What Kids Need Most
Few areas of ministry ought to be more highly valued than Kids Ministry. Yet it seems to be the exact opposite in so many ways.
- We have a tendency to teach the Bible as morality tales, rather than sharing the gospel week in and week out.
- Some who are particularly keen to serve suddenly have a lot less time on their hands once they find out the area of greatest need is working with children.
- Others who do serve act as though kids ministry is a glorified babysitting service, rather than an opportunity to make disciples.
It’s like we’ve forgotten that children need all the same things we do in order to grow, and sometimes in greater abundance! But we must remember the command Jesus gave to Peter, to feed His lambs (John 21:15). Like Peter, we are commanded to instruct people in the faith. We are to teach them the truth; to “feed” them from God’s inspired word. And that necessarily includes children.
“They Must Be Fed”
In his book, Come Ye Children, Charles Spurgeon wrote of the necessity of feeding Christian children, and feeding them abundantly. He wrote:
Christian children mainly need to be taught the doctrine, precept, and life of the gospel… Teach the little ones the whole truth and nothing but the truth; for instruction is the great want of the child’s nature. A child has not only to live as you and I have, but also to grow; hence he has double need of food. When fathers say of their boys, “What appetites they have!” they should remember that we also would have great appetites if we had not only to keep the machinery going, but to enlarge it at the same time. Children in grace have to grow, rising to greater capacity in knowing, being, doing, and feeling, and to greater power from God; therefore above all things they must be fed.
What Kids Need Most
Kids need the truth in order to grow, just as much as we do. No doctrine should be excluded from their understanding. They need to know:
- How God judges the world
- How He demonstrates His love through the sending of His Son Jesus to die for us
- That all stand before God guilty of sin, and only Jesus can take it away
- That Jesus is coming back to judge the living and the dead, and bring about the new creation
- That God sends His Spirit to live within all who believe, giving them new life and desires that please God
They need all these and many more besides (which is why we’ve made resources like The Big Picture Questions and Answers).
Whether kids realize the need or not isn’t the point. It doesn’t matter if they respond right away or not. And whether they think it’s boring or not is immaterial. (That said, if we make the gospel seem boring, we’re clearly doing something wrong.) Just as children need healthy food in order to grow physically, they need sound teaching to grow spiritually. So teach “the little ones the whole truth and nothing but the truth,” as Spurgeon wrote. That’s what kids need most.
An earlier version of this post originally appeared at Blogging Theologically.