Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. –Ephesians 4:11-12 (NLT)
I think sometimes as children’s leaders, church leaders, etc. we can forget that church isn’t JUST about strategizing, networking and the next big thing. It’s much more. Specifically as children’s pastors our job is not JUST to help parents connect with their kids—though it’s very important. I love Ephesians—it’s our job “to equip God’s people to do his work.” We have been commissioned to not just help parent’s disciple their kids, but to ourselves disciple kids and equip them as young people to do God’s work. I know it seems simple, but are we really equipping them to do God’s work?
In our children’s ministry we do our best to create a culture where other adults (non-official pastors) and kids minister. We create a culture where we teach kids to “his work.” Our team is constantly pushing our kids to invite friends to church, minister to their friends at school, the park, their neighborhoods, etc. It’s our job to show them how, but it’s their job to do it. I’ve been finding that the more I push our kids to make a difference and serve—they actually do it—they want to do it. It’s kind of like when I ask my kids to do something and they come back saying, “I can’t…it’s too hard!” I don’t do it for them. I show them how to do it and then I say, “Okay, now it’s your turn.” They will never learn if they don’t do it for themselves.
What do you have in place to give children an opportunity to serve and minister? What are you doing to show them how allowing them “to do his work”?