ministry.
Our prayer is that you will appreciate your role, be inspired to learn more and grow in your ministry to children, you will help them take God’s Word from their minds to their heart and finally their hands.
The 4/14 Movement has four Rs that we focus on as we continue to awaken a generation; Reach, Rescue, Root, Release. We would like to highlight two of the four Rs.
Root enables us to create a culture for children to dream and grow as they see life through the lens that God is good irrespective of life challenges and He has a great plan for them.
Release sets the stage for us to encourage, support and equip these children so that they can become all that they can be by creating space and opportunities for them to live out their purpose.
These clearly point to the need of equipped and empowered workers to walk alongside these boys and girls and actualize these goals. To our advantage, life today has presented us with opportunities to let these children become purposeful and influential to the people around them. Children have started to find their voice irrespective of age, locality or background. All they need are Spirit-led adults who can help them grow into their God-given purposes. Imagine children using their voice inspired by God! Thanks to collaborations that the 4/14 movement has with other parachurch organizations, here are some resources that can lead us to become those people in the lives of these children. These three resources can be used to lay a foundation for us to develop and grow in children ministry.
- Children Ministry 101
This provides an introduction to best practices and gives us the foundation on which we can understand ourselves as teachers and learn new techniques to teach our children about the word of God. We learn how God’s Word relates to their daily lives and children’s advocacy. Modern research and psychology tells us that what we learn while we are young remains with us and is what influences our decision making and choices. We believe that is why God is so intentional about welcoming the little children into His kingdom like seen in Matthew 18:1–6 and in Proverbs 22:6, emphasizes the importance of training a child while they are still young. God has given us these boys and girls, ours is to lay a foundation that we or someone else can build on, helping them grow in the truth of God’s Word.
2. Essentials of Children Ministry
This gives us a deeper look at how to incorporate teaching methods to effectively engage children as they grow in their different development stages, how they learn best, the power of scripture and how to plant it in a child’s life, your role as a teacher, discipleship techniques and methods of sharing the gospel. All these sessions prepare you as a teacher to know your audience and use this knowledge to direct their hearts and minds to Jesus. You also get an opportunity to learn from other children workers’ experience through their failure, challenges and successes like the bible tells in Proverbs 27: 17; as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
3. God’s Heart for the Outsider
Imagine every child irrespective of ability, abuse or location knowing they are loved by God and are given an opportunity to engage with scripture in a meaningful way. This resource teaches you how to welcome such children with disabilities, who are unreached, abused, broken in an honor/shame context. You will learn God’s heart for such children, practical ways to welcome and make them feel safe and loved, journey with them to receive healing, gain ideas to reach the unreached and share the gospel with them. You will also get to learn how to develop a children’s protection policy that can benefit your church or ministry.
To move forward the mission of God to rescue humankind, we need to fully prepare ourselves for battle since we know the enemy we wrestle against and how he is determined to destroy humankind including the children. We would like to extend an invitation to you to join us in becoming fully equipped children and youth workers. We are reminded in 1 Corinthians 12:27 that we are the body of Christ though with many parts. Each of us is playing our role to extend the Kingdom of God across Africa and that includes you! If you would like to receive training in the areas mentioned above kindly reach out to us.
We pray over you like Paul did for the Colossae church in Colossians 1:2–12 that grace and peace will abound over you and you will be filled with the knowledge of God’s will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding and you will live a life worthy of the Lord, pleasing him in every way and bearing fruit in every good work. That you will be strengthened with great endurance, patience and yet joyfully giving thanks to our Father who has qualified you to share the good news with His children.