For years, I’ve always held a very simplistic view of children’s ministry. Outside of reaching the lost I believe it’s the most vital ministry in the church. Kids ministry represents our future. Without raising up the next generation there will be no Christianity. Thus, Deuteronomy 6 and David’s heart in Psalms:
O God, you have taught me from my earliest childhood, and I constantly tell others about the wonderful things you do. Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me. –Psalm 71:17-18 (NLT)
Though I don’t consider myself old and gray yet, this has become one of my life verses and a challenge I gladly share with others. But, I digress, back to my simplistic view of children’s ministry. At my core I believe two things in this order: Children’s ministry should be fun and kids should understand God loves them. For some, this is hardly a revelation, but for others this just freed you up.
There’s no point in having a phenomenal lesson plan if children are not having fun or are engaged in learning. Sure there are times when we need to get serious, but children were not designed to sit in their chairs for and listen to a talking head for an hour or two. God designed children to have fun, explore and be active in learning.
Make sure your lessons are engaging. Adjust what you have so there’s movement and laughter. Add fun games. If you can tweak those games to complement the lesson then that’s a bonus, but don’t sacrifice the fun games because you can’t.
At the end of the day, when a child is picked up and a parent asks, “What did you learn today?” and the child responds, “I don’t remember, BUT I had fun!” I’m happy with that. Though I’d rather the child had retained the main point(s) of the day, I’m absolutely glad he/she had fun in church. That child is making the connection that being in the house of God is fun. And, if there’s any place that we should want kids to have the best time, it’s in church.
Please understand what I’m not saying. I’m not saying don’t teach biblical lessons. I’m not saying to make a mockery or make light of Jesus. I’m saying make kids want to want to come back because they’re having fun learning about him.
Maybe it’s not a question of fun or Jesus. It’s a challenge ore reminder to make learning about him fun. Let’s have fun this weekend!