Kids’ Ministry, What Is It Really?

Kgirl blogids 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.

The Reasonable Expectaions of Grace

Blog Frustating ParentingSometimes I look at my 15 month old with pure puzzlement. His mom and I have spent tons of time teaching our little man to “Stop” on command. Most days, I get to praise my little guy for following our command like a well-trained soldier. But then a few moments later, my little dude starts wandering toward the road, regarding his old man’s voice with a happy indifference. I can’t help but think, “Son, you know this doesn’t end well. What are you doing?”

Knowing that my little man can barely communicate with words, I’m not too surprised at his inability to appreciate what happens when two foot tall people meander down the road. But he does know that disobeying his parents is not the path to a happy ending. And yet, he repeatedly disobeys, leaving his Dad thinking, “Come on, man.”

But the ultimate cause of my frustration is not my son. It’s me. As Dr. Randy Stinson of Southern Seminary reminded our church last weekend, we often get frustrated with our kids because we (parents) have unrealistic expectations. Namely, we want our kids to get sanctified faster than us. We want our kids to learn the importance of obedience within a few days or weeks. Yet, we struggle with sins for years without even a second thought. Now most of us aren’t fighting against the temptation to walk in front of a car. But, we are battling lust, greed, anger, laziness and a whole catalogue of other issues. No one (including us) expects us to overcome lust within a day or to conquer anger within the next week. But because we are impatient people, we can easily expect our kids to perfectly grasp our system for their life within a few minutes.

God gives us grace, and repeatedly. And, we should extend that same grace and patience towards our kids. Sure, we must faithfully discipline our kids when they sin. Discipline (when done with love) is a sign of grace and we can’t tirer of it. But, we also can’t be surprised that our kids disappoint us. We too are sinners in need of grace.

I need to extend more grace to my son. How about you? Do you parent with ridiculously high expectations? How do you balance grace and discipline?

You’re The Key To Great Parenting

blog keysMost everyday my son loves to grab my keys, stretch as far he little toes will allow him, and touch a door knob. And I think he’s attempt at being a night watchman can be traced back to yours truly. For the past year or so, my son has regularly walked the halls of FBCE with me locking and unlocking doors. And now he wants a turn.

I mention the story because it illustrates just how much influence we parents have on our kids. Whether we realize or not, we are shaping our kids.

Now there are great coaches, inspiriting teachers, and godly pastors, but none of them can compete with a parent’s influence over their kid. Teachers and the like get our kids for a few hours. We have our kids for a lifetime.We are hold the key to our kids success.

God designed us as parents to lead our families. We read in the Deuteronomy 6 that we are supposed to teach our kids about God from the time they time we flip on junior’s bedroom light till the time we flip it off. And we are commanded to teach our kids about God because God knows that we are always teaching. We are either teaching our kids to trust in the power of the flesh and to love the world or we are encouraging them to obey God. Class is always in. And God wants us to make it about him.

To succeed as Parents, we must love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, and strength. We must be growing in our faith, changing our attitudes, actions, and loves to align with scripture. To be good parents, we must have hearts ruled by God’s word.

Admittedly, becoming more like Jesus is a serious and at times arduous endeavor. We daily fight against selfish impulses, pride, arrogance, and laziness. We top spiritual mountains full of joy and we fall into valley of death filled with sorrow. We need help at times. And even if we are doing well, we can always benefit from godly encouragement and teaching. We can never be so blessed that we don’t need God’s word. Thankfully, God’s gives parents an awesome resource that does all these things. It’s called the church.

The church exists to encourage and to help everyone (adults included) grow in their understanding of God. Through the preaching of the word, the fellowship of other believers, and the admonishment of friends, we can have hearts ruled by God’s word.

Parening Conference FacebookThis weekend (August 29 and 30) FBCE will be hosting its bi-annual Biblical Parenting Conference. We realize as a church staff that the best way to reach your kids is to encourage and build up parents. If you are able, we greatly encourage you to be a part of the conference. And if you can’t be a part of it or other conferences, make your spiritual growth a priority. Study the word, commit to a local church, and study a book or two on parenting (see the must reads page for some great suggestions).

Just by watching me, my son came to love keys and door knobs. What else are our kids picking up?