By Apostle Dr J. Madzimure
Children’s ministry is an interaction with children which aims at enjoying God’s love and responding to it in faith (Malherbe 2009). This ministration is important to avoid their exploitation and abuse, suffering and neglect.
The discussion motivates churches to have a more child-friendly ministry. The church should have a strong children’s ministry to instill Godly principles.
In the Bible, children involved in ministry included Samuel, Daniel, Jesus (Luke 2:47) and the Samaritan slave girl. Children are a blessing from God and endowed with power from the creator (Psalm 113:9). Children’s ministry can fill in broken relationships and insure there is a healing community.
In the Bible children were found on religious festivals, general public gatherings, worship service (Psalm 8:2), and prayer for crisis (Acts 21:5). Jesus loved and blessed kids because he believed in their salvation unlike his disciples (Mark 10:16).
We should not to look down upon children (Matthew 18:10) because their innocence and sincerity attitude is key to entering Heaven. When multitudes were fed, a boy provided fish which adults could not do (John 6:1-15).
A children’s ministry will enable them to relate to the church, each other and God more effectively. The church should, therefore, have the children’s ministry run by competent and trained team that includes the Pastor.
The people must be passionate about interacting with children, loving, kind, humble and live with integrity which is practical evangelism for kids.
Like Jesus, the team should show affection for kids, welcome them warmly and be prepared to serve them unselfishly (Luke 10:8; 16:4). The aim is to draw them closer to Jesus so that they can realize their potential.
People should enter into the children’s world thus can use toys and drawing to teach and communicate effectively the word of God. The child has a different perception of reality.
Our love for God will be judged against the effort we put for the welfare of children because Jesus is delighted in them (Malherbe 2009). During church gatherings we must acknowledge children’s presence and show that we love and appreciate them.
Children should participate even in house-church fellowships. Church Board should set aside a good budget for children’s ministry.
Children’s faith grows when they see and experience loving relationships in church. Our aim should be to bring up children under control with true dignity (1Tim 3:4) by testifying about the goodness of God.
Children must be led to know God in minds and hearts; to trust God and to obey God (change in acts and behaviour) (Malherbe 2009).
We need role models and who promote a sincere relationship, an intimate communion with God that will touch and change the child’s whole life (Malherbe 2009). Children’s ministry requires one to know that he/she is employed by God to accompany them into deep fellowship.
Engage children to bring love, joy and hope to the world through outreaches.
How to make a church more child-friendly can include:
- Include them in the fellowship of believers (Matthew 18:5). They should be made to feel like part of the family of God and to experience His love through others.
- Encourage and give them the opportunity to share with the church what the Lord has laid on their hearts. God speaks through children and adults alike.
- Get them involved. Children love helping and this characteristic should be encouraged by involving the children where possible.
- Include them in worship (Psalm 8:2). They should be allowed to worship with their parents, and experience God’s presence in this kind of environment.
- Preach in a manner in which children can also understand. In this way they can learn to apply the truths from a young age.
Perhaps some concrete suggestions for their involvement would be good here… e.g. involvement in ministry/caring, learning to serve… e.g. audio help/ communion glass collection…welcoming, involved in meaningful worship and the Word—for example dramanettes, prayer groups etc.
Children ministry should be relational, Biblical, invite people to God, life changing and bring hope to the world.
Holman Christian Standard Bible 2009.Holy Bible.Texas, Holman Bible Publishers.
Malherbe J 2009. Introduction to youth and children’s ministry.Johannesburg, South African Theological Seminary Press.
Apostle Dr James Madzimure is a Pastor, motivational speaker and life coach. He co-authored two books namely; “Destined for Greatness” and “Unlocking the Entrepreneurial Spirit”.