Children who are serving NOW!

Children who are serving NOW!

We recently asked children’s ministers to share how children in their churches are making a difference in their world. In this month’s blog, we want to share some of those stories.


Lillian Tolbert
Lillian is nine years old and in the fourth grade.  Not too long ago, she discovered that one of her best friends at school, Mira, lived just a few houses down the street from her. They began spending time together in their neighborhood, as well as, at school.

She and Mira sometimes talked about Jesus, and Lillian invited Mira to come to Kidz Konnection at her church on Wednesday evenings.  Now Mira and her younger sister Jocelyn come with Lillian every week.

 

Scarlette Reid
Scarlette Reid is nine years old and attends the Old Harbour Bay COGOP in Jamaica. One of the ways Scarlette shines her light is by helping her grandmother clean the church. Scarlette helps to ensure that the church building is clean and ready for worship on a Sunday Morning. She is often seen with her grandmother cleaning, sweeping, dusting, mopping, and clearing away the garbage. This has allowed all who worship in the building to feel more comfortable.  She is never forced to do it. She does it because she likes working for the Lord.

 


Andrew Johnson
During Easter this year, Andrew created a story at church using stones to retell the Easter story. He shared the story at school with his fellow classmates and asked them to say the sinner’s prayer with him.

 

 

 

 

Gracen Johnson
Gracen Johnson is twelve years old and loves to honor God when she plays basketball. Before every game, she gathers her team to pray in a huddle with their coach. They pray for safety before the game.  She feels this is a great way to share God with those watching the game and with the girls on her team who do not attend church.

 

 

 

Nichaila Robinson
Nichaila is ten years old. She was saved in 2015 and baptized in 2016. Nichaila experienced the healing power of God in 2013 when she had to be hospitalized for chronic pneumonia. Through the prayers of her family and the saints of God, Nichaila was completely healed. She was released from the hospital, as the doctors saw no sign of the pneumonia they had diagnosed.

She continues to witness to her friends at school about God’s healing power and His grace to save them.  Nichaila was the preacher in the children’s ministries session at the convention at St. Catherine East, Jamaica.

 

Young Ambassadors for Christ
A group of children in the United Kingdom, known as Young Ambassadors for Christ, holds a concert each year to raise money for Helping Hands for Kids. In 2016, they raised £ 200 for an orphanage India, helping to provide funding for the purchase of playground equipment. In 2017, they raised £ 700 for Venezuelan pastors’ children to assist with providing essential supplies such as food, personal care items, clothing, and school supplies.  In 2018, they raised £708.54 for outreach in Frydek-Místek, Czech Republic, to children who are living in a neighborhood with easy access to drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol.  In the words of 11 year old Jamine Bryan, a member of the Young Ambassadors for Christ, “I feel really good that us being children of God in this country are able to give to children that may not have enough in different countries and are able to give them the opportunity to know more about God. And this is how I shine my light through the darkness.”

Involucrando a los niños en el ministerio y servicio

Involucrando a los niños en el ministerio y servicio

«…Y el niño ministraba a Jehová delante del sacerdote Elí». (1 Samuel 2:11)

Cuando Ana llevó a Samuel al tabernáculo en Silo para cumplir su voto a Jehová, la Biblia nos dice que «el niño era pequeño» quizá tenía unos 3 años. Sabemos que, bajo la dirección e instrucción del sacerdote Elí, Samuel inmediatamente comenzó a servir en el ministerio a esta temprana edad. ¿Cómo servía él? Primera de Samuel 3:15 nos dice que Samuel «[abría] las puertas de la casa de Jehová». Puedo imaginarme a un joven Samuel vestido en un efod de lino que le había hecho su madre, abriendo las puertas y saludando a la gente mientras entraban a la casa de Jehová.

Samuel comenzó su ministerio cuando era un niño pequeño, sirviendo y ayudando mientras aprendía del sacerdote Elí. Fue un ministerio intergeneracional. Samuel no fue puesto en la parte posterior del tabernáculo donde no sería visto ni oído; lo colocaron en la puerta principal. Sin duda tuvo que barrer, limpiar y hacer otros quehaceres menores en el tabernáculo, mientras aprendía y crecía en el Señor. Lo que debemos aprender de esta historia es que se le dio la oportunidad a Samuel de servir, aprender y crecer en el ministerio desde una edad temprana.

