Children’s Ministry Spectrum

It can be difficult in children’s ministry to know what programs to run, what programs to continue, and what programs to stop using. There are so many options and so many fun things to do with kids.

Using a children’s ministry spectrum will help with the tough choices you need to make.

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

Jesus commanded us to go and make disciples.  As children’s ministry volunteers this is our commission. The children’s ministry spectrum uses this verse as a foundation.

The first step in the process is to go. There are children in our communities who need to hear of the love of God and the gift of salvation that is offered to them.

Outreach events

This is the first stop on the children’s ministry spectrum. Outreach involves meeting the kids in our communities, building relationships, and meeting their needs.

Outreach ideas include Breakfast Club at the local school, Mom & preschooler drop-in, Homework Club, Lego Club, Sports Camps, Drop-in programs after school, Mid-week clubs, after school care, drama camps, Christmas programs/parties, and Spring Break events.

It is so important to build relationships with kids and show our love by meeting their needs, but the command to make disciples requires us to share the gospel.  That is the next stop on the spectrum.

Evangelism

At some point we need to share the gospel with the kids we have been building relationships with. Especially when working with kids, the gospel needs to be shared more than once and in different ways. The truth of the gospel stays the same, the opportunities for sharing it, however, are many.

Evangelism opportunities include VBS, day camps, gospel-focused sports camps, backyard clubs, Christmas and Easter services, and one-on-one conversations.

Discipleship

New believers need to be given opportunities to grow in their faith and to fellowship with other believers.

Discipleship opportunities include individual or group mentoring, Sunday School, Children’s Church, Prayer Meetings, Mid-week clubs, Corporate Worship, and fellowship.

Service

Disciples need the opportunity to discover the gifts God has given them, develop them and then use them to serve in the church.

We need to give the kids in our care the opportunity to learn about Spiritual gifts, discover their gifts, and use their gifts in the church and community.

Missions

Disciples need the opportunity to go and make disciples themselves by being involved with missions. We need to give our kids opportunities to learn about missions, support missions, pray for missionaries & missions around the world, and be involved locally & globally.

These could include Missions events at the church, missions projects, opportunities to pray to missions, and community mission projects.

The children’s ministry spectrum provides a way for you to look at the children’s ministry of your church and see how you are doing in each area.

The spectrum is not made up of individual pieces, rather they blend together to create a cohesive children’s ministry.

I have created a worksheet for you to evaluate your current programs. It looks like this.

Print off this resource (PDF file) and plot your children’s ministry programs into the spectrum. Are there areas that are overwhelmed with programs? Are there areas that are lacking in programs?

I have also developed this wall poster for you to print and post on your wall to refer to.

I hope this is a useful tool for you and your team as you continue the work of children’s ministry in your church and community.

 

 

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Why Biblical literacy is an issue that every Children’s Ministry leader needs to address

biblical literacyI read some articles and blog posts the other day that were centered on the issue of Biblical literacy.

One blogger I read said they were concerned that a focus on Biblical literacy would mean making a relationship with God less important. In another article, the author calls Biblical illiteracy a crisis and “the most dangerous threat to the viability of the Church in America”.

What is Biblical literacy?

Biblical literacy is knowledge of the Bible. But it’s about more than just having memorized all 66 books of the Bible and knowing the 10 Commandments. Someone who is Biblically literate understands the big picture story of the Bible. The Bible is not a book of stand alone stories; it is one big story – the story of God and His people.

Biblical literacy is hugely important. We need to know the Bible because that is where God reveals Himself to us.

In his book, Revolutionary Parenting, Christian researcher George Barna states that most of our children are Biblically illiterate and that more than half believe Jesus sinned just like us when He was on earth.

Biblical literacy is crucial for our kids because the Bible is where we get to know God. God chose to reveal Himself to us primarily through His Word – the Bible. Our kids need to know the Bible. Not so that they know that Zephaniah comes before Malachi, but that they understand that the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and Zephaniah keeps His promises. As they read and are taught how everything fits together and begin to understand the chronology of the Bible, they will see that over and over again, God keeps His promises. And maybe they will come to trust our faithful God. They will see that God is holy and that people are sinners. They will see that our holy God made a way for sinners to be saved because He is loving and merciful and gracious.

If our main goal is making disciples, Biblical literacy needs to be an important part of our educational strategy. We want kids to know, love, and follow God. The primary way our kids will get to know God is through the Bible.

So teach your kids to love their Bibles! Encourage your kids to be reading their Bibles; help kids understand how to navigate their Bibles; encourage them to become familiar with the books of the Bible. Not just so that they can say they have memorized all 66 books of the Bible, but so that they can get to know the God of the Bible.

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