Table of Contents
Children’s Ministry in Country of Service
Ideas collected by Jayne Russell, SEND International, Ukraine, Missions Mobilization 25 February 2021
Why consider ministry to children?
[ideas from “Ministry-to-Children.com” and ‘Intro to Christian Education’ course notes]
- Childhood is when most people find Jesus.
- Childhood conversion is the “normal” way people come to Christ.
- Childhood is when people are most open to the Gospel. Therefore, to win a people group to Christ, begin with children ages 4 to 14.
- Children need to hear the Gospel and be challenged to respond with a faith decision for Christ.
One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen among those who have a heart for the lost is that they don’t see the children in their own church as lost. Every child, even the cute ones in our Sunday schools, needs the gospel. Our goal is not just to get the children into church, but into Christ.
So if the church is to be missional, let’s be missional with those closest to us—the ones already within the church walls. – Steve Chang
- Evangelism must be a primary goal of children’s ministry.
Luke 18:16 — But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
- Jesus welcomes every person to come; that includes children.
- The Spirit of God does not age-limit His activities to adults. Children may have gaps in the understanding of repentance and faith but that does not mean that they cannot come to repentance for their sins.
- When a seed of saving faith is planted in very young children, it can take root immediately. The fruit of that seed may take years to see.
- Ministry within the church is important due because it forms and builds relationships. These relationships with others outside of the family unit that believes in the same God and the same Gospel are important to solidify faith in children and teenagers.
- Children/teenagers are important to the life and goals of the church to reach others for Christ.
- Sunday School is preparing tomorrow’s leaders for the church and missions. Helping children/teenagers to serve in the church is vital to help them to have a sense of belonging. Find things that they can do and allow them to do it. Tomorrow’s pastors, missionaries, and Sunday School teachers are in Sunday School today.
- Sunday School is a great setting for relational ministry. It is a small group Bible study.
- Ministry to children and teenagers will have a lasting impact. This is not a club for teaching good manners nor entertaining them while their parents are in the worship service. The focus is to be on transferring the life-changing message of Jesus to the next generation.
- Day camps generally have a goal for evangelism. Non-church parents are more open to their children attending day camp. It is also an opportunity for the children of church to invited friends, neighbors and relatives to hear the Gospel.
- The Bible describes conversion as a life changing event. Children coming to Christ is more than a gesture of compliance when prompted by an adult. An adult needs to talk with a child in a more secluded place about what being a follower of Christ really means. We want to “pick fruit when it is ripe” — not while it is still green, nor when it is rotting. Prayerfully follow God’s lead in this situation.
- We can be confident that the Gospel will never be outdated, that love is always in demand, and children need help to navigate life because Jesus loves children.
For an exciting example of how ministry to children and through children is resulting in explosive church growth in French-speaking Africa, read this EMQ article: Church Planting in Hard Places: Research Reveals the Strength of a Next-Gen Focused Church Planting Strategy.
Planning for Children's Ministry on your field
- Purpose – How does it fit into the vision of the field?
- What do you want from this ministry? (End results)
- What is the community setting you plan to do this ministry?
- Who are the children? Physical, Emotional, Social, Economical?
- What is the setting? Urban? Suburban? Rural?
- What ministry should be considered?
- Children’s Club (SS oriented)
- What is the best day for the potential ministry?
- For children in elementary school?
- For children in middle school?
- Who can help?
- Needs for the ministry and language required
- Planning the ministry
- Director — organizes the team meeting
- Plan 4 to 6 weeks in advance
Children's Ministry Resource List
- Firm Foundations: Creation to Christ https://biblestudy.ethnos360.org (Has print and download options – picture card for each story; option for line drawing of picture as well)
- Bible Visuals International https://biblevisuals.org/ (Bible Stories, Thematic Lessons, Flash Card Stories, Missionary Stories)
- Child Evangelism Fellowship https://cefonline.com (Bible and Missionary lessons, Good News Club, 5 day clubs [VBS- like]; may be an “in- country” contact)
- AWANA https://www.awana.org/ (Club organization for the discipleship of children; may be an “in-country contact”)
- Youth for Christ, International https://yfci.org/about/ (Check to see if they have work “in-country”. Usually have great resources for discipleship, skits, games, etc.)
- Ministry to Children https://ministry-to-children.com/ (Lots of lessons and support materials. Lots of free ideas. Affordable resources.)
Children’s Ministry while on Home Service
Purpose – to help children in my home country understand more about where I/we are called to serve God; to plant a seed for missions in the heart of children so they will be pray-ers, senders, and goers for missions
Booklet – to create a booklet as a handout that children can use to learn more about your country of service.
- Example: [this is print ready]
Story (telling) – You can tell how God called you to be a missionary. You can tell a story that you know of in your country of service. Read/tell a missionary story. Keep story time to about 10 minutes maximum due to shorter attention spans
Learning Centers – A place where 8 to 10 children can interact with information given. Make instruction cards for an adult leader to help you in each center. (Talk with children’s director beforehand to let them know of the need.)
THEME: How life is different in country of service from home country
- Language (songs, alphabet, simple phrases, greetings); make a phonetic diagram of each of these
Ideas to encourage children to think about missions and missionaries
- Many boys and girls throughout the world have never been to church or Sunday School so they don’t know who Jesus is
- UPG – unreached people groups: What is an unreached people group? An identified people group that may or may not have a written Bible; few believers (less than 2% of population); not possible for the amount of believers to reach the others
- Call to prayer for UPG, missionary, missionary kids. For UPG:https://joshuaproject.net/assets/media/prayer/guides/scripture-prayers-for-the-peoples-of-the-world-en.pdf
- How would you befriend someone you don’t know?
- Different Religions – Buddist Puppet Skit
- What if you had something that all people needed, how /what would you do to share it?