 Los niños en nuestros ministerios necesitan tener las mismas oportunidades que tuvo Samuel. Necesitan saber que pueden servir y ayudar, aunque sea en las cosas pequeñas. El Señor dijo: «El que es fiel en lo muy poco, también en lo más es fiel…» (Lucas 16:10, RVR1960). Debemos enseñarles a nuestros niños a servir y ser responsables en el ministerio mientras son pequeños. Nuestros niños no son sólo la iglesia de mañana, sino que son parte de la iglesia de hoy. Debemos enseñarles a decir: «Yo puedo servir».

IDEAS QUE PUEDE UTILIZAR

Es importante enseñar que el ministerio es un llamado de tiempo completo y no simplemente cuando nos da la gana. En mi iglesia nos aseguramos de que nuestros niños sean responsables cuando se ofrecen como voluntarios, o cuando se les pide que sirvan en un ministerio o proyecto. Deben recibir entrenamiento y asistir a las reuniones sobre ese ministerio o proyecto. A continuación algunas de las cosas que hemos hecho en nuestra iglesia local y campamentos que han funcionado. También presentamos la edad requerida para que puedan participar de esos ministerios.

 EL PERSONAL:Los niños se comprometen a ayudar a limpiar después de un evento. Limpian las mesas, barren el piso y ayudan a sacar la basura. El personal también ayuda, en los días programados, a limpiar y hacerle reparaciones a la iglesia. Aun han ayudado a organizar el armario de suministros. El equipo también puede ayudar a recoger la basura en el parque local. Para niños de edad preescolar hasta adultos.

 MINISTERIO DE MARIONETAS:Los niños son nuestros marionetistas. Deben de ensayar con anticipación. Cuando los niños están comenzando en este ministerio, les damos títeres dactilares para que los lleven a la casa y practiquen frente al espejo. Generalmente tenemos muchos niños que quieren participar en el ministerio de títeres. Cuando eso pasa, alternamos a nuestros marionetistas semanalmente para darle a cada niño la oportunidad de servir en este ministerio. Este ministerio comienza con niños en el 3er año de primaria.

 EL CORO/GRUPO DE ADORACIÓN:Los niños cantan en el coro y grupo de adoración. Deben participar de los ensayos para que puedan aprender la letra y familiarizarse con la melodía de los cantos. Para niños de edad preescolar hasta adultos.

 EQUIPO DE LA LOGÍSTICA:Les damos oportunidad a los niños de observar y aprender de los adultos que trabajan con el equipo técnico y de sonido. Esto es mucho más que simplemente apretar un botón. Desde el comienzo hasta el final, los niños aprenden qué se necesita para que los elementos de la logística marchen sin problemas, para que puedan ellos operar el sistema con destreza. Queremos asegurarnos de que los niños entiendan el costo y el valor del equipo de sonido y otros elementos de la logística. Los niños en quinto año de primaria pueden comenzar a servir en este ministerio.

 UJIERES:Servir como un ujier implica saludar a la gente cuando entran en el santuario y ayudar a recolectar la ofrenda. Se les debe enseñar a los niños a saludar con una sonrisa, una palabra amable y dando la mano. También deben familiarizarse con el edificio y los diversos ministerios para que puedan responder a las preguntas y dirigir a las nuevas familias a la guardería, al área del ministerio de niños, al santuario, etc. Para niños de edad preescolar hasta adultos.

 CANASTA DE DESPENSA:Una vez cada tres meses nuestros niños preparan pasteles, galletas y bizcochos, los embolsan y colocan en una canasta de despensa para nuestros ancianos y personas que no puede salir de sus hogares. También escriben notas alentadoras y dibujos y las ponen en la canasta. Oramos por ellas la noche en que las preparamos. Al día siguiente, los niños que están disponibles nos ayudan a entregarlas. Para niños de edad preescolar hasta adultos.

 FERIA ARTESANAL:Los niños hacen artesanías para recaudar fondos para las misiones. Escogemos artesanías que les guste a los niños y cada uno hace una para vender. La feria artesanal navideña ha sido la mejor de todas. Para niños de edad preescolar hasta adultos.

