The priority of children’s ministry is to reach kids with the gospel and to develop lifelong disciples.
Building the kind of relationships that allow us to introduce the gospel and to develop that discipleship takes effort. And that effort requires more than showing up at church and waiting out the time doing as little as possible.
Relationships require conversation.
Here are three topics to discuss with kids showing them how the gospel relates to their lives.
A good understanding of these topics will answer a lot of their questions.
1. Your imperfect world will not change to a perfect one. Many of the kids in our clubs come from terrifically dysfunctional homes, homes that many of us can’t even imagine.
One night, several years ago, a Sparkie came to an Awana club extremely upset. We discovered the police had come, taken his mom to jail and left him and his five siblings with an older brother – a nineteen-year-old. We explained that trusting Christ would not make his problems go away, but that the Lord loved him more than he could understand and that God would always be there to listen to him talk about his feelings and what was happening. We wrote out a verse for him to carry with him (Hebrews 13:5) and we let him know that we cared and he could talk to us. Kids need to know that everything in their world will not magically change. God does not promise to take away our problems, but rather to walk us through our problems.
2. You will still have BIG questions. Trusting Christ is the beginning of understanding. You will continue to learn about the Bible throughout your life. Even the leaders are still learning. The leaders can, however, answer many of your questions, so ask us! (Proverbs 2:1-5; Romans 15:4)
3. You will still make wrong choices. (Romans 7) Even though you are now a Christian, you will not always make the right choices. We still live in a messed-up world. You will still be tempted and you will still give into temptation. Even leaders (and pastors) make wrong choices. Sometimes we get grumpy or yell at our kids or get angry with a friend. One way to make right choices is to read your Bible, to talk to the Lord and to hang with others who desire to make right choices.
When you do make a wrong choice, talk to the Lord about it. Tell Him that you know what you did was wrong and thank Him for the forgiveness provided for you by the cross.
We need to continue to talk to kids once they’ve trusted Christ. Kids, especially those who have non-believing parents who don’t or can’t answer their questions … can quickly get confused. A first step toward discipleship is helping kids understand their faith.
We will not hide them from their children,
but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and His might,
and the wonders that He has done. (Psalm78:4)