Tag Archives: children’s pastor

Children’s Ministry – Vision

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Vision: 

a) mode of seeing or conceiving

b) unusual discernment or foresight

c) direct physical awareness of the supernatural.

Jeremiah 14:14  And the LORD said to me: The prophets are prophesying lies in my name; I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds.

Habakkuk 2:2-3  Then the LORD answered me and said: Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so that a runner may read it.  For there is still a vision for the appointed time; it speaks of the end, and does not lie. If it seems to tarry, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay.

A vision, in the case of Children’s Ministry, is insight given by God about something. You may see the direction your children’s ministry should take, or you might be given insight and discernment on how to correct a problem. God can also give you insight into the future to know where He is taking the children’s ministry. Whatever the case, vision originates from God.

There is a move in the church world to elevate vision in the place of ministry. Everyone is encourage to have sessions to do vision casting. These sessions have their place if the group is seeking God’s vision for the ministry or seeking how to facilitate the vision God has given.

But we can become discouraged about the vision if we expect God to fulfill it in a certain way or expect Him to carry out the vision in the time frame we have set up. Vision is given by God to encourage us about what He is going to do in His way and in His time. If we try to force the vision to happen on our own in our timing, it will become a source of discouragement and burnout. All we can do is write down the vision, trust God to fulfill it, and set our sails in that direction. God does the rest.

We also get off track if we’re so anxious for a vision that we read books on children’s ministry and have planning sessions based on church growth strategies and end up using the vision God gave somebody else. Knowledge is good. But when we do this instead of seeking a vision from God, we put vision for our ministries in the place of God. This is when we are in danger of making children’s ministry an idol.

Is Your Children’s Ministry An Idol – One Thing

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Children’s pastors are devoted to Children’s Ministry. God has called them and given them an assignment of great importance. It’s a ministry that touches the heart of God.

But children’s ministry is also hard work. Children’s leaders are often misunderstood, mistreated, overlooked, and overworked. Many times this will keep the children’s leader from the one thing he or she needs more than anything else – the one thing that will keep the leader from being burned out in ministry.

Psalms 27:4(NRSV) One thing I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.

Psalms 16:8(NKJV) I have set the Lord always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.

Philippians 3:13-14(NRSV) Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.

According to these verses, that one thing we should be devoted to is not a bigger or better children’s ministry. It’s not carrying out the vision God has given us for children’s ministry. It’s not even discipling children or carrying out our ministry assignment from God.

The one thing  God wants us to focus on above all else is our relationship with Him. He wants us to know Him, to seek after Him, to behold His beauty, and to press hard after Him.

Many times we get so involved with the ministry assignment God has given us spending much of our time working for God. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an important assignment. But when the ministry, even children’s ministry, becomes our one thing instead of seeking a relationship with God, then it becomes an idol before God.

If you’re only seeking God about children’s ministry, it might have become your god. If you’re only studying or reading God’s Word to get something to teach in children’s church, children’s ministry might have become your idol. If the only time you pray is before children’s classes or children’s events or at church services or staff meetings, you’re on dangerous ground.

We need to make our relationship with God the one thing that comes before everything else, even ministry. Our ministry assignment from God should come from the overflow of our relationship with him.

I confess that, at times, I’ve been guilty of this sin of putting my ministry assignment before my relationship with God. I learned the hard way that this leads to spiritual burnout and a crisis of faith. When I repented of this sin, God restored my relationship with Him to greater heights then I’ve ever known. But I had to recognise this as a sin before God, as idol worship.

You may be in this same situation. If that’s the case, go to God today and repent of your idol worship and ask Him to restore your relationship with Adonai, our Lord and our Master.

A Children’s Pastor Is A Teacher

2 Timothy 3:15-17  You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. 

There is a movement in children’s ministry that troubles me. Among some, the Word of God is not being taught to children. Instead they’re entertained by elaborate gospel illusions and games or they’re taught Bible stories and Bible truths in a watered down fashion. Sometimes the stories don’t even come from the Bible but from video clips that teach values.

There’s nothing wrong with these methods if their main goal is to teach God’s Word to children in a way they can understand and accept. The problem is not in the methods but when the methods become more important than the message. God uses His Word to equip His people. We, as children’s pastors, need to teach God’s Word to children to equip them. If we don’t, we raise a generation of people who have gone to church all their lives but don’t know God, His Word, or His power.

