Yesterday I wrote a post on my Children's Ministry blog - About the Children's Department, which I want to share with you today. A small "background" on this blog - it is the first blog I wrote years ago when I was a Children's Ministry leader - it is still the second-most read Children's Ministry blog - which continues to amaze me. I firmly believe it is the "job" of parents and grandparents to hand confident faith to the children they love, but the church does have a part in this "job". Sadly, while there are many churches where they "get things right" when it comes to their Children's Ministry, far, far too many do not. So, today I'm asking you to read this post and share it with the leaders in your church.
What is our job if we are on the staff in our church's Children's Ministry? How should we be spending our time if we are on the staff in our church's Children's Ministry? What should our priorities look like?
Well, clearly if we are on the staff in our church's Children's Ministry, then we are likely the people who choose curriculum - or lead a committee to do so. We are likely the people who implement the curriculum, recruit volunteers, train volunteers, oversee volunteers, and who plan special events throughout the ministry year.
We are hopefully people who are praying for the ministry, the volunteers, the families, the children - and who are leading others to do the same. We are people who are there for families as they experience health issues, and other issues as well.
But, one of the most important things we must not fail to do is something which should be on the top of our "to-do" list on Monday morning and Thursday morning as well. Each of these days when we arrive at our church, we must take a look at our attendance lists from Sunday morning and Wednesday night. We must notice which children were missing, and we MUST sit down and write a note to let them know they were missed and tell them you would love to see them return next week. The only excuse for you not doing this would be if you already have your volunteers trained to do this before they leave class on Sunday morning and Wednesday night.
It is essential for children to know they were missed. It is vitally important for children to feel like they belong to and are loved at their church. We teach them God loves them, but if we do not show them they are loved by noticing when they are not there, then we have failed to model God's love for the children He has entrusted to our ministries. When we fail to do this, we harm their view of the church and more importantly, their view of God.
Do you make sure every child in your ministry is personally contacted each time when they miss a service opportunity? If not, why? If you are part of a paid staff, you have no excuse for allowing children to "slip through the cracks". Why would you want there to be any "cracks" for them to slip through in your ministry? Close those "cracks".
And, keep in mind, growing numbers of children are only coming to church if they do so with their grandparents as more and more adults are leaving our churches. The grandparents in your ministry already have a hard enough job trying to hand down confident faith to the children they love - they need their church to help them - not make it harder for them to do this. (Which, by the way, are you equipping them to hand down confident faith? If not, check this link for resources to help you do so.) When you do not notice their grandchildren are missing, you are making it harder. Read this last sentence again - when you do not notice their grandchildren are missing, you are making it harder for the grandparents to hand confident faith to the children they love.
If you are on the paid Children's Ministry staff at your church, it is your job to show love to children - especially those who are not learning about God's love for them from their own parents. If you fail to do this - you are failing those children in a significant way. There is no way to "candy-coat" this. It is the truth. Close the "cracks". Don't let even one child from your ministry "fall through the cracks".
If you are a volunteer leader in your Children's Ministry, it is still your job to show love to children - especially those who are not learning about God's love for them from their own parents. Close the "cracks". Don't let even one child from your ministry "fall through the cracks".
One child who does so is one child too many.