 EL SERVICIO DE NIÑOS:Los niños que quieren ayudar en el servicio de niños reciben una copia de la lección con anticipación, y nos reunimos con ellos para orar y conversar sobre la lección. Decidimos en qué parte de la lección/servicio van a ministrar —ya seala lección objetiva, la lección bíblica, operando la logística o en los juegos. Unos días antes del servicio, contactamos a los niños para asegurarnos de que están listos. Después del servicio, conversamos sobre lo que les gustó y lo que no les gustó, lo que salió bien y lo que no salió bien, y decidimos si hacer cambios o mejoras. Queremos que los niños que ayudan en esta capacidad sean al menos tres años mayor que los niños de la clase donde sirven. Los niños pueden comenzar a ayudar en este ministerio cuando estén en 4o año de primaria.

 VISITAS:Lleve a los niños a visitar los asilos y hospitales. Llevamos pequeños regalos para aquellos que visitamos y les preguntamos si desean que oremos por ellos antes de irnos. Para niños de edad preescolar hasta adultos.

 EQUIPO DE APOYO:Los niños escriben notas de agradecimiento a nuestro pastor y otros líderes de la iglesia. Las pegamos de las puertas de las oficinas, las ventanas de los carros, o las colocamos en sus sillas en la iglesia. Para niños de edad preescolar hasta adultos.

Los niños quieren ser parte del ministerio y quieren servir. Durante años hemos oído a los niños preguntar: «¿Puedo ayudar?» Nuestra respuesta debe ser «¡SÍ, PUEDES!» Observar a un niño servir, aprender y crecer en el ministerio es una de las bendiciones más grandes que hay en el ministerio de niños. Quizá comiencen dando pequeños pasos, pero si se les brinda la oportunidad, con práctica y tiempo, esos pequeños pasos se convierten en grandes avances.

 

Autora contribuyente: Margaret Bryant  

Margaret es la líder del ministerio de niños en la iglesia Family Worship Center en Hickman, Tenesí. Ella y su esposo, David, dirigen el campamento Big Shot en Camp Hickory Hills. Margaret comenzó sirviendo en el ministerio de niños a los 12 años. Ella desea que todos los niños sepan que son amados y que han sido creados para un propósito.

 

Engaging Children in Ministry and Service

Engaging Children in Ministry and Service

“…And the child did minister unto the Lord before Eli the priest.” (1 Samuel 2:11)

When Hannah brought Samuel to the tabernacle at Shiloh to fulfill her vow to the Lord, the Bible tells us “the child was young”—possibly as young as three years old.  We know that under the direction and instructions of Eli the priest, Samuel immediately began serving in ministry at this young age. How did he serve? 1 Samuel 3:15 tells us that Samuel “opened the doors of the house of the Lord.” I can picture a young Samuel, wearing the linen ephod that his mother had made him, opening the doors and greeting the people as they entered the house of the Lord.

Samuel began his ministry as a young child, serving and contributing, while learning from Eli the priest. It was an intergenerational ministry. Samuel was not placed in the back of the tabernacle where he would not be seen or heard. He was placed at the front door. He most likely had to sweep, clean, and do some of the more menial tasks of serving in the tabernacle, while learning and growing in the Lord. The lesson here is that Samuel was given the opportunity to serve, learn, and grow in ministry from a young age.

The children in our ministries need the same opportunities as Samuel. We want them to know that they can serve and contribute now, even if it is in the small things. The Lord says, “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much…” (Luke 16:10). We can teach our children while they are young how to serve and be accountable in ministry. Our children are part of our church today, not just the church of tomorrow.

IDEAS YOU CAN USE

It is important to teach that ministry is full time, not just when we feel like it. In my church, we make sure to hold our children accountable when they volunteer or are asked to serve in a ministry or a service project. Practices are required, and they attend meetings about that ministry or project. Here are some things we have done at our local church and camps that work. The ages required for these ministries are listed as well.

THE CREW: Children sign up to help clean after an event. They wipe tables, sweep the floor, and help take out trash. The Crew also helps on scheduled work days to clean and do repairs around the church. They have even help organize the supply closet! The Crew can also help pick up trash at the local park or playground. Ages are Pre-K to Adults.

