Kids ministry is_______________________ ? What do would you put in the blank? Maybe, “childcare, nursery, fun, exciting, chaos, caring, love, etc.” A whole host of things pop to mind. After all there is not a “children’s” chapter in the Bible for us to read every time we baptize or if we are good Baptist “dedicate our children.” There is no New Testament description of kids’ ministry.
So what is kids’ ministry all about? Essentially is about the same thing that every biblical ministry is about. Kids’ ministry is about the gospel. Kids’ ministry is the ministry that faithfully explains the gospel to families. The apostle Paul says it this way:
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17
The only way to help parents and the only way to reach kids is to preach the Bible. Sure games are great, crafts are fun, and clean facilities resonate with new moms. But these things don’t save or grow people. As one little boy once told me when I asked him why he stopped coming to church, “X Church has better snacks.” Sugar doesn’t grow the church. What completes, changes, and gives life is the word of God. Salvation comes through hearing the word. Families can always find better music, graphics, and slides elsewhere. But they can never find a better gospel.
Kids loved Jesus not because of his programs (if anything his disciples were rather unwelcoming). Kids loved Jesus because of who he was. He was the loving, gracious, savior of the world. And, He is still the savoir of the world. And He is still the best thing we can offer families that pop into church on Sunday morning. We need to lovingly preach the word. We need to connect both parents and kids to the transforming power of the Jesus Christ. Games, crafts, and snacks can all help us teach better. But nothing is better than the Jesus of the Bible.
If we want to see marriages last, kids become obedient, and the next generation embrace Jesus, the game plan is simple. Preach, teach, and minister the word by applying directly to people’s lives. Nothing beats the gospel.