This past weekend we had our annual children’s program. In small-town church life, this is one of the biggest services a year. I remember years ago, while church planting, when a good pastor friend of ours told us about how they focused on the kids. Their yearly children’s program grew so much that they actually had to tell regular attendees to the church to stay away on the week of the program, unless they were working or greeting. Can you imagine telling people to stay home or go to a neighboring church just so people who normally are not in church could have room.
Our service this year didn’t push people out of the building, but it was wonderful to see families who normally are not in church in the service. It was great to see both parents of children, who don’t even live in the same town, putting aside differences and coming to worship and see their children. One grandparent even told us how much they appreciated that we kept the focus on the story of Christ, and on the kids. She said her own church had been making the services more about the adults and they were happy to see the children running the service.
Over the years of ministry I have had people help my wife with the kids and say how much they learn from the kids. We are reminded in Isaiah 11 of when God will restore all things to the place it was before sin entered the world. In reference of course to Jesus, verse 6 says “a child will lead them.” However, many people play down children, or push them off to the side. I am often reminded that we can learn a lot from children. Especially, about peace, love, and faith. After all, Jesus even said we should have the “faith of a child” (Matthew 18:3).
Never underestimate the power of your children’s program. More important, never underestimate the power of God’s work through the children of your church. You may be surprised by how much they can lead others to Jesus, and just how much you will learn from them.
Keep building your ministry to families on the whole family approach, which Jesus has for all of us. May God bless your ministry Journey.