PUPPET MINISTRY: Children are our puppeteers. They must participate in advance practice.  When children are new to this ministry, we give them finger eye puppets to take home and practice puppeteering in the mirror. We typically have many children who want to participate in puppet ministry.  When this happens, we rotate our puppeteers weekly to give each child a chance to serve in this ministry. Our puppet ministry begins at the 3rd grade.

CHOIR/WORSHIP TEAM: Children sing in the choir and worship team. They are required to attend practice, so they can learn the music and words. Ages are Pre-K to Adults.

MEDIA TEAM: We give children the opportunity to shadow and learn from the adults who run the technology and sound equipment. This is much more than just pushing a button.  From set up to shut down, children learn what it takes to make media run smoothly, so they can operate the system. We want to make sure children understand the cost and value of the equipment. Children in this ministry can begin at 5th grade.

USHERS: Serving as an usher involves greeting people as they come in and taking up the offering. Children are taught to greet with a smile, a kind word, and handshake. They should also become familiar with the building and ministries offered in order to be able to answer questions and direct new families to the nursery, children’s ministry area, sanctuary, etc. Ages are Pre-K to Adults.

BLESSING BAGS AND BASKETS: Once a quarter, our children bake cakes, cookies, and brownies to put in blessing bags and baskets for our seniors and shut-ins. They write encouraging notes and draw pictures to add to the bags. We pray over the bags and baskets the night we make them. Children who are available the next day help deliver them. Ages are Pre-K to Adults.

CRAFT FAIR: Children make crafts to sell for missions. We choose crafts the children like, and every child makes one to sell. Christmas Craft Fair has been our best one yet. Ages are Pre-K to Adults.

CHILDREN’S CHURCH: Children who want to help in children’s church get a copy of the lesson ahead of time, and we meet with them to discuss and pray about the lesson. We decide which part of the lesson/service they will minister in—whether it is the object lesson, the Bible lesson, running the technology, or games. A few days before service, we contact the children to make sure they are ready. After the service, we discuss what they liked and didn’t like, what went well or didn’t go well, and decide how to make any changes or improvements. We want the child to be at least three years older than the children in the class where they are assisting. Children in this ministry can begin at 4th grade.

VISIT: Take children to visit nursing homes and hospitals. We take small items to give to those we are visiting and ask if we can pray with them before we leave. Ages are Pre-K to Adults.

ENCOURAGEMENT TEAM: Children write thank you notes to our pastor and other leaders in the church. We post these on office doors, car windows, or place them in their seats at church. Ages are Pre-K to Adults.

Children want to be a part of ministry and serve. Over the years we have heard many children ask, “Can I help?” Our answer is “YES! YOU CAN!”  Watching a child serve, learn, and grow in ministry is one of the greatest blessings that exists in children’s ministry. Children may begin with small baby steps, but given opportunity, practice and time, those small steps turn into great strides.

Resources

 

Contributing Author: Margaret Bryant
Margaret is the children’s ministry leader at Family Worship Center in Hickman, TN.  She and her husband, David, also direct Big Shot Camp at Camp Hickory Hills. Margaret began serving in children’s ministry when she was 12.  She has a desire for all children to know they are loved, wanted, and created for a purpose.

Outreach…Simplified

Outreach…Simplified

We asked our community, “How can the church better serve you and your family?”  The overwhelming response was, “Help our kids.”  This led us to pray and research the needs of our unique rural area.  Helping community children meant transporting them to church since many of their families didn’t attend church anywhere.  A bus ministry team visited and invited lots of children.  At first, we attempted to pick up every child and meet every need.  Eventually the opportunities became overwhelming.  It was obvious we needed to simplify and focus.

We chose to work simply from the command of the Great Commission, preach the gospel and make disciples.  Systematic bus routes, visiting door to door, and tracking contacts helped increase ministry efficiency.  As new children arrived, teachers taught on salvation and presented each child with the opportunity to respond.  Children received an invitation to participate in a discipleship growth track.

A sense of fellowship and belonging soon followed.  Children began participating in the corporate worship and serving in roles alongside adults.  Child leaders began to emerge.  Active student-led ministries developed.  The results were miraculous.  To God be All the Glory for helping us to keep it simple.