One of the best ways to make sure you teach children God’s Word is to make a list of sound doctrine children need to know and understand before they leave children’s ministry. Here’s some suggestions I believe are vital.

Salvation: 

Children need to know all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. They need to know God hates sin, but He loves us so much He sent Jesus to die for our sins. They need to know that they need to believe in Jesus Christ and accept Him as their savior to be saved. They needs to know being good enough doesn’t work and that there’s no other way of salvation.

Jesus:

Children need to know who Jesus is. They need to know He is fully God and fully man. He is not just a prophet or another religious leader. He is the Son of God and the only way of salvation.

Sanctification: 

Children need to know that once they’re saved, God expects them to live holy lives. There are certain things they can’t do as Christians. Those things are called sin. They’re not mistakes or one person’s opinion, they are sin. Adultery, fornication, and homosexuality are sin. Lying and stealing are sin. Disobediance and rebellion are sin. Sanctification is the power God gives us to say yes to Him and no to sin.

Sound Doctrine:

Dig out the doctrinal statements of your church. Dust them off, find them in Scripture, and teach them to your children. One of the main things you need to teach children are the two greatest commandments. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.

Deuteronomy 6:5-9(ICB) Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and strength. Always remember these commands I give you today. Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and walk along the road. Talk about them when you lie down and when you get up. Write them down and tie them to your hands as a sign. Tie them on your forehead to remind you. Write them on your doors and gates.

Application:

Applications are the principles and messages behind the Bible stories. First teach the Scripture, then teach what it means, then teach the application or how children can apply this to their lives.

Testimony:

Children need to hear testimonies about how God’s Word has worked in the lives of people they know. They need to know how God’s Word has worked in the lives of their parents, their Sunday School teacher, and their children’s pastor. This will encourage and equip them to apply the Word of God to their lives.

A Children’s Pastor Is A Shepherd

A children’s pastor wear many hats. This week I’ll post about some of the roles of a children’s pastor. Today I’m talking about the children’s pastor’s role as a shepherd. God assigns pastors to care for His sheep or, in this case, his lambs.

Feed His Lambs:

Notice the first thing Jesus told Peter was to feed his lambs. Later He told his to feed His sheep, but his first concern was for the young. Here’s how we feed the lambs God gave us to care for.

Preach God’s Word. Don’t water down the Gospel for children. Teach them the full measure of Scripture using methods they can understand. Children need more than Bible stories. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Increase your students’ faith by preaching God’s Word.

John 21:15(NKJV) So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”

Protect the flock:

God expects you to protect the lambs He’s placed under you. This means spiritually by teaching the sound doctrine, but it also means physically. Protect them from those who may wish to harm them by having worker screening and policies in place. Teach your workers, not only how to teach, but how to recognize signs of abuse and what to do about it, and how to administer first aide.

John 10:12-13 (ICB)  The worker who is paid to keep the sheep is different from the shepherd who owns them. So when the worker sees a wolf coming, he runs away and leaves the sheep alone. Then the wolf attacks the sheep and scatters them.   13The man runs away because he is only a paid worker. He does not really care for the sheep.

Know the flock:

It’s important to develop a relationship with the lambs under you. One of the best ways to do that is to set up regular times to visit and call the child in your ministry. But it goes further than that. When a child in your ministry has a special event like a concert or a game, do your best to attend. If a child is in the hospital or has another crisis, be there.

John 10:4(NKJV) And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 

Pray for the lambs:

Follow the example of the Apostle Paul, and pray daily for the lambs God has entrusted to you. Here’s a great prayer from scripture to pray over children.

I Thessalonians 3:10-13 (ICB) And we continue praying with all our heart for you night and day. We pray that we can see you again and give you all the things you need to make your faith strong.   We pray that our God and Father and our Lord Jesus will prepare the way for us to come to you.   We pray that the Lord will make your love grow more and more for each other and for all people. We pray that you will love others as we love you and   that your hearts will be made strong. Then you will be holy and without fault before our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy people.

Model Christlikeness:

Be an example the flock God has given you. Take it seriously because God does.

Jeremiah 23:1 (ICB) Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.

Matthew 18:10(ICB) Be careful. Don’t think these little children are worth nothing. I tell you that they have angels in heaven who are always with my Father in heaven.