Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Embrace It

Today's guest post is on children's ministry and is by Gina McClain. Gina is the LifeKIDS Director of LifeChurch.tv in Oklahoma City, OK. You can read more from her on her blog at http://jabberfrog.com/

Most churches have some form of Children's Ministry. Some even go so far as to devote large portions of their resources toward Children's Ministry. There are some amazing churches out there with amazing ministry to kids.

These things lend to the general acknowledgment that Children's Ministry is valuable.

But we can do a lot toward something that we believe is valuable... and still miss the point.

Do you believe Children's Ministry is valuable?

Or are you willing to Embrace the Potential that lies within it?

There is a big difference.

You see, a child at the age of 6 is just as capable of following Jesus as I am. The bible is just as applicable to a Christ follower at 8 years old as it is to me at 35 years old.

What does that mean?

It means that when you start to think that your elementary-age kids are not capable of fulfilling the Great Commission… think again. The bible says...

"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me… to the end of the earth." Acts 1:8

"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do…" John 14:12

There is no age distinction listed. No height requirement noted. No 'red shirt' year where you sit on the bench. When you become a Christ follower, you are immediately in the game… whatever age that may be.

So, if I have one thing to say to ministry leaders today…

Stop treating Children's Ministry as the 'feel good' babysitting spot that enables you to have 'real church' with the big people.

Embrace it for what it is.

The greatest fishing hole out there for 'fishers of men'. If you want a place to cast nets that strain from the weight when you pull in your catch, march your evangelistic hind parts into your elementary age experience and share Jesus with the same amount of passion as you do to adults.

You'll unleash a crowd of people into your community willing to act on what the Spirit is asking of them.

You see, God created us to respond to His calling. His voice. His prompting. We were born with that sensitivity to His Spirit. It's not something that kicks in somewhere around puberty. It's actually the years spent on this earth 'growing' that beat that sensitivity out of us. We like to call it maturity.

Angry preacher, I am not. Just ruthlessly passionate that my 8-year old son is a walking Temple filled with the Holy Spirit. That he received power when the Holy Spirit came upon him and he is a witness to Jesus. That because he believes in Jesus, the works that Jesus did, he will do also; and greater works than these because of the Holy Spirit that dwells within him today.

We live in a time when more people exist on this earth than ever before! Today is the day to mobilize the generation that could see more people come to Christ than were walking this earth one century ago. Children's Ministry is not tomorrow's church in waiting… they are today's church waiting for you to give them the opportunity to make an impact.

Stop giving it lip service. Embrace It!

2 comments:

rindy said...

I love this! So very true. Too many times we have such low expectations of what kids (and teens) are capable of and eager to do/learn that we miss so many opportunities!

Jason Curlee said...

Rindy...Gina did do a great job. I agree. We need to look at them as the church of today and see what is possible for them to do.