Strategies

  • Develop Bus Routes
    • Tip: Focus on children/families near the church first, then branch out.  If you don’t have a bus, recruit families willing to bring a child to church. The volunteer family becomes responsible for mentoring the child.
  • Home Visits
    • Tip: Smiles and cookies can open a lot of doors and hearts.
  • Family Supper
    • Tip: Create a time to share a meal with students and invite families.
  • Celebrate Milestones
    • Tip: Births, Baby Dedications, First Day of School, Salvations, Baptisms, First Bibles, Graduations, etc.  Always invite the family.
  • Develop A Social Media Plan 
    • Tip: Create a private/secret group for your children’s ministry and a parent’s only group.
  • Create a simple Growth Track
    • Tip: Base it on the Know, Grow & Go model.

Our continued vision is to provide simple opportunities for children to encounter God’s love in new and exciting ways and be forever changed by the power of the Gospel.  In summary…

  1. We focused on prayer.
  2. Our pastor committed to revival.
  3. Staff saw and understood the divine purpose of reaching the unchurched.
  4. We returned to the basics.
  5. We committed to equip and release children into ministry.

 

Contributing Author:

Karen V. Coley
Pre-Teen Coordinator
RT:Kids
Roberts Tabernacle
Westmoreland, Tennessee

Reaching Children with the Good News!

Reaching Children with the Good News!

The Wikipedia definition of outreach is “an activity of providing services to any populations who might not otherwise have access to those services.”

I am a children’s pastor in a community with a university. Every summer they and various other community organizations offer sports camps. The cost is usually between $150.00 to $300.00 for the week. Several years ago, I met with five other children’s pastors from our community to discuss the possibility of offering a free sports camp for kids of single parent and low income families who couldn’t afford it otherwise.  This seemed like an impossible task since we had no budget, no staff, no venue, and no equipment. However, after continuing to pray about it for a few weeks we were all confident that God had birthed this idea in each of us. We would step out in faith knowing we couldn’t accomplish this monumental task alone, but with God nothing was impossible. The miracles that began to take place overwhelmed us.  We secured a free location on a former golf course, so we had plenty of space. Sponsorships began to come in from local businesses.  Coaches from several local schools volunteered their time. Sports equipment was donated. The list goes on and on.   We held our first camp only five months after we began to plan. That first year we had over four hundred kids in attendance.  The camp grew so much over the next couple of years that we had to cut registration off at a thousand kids!  The Lord blessed us with awesome volunteers.  We’ve had former NFL players, Harlem Globe Trotters, a former University of Tennessee head coach, University of Tennessee basketball players and a former Brazilian soccer player.

A dear friend of mine uses this saying often “What God orders he pays for.” This was clearly evident in how he provided for this camp year after year.

Each day of the camp we had a ministry time with the kids during their break. Over the years we shared the gospel with thousands of kids who might not otherwise have had access to it.

Finding opportunities to serve in our communities is not an option.  When we serve the kids and families of the communities where we live, work, and attend church we are fulfilling the mandate that Jesus gave us to be the salt and light of the world.  It is our responsibility as followers of Christ to build bridges into our communities connecting them to the life-changing message of the love of Christ.

Ideas You Can Use

 

Evaluate Your Ministry

In her article Connecting Your Church to Your Community author Krista Petty says, “While no two congregations follow the same blueprint for community involvement, most have had to answer the following six questions along the way to becoming more externally focused.”

Continue Reading

Partnering with Schools

Partnering with the administration of your schools and providing needed services and building relationship is an excellent way to reach the kids of your community.

Continue Reading

Utilize Your Facility

A great way to connect with the kids of your community is to open up your church during the week outside of regular church times.

Creative Ideas

VBS Beyond the Building

Think outside the box.  Why not move your VBS program to a local park?

Get Ideas

School’s Out Celebration

The close of the school year is an excellent time to minister to the children that live near your church.

Get Ideas

Resources

There are many resources that can help with outreach ministry. Click the button below for a list to get started.

