Kids Ministry is Discipleship Ministry
Let me tell you about why I serve in Kids Ministry. Correction: let me tell you about the one really good reason I serve in Kids Ministry. I’ve been serving in Kids Ministry from the time I started following Jesus with only a few small breaks (well over 10 years at this point). From the beginning, I’ve been asked why I, as a man, serve in this area.
- I don’t serve in children’s ministry because it’s a stepping stone to something else, because it’s not really.
- I don’t serve there because it’s a ministry that constantly bleeds volunteers, though it does.
- I don’t serve there because it’s one that lacks a positive male influence, though it is.
I serve in Kids Ministry because I get to teach kids the Bible and be a part of making disciples. Kids Ministry is not (or shouldn’t be) the church’s babysitting ministry. It’s not telling nice stories where you’re a David or a Daniel. It is intentional evangelism and discipleship. And it is a slow (with a capital S-L-O-W) burn.
No Instant Gratification
Let’s face it: if you’re looking for immediate results, you’re probably in the wrong place. You’re likely not going to have a bunch of kids put their faith in Jesus at the end of the lesson every week. And I know, because for a significant period in 2013 and 2014, most of my assigned weeks related to judgment and/or evangelism. My main application points were usually, “You need to believe in Jesus,” or “You need to tell others about Jesus.”
Nevertheless, when I teach, my goal is to teach clearly and faithfully. I don’t sugarcoat or pretty up anything the Bible says, but I do my best to make it understandable to them. I even have some kids who provide feedback on whether or not I hit the “understandable” benchmark. (Side note: this is so very helpful.)
Getting a Glimpse
I don’t often get a clear sense of what God is doing in their hearts and minds. In all honesty, I’m not sure that is something I’m supposed to know. But I do know God’s doing something. Why? Because it’s what he’s promised to do in the Scriptures. Wherever His word goes forward, it will accomplish its purpose. When Jesus tells the parable of the sower, He tells us to scatter, but doesn’t promise that we’ll be the ones to reap the harvest.
But sometimes He gives you a glimpse. A few years ago, one of the girls I taught stopped me in the hall. She handed me a little card she had made. Inside it simply said, “Thank you for teaching God’s Word to us.”
That, friends, is why I serve in Kids Ministry.
An earlier version of this post appeared on Aaron’s blog.