Sometimes volunteering in children’s ministry can feel like you’re just babysitting. You’re feeding babies and changing diapers. You’re serving snacks, taking toddlers to the bathroom, washing hands, smoothing over fights and hurt feelings. You’re dealing with behavior issues and bored kids.
Let me encourage you. Children’s ministry is so much more than babysitting.
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
What is a disciple?
So, first Jesus says to go. He says make disciples of all nations. For those of us in children’s ministry, we need to start where we are. There are children in our church and in our community who need to hear of the love of God and the gift of salvation that is offered to them.
And then, teach them to obey everything Jesus has commanded them. We continue to love and support these disciples as we teach them; encouraging them to grow in their relationship with Jesus.
Children’s ministry is a disciple-making ministry.
Think about the programs & ministries offered at your church. Think of them in light of making disciples. Those outreach ministries where you build relationships with the kids in the community – those are going & making disciples ministries. Those evangelistic ministries, like VBS, those are going & making disciples ministries. Mid-week clubs, Sunday School – those are teaching them ministries; making disciples and helping them to grow.
Children’s ministry is about making disciples.
The kids in your care are people that God loves and Jesus died for. You have the opportunity to share God’s love with them, share the good news of the gospel with them, make disciples, and continue to teach them all the things Jesus said.
So, be encouraged. You are part of an important ministry, obeying Jesus’ command to go and make disciples.
One way to find encouragement is to watch for those moments where your kids are growing in their understanding and their faith. Be encouraged yourself when you find those moments and share them with other children’s ministry volunteers. They are encouraging reminders that we are making disciples.
Here are some examples of what I mean:
Once I was teaching a class of preschoolers and I noticed a boy was intently working with play dough. I asked him, “What are you making?” He said, “I’m going to make God.” “What does He look like?” I asked. “We He has 3 ears and lots of mouths.” “Why does He have 3 ears?” “So He can hear everyone.” “Why does He have lots of mouths?” “So He can talk to everyone.” What a glimpse into that 4 yr. olds understanding of who God is. God is One who hears us and speaks to us. Wow!
During a preschool class – the story had been about David’s sin and his repentance before God. The teacher asked the question, “Why does David sin?” A student’s hand goes up, “Because he didn’t have a perfect heart like God does.”
Watch for moments like these when you are volunteering with children. Be encouraged that God is at work in the lives of the kids you serve. And then share those moments with other children’s ministry volunteers in your church.
Children’s ministry is so much more than babysitting. We are privileged to be involved in disciple-making ministry. And we are never alone! Jesus promised to be with us even to the very end.