Resources

 

 

Contributing Author: Cathy Baggerly

Pastor Cathy came to serve as children’s pastor at the Peerless Road Church in December 2005. She had previously served as the children’s pastor at the Altavista Church of God Prophecy in Altavista, VA since 1999.  Cathy has been working with children for more than twenty years and is passionate about seeing them love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength as well as loving and serving others.  Her formal training is in early childhood and elementary education. As a member of the International Children’s Ministry Team for the Church of God of Prophecy, Cathy participates in training children’s minsters around the world.  One of her favorite outreach opportunities is planning a sports camp for children through her membership in the Cleveland Children’s Ministry Network. Cathy and her husband Lee, were married in February of 1987. They have three beautiful children: Malorie, Logan and Emma.

Preparando a los preadolescentes para tener éxito dentro y fuera de su grupo de jóvenes…

Preparando a los preadolescentes para tener éxito dentro y fuera de su grupo de jóvenes…

Hablé una vez con la madre de un joven de nuestro ministerio de jóvenes que hizo una declaración que me ha ayudado a remodelar la forma en que conceptualizo y preparo a los jóvenes sobre los que tengo influencia. Esta madre dijo: «No estoy criando a mis hijos para mí, sino para que tengan éxito entre los demás».

Como ministro de jóvenes, esa declaración me llevó a:

  • Arrepentirme —Me arrepentí de sólo preparar a los jóvenes para el siguiente nivel (de preadolescentes a adolescentes, de adolescentes a jóvenes, de jóvenes a adultos) dentro de nuestra iglesia.
  • Reconsiderar —Ahora comprendo que debo preparar a los jóvenes para crecer y tener éxito dondequiera que Dios los lleve.
  • Remodelar — Entiendo ahora, con más claridad, que debo adoptar una visión holística (cuerpo, alma y espíritu) para al ministerio.
  • Enviar —Ahora preparo y envío a los jóvenes para que tengan éxito dentro y fuera de nuestra iglesia.

¿Cómo preparamos a los preadolescentes para tener éxito dentro y fuera de los grupos de jóvenes?

Como ministro de jóvenes y especialista en salud conductual, invito a los líderes a conceptualizar y ministrar a los jóvenes desde una perspectiva biológica, psicológica, social y espiritual. Para que los jóvenes tengan éxito, debemos proveer recursos para cada área de sus vidas. «Ahora, que el Dios de paz los haga santos en todos los aspectos, y que todo su espíritu, alma y cuerpo se mantenga sin culpa hasta que nuestro Señor Jesucristo vuelva. Dios hará que esto suceda, porque aquel que los llama es fiel» (1 Tesalonicenses 5:23, 24, NTV).

Prepare a los jóvenes teniendo en cuenta:

FACTORES

Biológicos Psicológicos Sociales Espirituales
Genética

 

Historia de trauma Sistema de apoyo ¿Han aceptado a Cristo?
Nacimiento e Historia

 

Experiencia con duelo/pérdida Influencia de los compañeros ¿Han cuestionado/razonado su fe?
Enfermedades (pasados y presentes) Impacto de relaciones significativas (padres, abuelos, amigos, hermanos, etc.)

 

Asuntos de vivienda ¿Pueden defender y compartir su fe?
Medicamientos Factores
estresantes
actuales
Asuntos financieros ¿Cómo les ayudad su fe a enfrentar los problemas la vida?

 

Sustancias Habilidad para
enfrentar
problemas
(problemas en la vida)
Problemas escolares/vocacionales Como líder, ¿ha preparado exitosamente a los jóvenes para que participen y evangelicen su mundo?

 

Compromiso con agencias/recursos de la comunidad Como líder, provea la formación espiritual dentro del contexto de relaciones auténticas y comunidad.

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«No estoy criando un hijo. Estoy criando al esposo y padre de alguien». —Publicación en las redes sociales

«El hombre que no ha preparado a sus hijos para su propia muerte ha fallado como padre» (Coogler, Feige y Grant, 2018).

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Referencia:
Feige, K. (Productor), Grant, D. (Productor) y Coogler, R. (Director). 2018. Pantera negra [Película]. Estados Unidos. Marvel Studios.

Autor colaborador: Morais L. Cassell, Especialista en salud conductual; MA, MS, Ph.D. (Candidato).

