There is a reason kids’ ministry sometimes gets separated from Big Church. In Big church, people love listening to the organ. In kids’ Ministry, people jump up and down to the rhythm of the drums. In big church people sit calmly in pews struggling to stay awake. In kids’ ministry, the people run around throwing dodge balls at each other. In big church, you great each other with a hand shake. In kids’ ministry you get greeted with a pie to the face. Kids’ ministry often looks very different from adult ministry.
But despite appearances, they are actually very similar. Both are based on the preaching and teaching of the gospel. To be effective both must proclaim the Word. The same gospel that saves little old ladies saves crazy little grade schoolers.
And because the preaching and teaching of the gospel is essential to kids’ ministry, churches should require their kids’ pastors to be teachers. They should care more about the content of their Wednesday night kids’ program than how much green slime was used. In short, the church should not just look for kids’ pastors that can run a nursery or entertain the little ones for 2-3 hours a week. These are good things. But they are not the ultimate thing. Kids’ pastor need to pastor.
Notice what Paul tells Timothy:
Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers (I Tim 4:16).
How do you reach kids? How does your kids’ pastor keep his soul refreshed and point kids to the gospel? He watches his teaching. He spends time studying the Word. He regularly and frequently immerses himself in the Bible. And because he studies, he can accurately teach it to others. He can show others how to become more like Christ (I Tim. 4:13). Because he studies, he can reach your kids with the gospel.
At the end of the day, a kids’ pastor will only be effective if he is regularly in the Scriptures. Yes, it’s good to have a guy who can relate to kids, who can create great programing, and who can plan engaging events. But if your kids’ pastor looks more like a cruise ship direct than a pastor, he will not be ultimately effective. He may connect with kids but he’s not getting them to Christ. Salvation comes through hearing the Word. Your kids’ pastor needs to be studying the Scriptures so that he can faithfully declare them. The gospel is ultimate. Let’s encourage our kids’ pastor to spend more time studying and less time entertaining. Let’s give them the freedom to grow in their faith. And as they grow and as the get a better understanding of the Word, everyone will benefit. The gospel will be better proclaimed and more and more kids will come to Christ!
Are you ready for your kids’ pastor to pastor?