Studies show that most people who make a profession of faith and a decision to follow Christ will do so before the age of 18. Therefore, there is no doubt that there is a need to reach young hearts for the sake of the Gospel and God’s Kingdom. The question is how that is best accomplished.
On one end of the spectrum, we could say that it is responsibility of parents alone to disciple their children, and we could make a great Biblical case for this (Deuteronomy 6, Proverbs, etc). In this scenario, the role of children’s ministry is mainly to come alongside parents who themselves are being equipped and discipled. Our resources would be funneled primarily into equipping parents.
On the other end, we could say that the local church has a big part to play in equipping the next generation, alongside (not in lieu of) parents. We have an increasing number of families coming to Grace Church who are from a background where they have not been taught what it looks like to lead their children towards a Gospel-centered life. As a church, we strive to help them become mature followers of Christ. But what do we do with their children while the parents are in this growing process? Can we make our church a place where children want to come back and where they are taught Biblical truths? If this is true, our resources should be funneled into fun and interactive and meaningful programming.
So, we have this challenge/choice/tension: Do we put our limited resources (money, time, energy) into adults, to help them become better Christ-followers and leaders? Or, should we pour our resources out into having exciting and intense weekend programming, where kids love coming? The answer, we believe, is “Yes” to both.
See tomorrow’s post for more about this.