Not a Babysitting Gig
If you are a Parent, then you are called to Children’s Ministry. You may hear many parents say that they do not want to volunteer in the Kid’s Ministry classes because they are not “called” to children’s ministry. As a children’s pastor, I would hear how the parents were tired of being around kids all week and they just needed a break. The church (as a whole) has failed to teach parents that they inherit a children’s ministry the day their first baby is born. When you gave birth to a child, the Holy Spirit filled you with everything you need for your child in every way. Children’s Ministry exists to help parents access the spiritual authority they have already inherited.
Maybe we are tired. I am a stay at home mom, so I can honestly relate to the complaint that I am with my kids 24/7 and love to get a break whenever I can. It could be a relaxing Sunday to drop my kids off at the kid’s wing and go to worship without the burden of wiping noses and correcting the two year old for playing swords with the church bulletin. Free babysitting, right? I actually saw a person drop off their kid at Children’s Church and then leave church to go do something else. Free babysitting. However, as a parent, I realize that if God gave me the gift of a child, then He entrusted me with a “kids ministry”. And as a church ministry, we must see each Sunday through the eyes of purpose and not just a babysitting gig.
Maybe kids intimidate us. They are clever little suckers. They get into messes and ask probing questions. Kids don’t settle for the statis quo. They want you to explain every detail and then they will still ask, “Why?” You may feel inadequate, uneducated, or unprepared. When a kid asks me a difficult theological question, I suggest that they ask the Holy Spirit. Many times that kid will hear God tell them something so profound that I am stunned. I have found that I learn more about God when I volunteer in the Kid’s wing than I do listening to a sermon in the adult service.
Maybe we feel like children’s ministry is a lesser ministry. I understand this feeling because I have wrestled with it for years. I wanted to do missions, plant churches, rescue slaves, change nations, write books, lead worship, record my own songs, and so much more. I never dreamed of changing other kid’s dirty diapers or cutting out crosses with kindergarten scissors as my life calling. BORING! Yet, when I see a kid weeping under the power of the Holy Spirit, or write their own song in the Spirit, or hear the voice of God for the first time, I realize that I too have been empowered to fulfill all of my dreams through these young ones. If your children’s church classes are boring, then get involved and CHANGE IT!
God gave parents a mandate to train up a child in the way they should go.(Proverbs 22:6) The Bible puts the entire burden of spiritual education on the parents. So, why would I assume that I can just expect some volunteers at church to give my kids the spiritual direction that they need for their life? The children’s ministry at our church does not exist to get your kids all “squared away” and ready for their life in Jesus. It exists to co-labor alongside parents to empower them in their journey to guide their children in spiritual wisdom and connection to God.