Preparing Preteens to Thrive in Youth Group and Beyond…

Preparing Preteens to Thrive in Youth Group and Beyond…

I once spoke with the parent of a student in our youth ministry who made a statement that has helped to re-shape the way I conceptualize and prepare the students that I influence. The mother stated, “I am not preparing my children for me but rather to be successful among others.”

As a youth minister, that defining statement caused me to:

  • Re-Pent – I repented for only preparing students for the next levels (pre-teens to teens, teens to young adults, young adults to adults) within our church.
  • Re-Think– I now realize that I must prepare students to thrive and be successful wherever their God-given destinies take them.
  • Re-Shape – I now more clearly understand that I must take a “holistic approach” (body, soul, and spirit) to ministry.
  • Re-lease– I now prepare and release students to be successful beyond the life span of our church.

How do we prepare pre-teens to thrive in youth groups and beyond?

As a youth Minister and behavioral health specialist, I invite leaders to conceptualize and minister to students from a bio-psycho-social-spiritual perspective.  In order for students to be successful, we must provide resources that address every area of their lives. “Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).

Prepare students by taking into account:

FACTORS

Biological Psychological Social Spiritual
Genetics History of Trauma Support System Have they accepted Christ?
Birth and History Experience with grief/loss Peer Influence Have they questioned/reasoned their faith?

 

Illnesses (Past & Present) Impact of significant relationships (parents, grandparents, friends, siblings, etc.)

 

Housing Issues Can they defend and share their faith?
Medications Current Stressors Financial Issues How does their faith help them cope with life’s issues?

 

Substances Coping Skills (life’s issues) School/Vocational
Problems
As a leader, have you successfully equipped students to engage and evangelize their world?

 

Engagement with agencies/community resources As leaders, provide spiritual formation in the context of authentic relationships and community.

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I’m not preparing a son. I’m preparing someone’s husband and someone’s father”- Social Media Post.

“A man that has not prepared his children for his own death has failed as a father.” (Coogler, Feige, & Grant, 2018).

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Reference:
Feige, K. (Producer), Grant, D. (Producer), & Coogler, R. (Director). 2018. Black Panther [Motion Picture]. United States. Marvel Studios.

Contributing Author: Morais L. Cassell, Behavioral Health Specialist; MA, MS, Ph.D. (Candidate).

 

Preteen Ministry: Reaching Kids in Transition

Preteen Ministry: Reaching Kids in Transition

What image comes to your mind when you picture children’s ministry?  For many of us, it is a puppet interacting with a group of children or a minister using an inspiring object lesson.  Now what comes to mind when you picture youth ministry?  Perhaps you see a crazy game or a youth pastor leading a weekend retreat.  Either way, most of us have a definite opinion about what children’s ministry or youth ministry looks like.  There is, however, a middle area of ministry that is sometimes hard to define– preteen ministry.  This ministry area consists of children between the ages of 9 and 12.  They don’t consider themselves to be “little kids” anymore, but they aren’t quite teenagers yet.  These children are definitely in a transition period.  As children’s ministers, we want to reach them at this critical time and help them make the transition to youth ministry.

Ideas You Can Use

 

Use Small Groups Effectively

Effective use of large and small groups is important, especially if you cannot completely separate your preteen ministry from your younger elementary age students (grades 1-3).

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Involve Preteens in Ministry

Give preteens leadership roles in your children’s ministry. This will build their self-esteem and give them purpose and fulfillment.

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Creativity is Key

It is important for preteens to have fun. Here are some creative ways to add excitement to your ministry.

Creative Ideas

Moving Up

Have a program for transitioning preteens out of children’s ministry and into youth ministry.

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They (preteens) need pastors and leaders who will stand with them as they test their legs, finding the footing of their faith as they discover a God who grows up with them.

Jim Kast-Keats

Resources

There are many resources that can help with preteen ministry. Click the button below for a list to get started.

Resources

 

Contributing Author: Curt Knowles
Curt Knowles is a member of the International Children’s Ministry teaching team. He has trained children’s ministers globally and throughout the United States. He and his wife, Sandy, have served as children’s pastors, evangelists, and camp directors over the past 15 years. Curt holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in both Computer Science and Theology, and has worked as a Data Architect/Engineer for the past 25 years. Curt and Sandy have two children (Jordan and Jeremy) and three granddaughters (Maddie, Emmy, and Chloe). They currently live in Gallatin, TN and serve on the 3Trees Kids Ministry serve team at 3Trees Church in Russell Springs, KY.

