Kids’ Pastors Should Pastor

kids-pastors-that-pastorThere 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?

Putting Speed Bumps in Your Kids’ Ministry

Speed Bump BlogI cut the wheel hard to the left, then hard to the right, then hard back to the left all in a valiant effort to avoid the massive speed bumps that taunted my little, white car. Every time the shocks slammed up into my car’s very short wheel-wells, I cringed with disgust. I did everything I could to drive around those asphalt mountains minus hitting pedestrians (though I may of come close a time or two).

To many parents, safety protocols can feel like speed bumps dropped right into their Sunday routine. We get out of Sunday school late and then have to run like Usain Bolt to over to the kids department where we slowly check-out our kids (speedbump) before sneaking into the morning service as the music pastors wraps up last song. Naturally, if we want to get the most out of our Sunday, we try to find ways around the speed bumps. “Son, tell you teacher, I said it was ok for you to leave on your own.”

But speed bumps do have a purpose; they help keep crazy drivers like me from running over kids on bicycles. And in the same way, we check kids in and out to keep our kids from harm. As all childcare workers can tell you, it’s not easy to keep track of kids even when they are in a confined space. Kids are small, quick, impulsive, and easily confused. If we released kids without supervision, we might get everyone into church before the singing starts; but, we may also get a kid hit by a car. No one wants to trade safety for expediency. And so, even the 6th graders have to picked-up by a parent. We believe that every kid is immensely valuable to God and worthy being protected.

We install the proverbial speed bumps not to frustrate parents on their already busy Sunday, but to protect our kids from being lost in the shuffle of that busy Sunday!

The Four Most Popular Posts: 2014

Tops Post of 2014I am very thankful for the support that Mission PS: 78 has received over the past year. I have greatly enjoyed interacting with followers of this blog both via comments and personal conversations.  Below, I have listed the 4 most discussed blogs of 2014.  I look forward to the discussions that 2015 will bring our way! To God be the glory! Happy New Year!

4 – What Are We Choosing

child_and_optical_glasses_208523During the predawn hours of July 16, 2013 our hearts were gripped with fright. We had learned that our precious, first born son would be entering the world at 23 weeks with only a 50/50 chance of survival.  Even if Second Peter developed a strong heartbeat and exhaled air through his lungs, we still faced the daunting task of raising a child with several physical and mental deficiencies. As the minutes leading up to our first child’s birth ticked quickly away, we listened to two different doctors as they encouraged us to allow our son to expire upon his arrival. But with barely a blink, my wife and I both knew what our course of action would be. We would fight for our son’s life.

3 – Did Noah Drown

Did Noah DrownDuring the first five minutes of Noah, I was pleasantly intrigued. I had was not making plans to write the following review. I knew going into the theatre that the marriage of Biblical narrative and Hollywood cinematography often leaves our scriptures a little worse for the wear. And, I was willing to give the creators some creative grace when it came to dressing the characters in 1860’s work clothes. Sadly though, the creators of this film did not stop with recreating the historical setting of the story.

2 – Should Kids Go To Big Church

should kids go to churchDo kids belong in church? It’s a simple, straight forward question that has existed even before the first church was launched at Pentecost.   Remember back to Mathew 19. Jesus had to tell his disciples to, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven” (vs. 14).  Speed forward a couple of thousand years and we find the evangelical church once again asking, “do children belong in church today?” Do they belong in our sanctuaries and services? Sadly, many evangelicals say, “No.”

1 – Caring For Those in Crisis past Friday, the Mayberry folksiness of Eastman was jolted by the depths of evil. The story of how three-year-old Zack was cruelly beaten to death has brought sadness to most every home in the area. And now as his family and the community grapple with the tragic death of this beloved toddler, the questions of “Why,” “How,” and “What now” begin to fill our brains. We want to know, “Where was God” on Friday, March 14, 2014.