Why Kids Ministry?
I was recently asked to share for a few minutes on why we do kids ministry. Here is what I came up with.
1. Kids ministry is important to the Lord
2. Kids ministry is an incredible opportunity
3. There is a battle and a cause
Kids ministry is important to the Lord
There is a scene in the gospels, where some children were brought to Jesus, and the disciples tried to turn them away. Jesus responded “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus Himself then laid hands on them demonstrating His desire to minister to children and then used them as an example of what the kingdom is actually like. Children embody certain attributes that the Lord values. These attributes are the very things that give us access to His kingdom. Jesus went as far as to say that if we don't become like children, we won't even enter the kingdom of heaven. Children by nature already have easy access to the things of heaven, but in many cases an adult is needed to point out the door. God has set things up such that we need children to show us the way into heaven, and they need us to provide an environment where they are free to use and keep the access we have been given. We are door keepers of sorts to heaven, but they are the key.
Kids ministry is an incredible opportunity
One of my first life changing encounters with kids ministry was at a church conference around ten years ago. I was part of an intercession team praying for the various meetings during the conference and was assigned to go into the kids meeting during one of the sessions. The kids were worshipping Jesus and encountering God in a way that I had never seen in an adult meeting. At some point, the kids laid hands on me and started praying for me at which point I had an encounter with the presence of God in a way that rocked my world. Since then, I have had many similar encounters with kids engaging God which have helped shape my mental model of what is possible in kids ministry. Kids have the same access to the Holy Spirit as the most seasoned adult. In many cases it is even easier for them to access the things of God. They tend to have less unbelief and disappointment in life shaping their expectations of what He might do. I believe that this is part of the nature of children that Jesus was telling us to become like in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. There is a door open in heaven for anyone who will enter. Children can often see this door and enter it very easily, but again, we as adults have a lot of influence on whether or not this will happen. Kids are able to go into heaven now and to bring things to earth for other people. The experiences and opportunities they are given by us now will affect them now and will also play a big part in shaping their world view which will continue with them into their adulthood.
There is a battle and a cause
David in his youth showed up on a battlefront and started asking questions about defeating Goliath. When his brother attempted to discourage him, he responded, "Is there not a cause?". Shortly afterwards, David killed the giant that had been oppressing Israel and led them to a great victory. There is a great battlefront over the destiny of children. Even in the womb, the enemy is targeting children in an attempt to keep them from accessing the kingdom of God and bringing it into the earth. Whether we chose to join in the battle or not, the enemy is going to do his part to steal, kill, and destroy anything he can. We have a great opportunity to stand in the authority that Jesus has given us to destroy the works of the devil that he intends towards our kids. Even more so, we have an opportunity to equip children to be mighty warriors who know how to destroy the works of the enemy in their generation.