 

 

La guardería: El ministerio de niños comienza aquí

La guardería: El ministerio de niños comienza aquí

Muy a menudo, la guardería sólo es considerada un servicio que cuida de los niños. Si bien es cierto que es esencial cuidar de las necesidades físicas de los infantes y párvulos mientras están en la guardería, también es esencial comenzar a enseñarles sobre Jesús. Un bebé comienza a conocer el corazón de Dios a través de la convivencia con los voluntarios de la guardería. A medida que los niños comienzan a confiar en los voluntarios, aprenden que la iglesia es un lugar donde las personas procuran su bienestar. Aunque los infantes quizá no comprendan una historia bíblica, los voluntarios pueden declarar bendición sobre cada niño mientras les dan su biberón o los arrullan. Cuando los infantes se vuelven párvulos, pueden comprender verdades bíblicas básicas, tales como: Dios me ama y Dios me creó, a través de historias bíblicas, mímicas y otras actividades de aprendizaje apropiadas para su edad. Continue reading

Nursery: Children’s Ministry Begins Here

Nursery: Children’s Ministry Begins Here

Too often, the nursery is considered a babysitting service for parents and grandparents. While it is essential to care for the physical needs of infants and toddlers while in the nursery, it is equally important to begin teaching them about Jesus. A baby begins to see the heart of God through the heart of the nursery volunteers. As babies learn to trust the volunteers, they learn that church is a place where people care about us.  Although a baby cannot understand a Bible story, volunteers can pray blessings upon each young child as they give them a bottle or rock them to sleep. As babies become toddlers, they can learn basic Bible truths such as God loves me and God made me through Bible stories, finger plays, and other appropriate learning activities.

Here’s what it takes to transform your nursery from a babysitting service to a ministry

  • Purpose: What do you hope to accomplish as you feed infants and do finger plays with toddlers? Every nursery ministry has specific goals: every child will be loved and accepted; every child will learn that God made him and loves him; every child will feel safe in the nursery environment; every child will be encouraged to develop acceptable social skills.
  • Leadership: A nursery ministry needs capable leadership. Above all, a nursery director loves infants and toddlers. She understands the value of providing excellent ministry to them. A capable director is able to develop good relationships with parents and volunteers. She is gifted in administration and able to develop schedules, procedures, forms, curriculum, etc. to help the nursery run smoothly and safely.
  • Established policies: Policies are developed to help the nursery be a safe environment for infants and toddlers. They should be carefully developed and well communicated to parents, volunteers and the congregation. They should be consistently but lovingly enforced. Some of the policies that need to be developed include: age of volunteers, training required for volunteers, types of snacks, discipline plan, sign in and sign out procedures, diaper and restroom procedures, etc.
  • Facilities: Your nursery facilities may not be ideal but they can be improved. Provide good lighting, paint walls and furniture, organize toys and equipment, and remove clutter. Above all, keep the nursery clean.
  • Trained workers: Select workers carefully by using a children’s ministry application and referral forms. Train them by modeling appropriate ministry to nursery age children as well as by providing books, podcasts, CDs, and DVDs on nursery ministry. Encourage the workers to be involved with the infants and toddlers by playing on the floor with them, holding them, reading or singing to them, and talking to them even if they cannot respond.

With careful planning, your nursery can be a place where children learn about the love of God.  There is no greater ministry.

Ideas You Can Use

Prepare the Classroom

Your nursery space should be carefully planned to allow for its many uses- playtime, rest, and care of children.

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Safety

The number one priority of any nursery is to keep children safe. A safe environment allows for peace of mind for parents and a place where children can feel the love of Jesus.

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Recruiting Volunteers

Recruit with this understanding: nursery ministry is a significant ministry. Nursery ministry meets the needs of babies and their families.

Recruiting Ideas

Teaching Children

Be intentional in your plan to teach young children, not just care for their physical needs.

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Family Milestones

Some of the best times to minister to parents are during significant events, such as births or baby dedications.

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Resources

There are many resources that can help with nursery ministry. Click the button below for a list to get started.

Resources