Want to go where few children’s ministries have gone? Want to become more effective in making disciples? Want to become a New Testament church in the 21st century?
Having served the Body of Christ in various roles in church leadership, eldership, and as a church founder, I can assure you that getting with your church leadership and sharing your vision and purpose of children’s ministry is paramount. Additionally, your vision must be in alignment with the vision of leadership. I would suggest you visit with your senior pastor and suggest that discipleship begins in children’s ministry – discipleship should be central to the church because it is central to Jesus’ mission (see Matthew 28:19-20). Suggest to leadership that one way to begin making a difference is by starting with your next new member’s class or parent’s class. Having senior leadership set and manage expectations clearly and simply by presenting a Biblical discipleship model.
As Dallas Willard writes, “Nondiscipleship costs abiding peace, a life penetrated throughout by love, faith that sees everything in the light of God’s overriding governance for good, hopefulness that stands firm in the most discouraging circumstances, power to do what is right and withstand the forces of evil. In short, nondiscipleship costs you exactly the abundance of life Jesus said he came to bring (John 10:10).” Discipleship is essential for every Christian, not just for the “super Christians.” There is nothing in the teaching of scripture that suggests that being forgiven and “saved” is all there is to being a Christian. To the contrary, Willard shows that Christians need to be undergoing a profound transformation in character becoming more like Christ from the heart. Additionally, you might investigate what Thom Rainer, LifeWay Christian Resources president and CEO, suggested in his blog entitled “Disciple-Making In The Local Church.”
Additionally, according to Pastor Bill Shannon, “It is difficult to pass on to children that which is not manifested in the parent’s life. The parents must first make the Word of Life a priority in their own life. Deuteronomy 6:6 says “And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.” The parent must first believe and live out the Scriptures in their life.”
If we want to raise the bar we must get back to simple, Biblical basics. Otherwise, we will continue to see what George Barna has described as a Christian Church in America comprised of “many converts, but shockingly few disciples.”
- Every parent must read and study their Bible with their children every day.
- Every parent must attend a corporate worship experience every week.
- Every parent must join and regularly attend a home fellowship group.
- Every parent must be involved in at least one meaningful Bible study each year.
- Every parent must be involved in at least one mission activity each year.
- Every parent must be in a meaningful discipleship group with their children every week.
- Every parent must serve in the children’s ministry as scheduled.
May God give you a heart for the Great Commission.