Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Why Does Grace Children's Ministry Exist? - Part 2 (The Mission)

Yesterday’s post explained the tension that we face regarding the purpose of our Children’s Ministry. We recognize the need to help parents grow and to equip them to lead their children. At the same time, we need to pour into children as well, with programming that is both fun and meaningful.

About 3 years ago, we re-wrote our mission statement.  Grace Children’s Ministry exists to . . .
  • Assist parents in leading their children towards a Gospel-centered life,
  • Equip volunteers to shepherd children, and
  • Encourage children to grow in Christ by teaching them Biblical truths in meaningful ways.

We want to be clear on what we feel are our responsibilities, and what are not. Our roles are to assist parents (such as through take-home materials, equipping events, etc), equip volunteers (through training, our website, coaches, etc), and encourage children (through curriculum, programming, take-homes, etc). However, these three things are not the ultimate goals and “wins” for our ministry.

What are the “wins” for Grace Children’s Ministry?  Parents leading their children, volunteers shepherding children, and children growing in Christ. We cannot make these things happen. We can only help create opportunities for them to occur. We can have parenting and volunteer equipping events. We can give out take-homes. We can write curriculum and schedule hundreds of volunteers. But the rest is out of our hands. And if parents are leading, volunteers are shepherding, and children are growing outside of the tools we provide, that is even better! We are in no way claiming that we know all the answers, but we’re glad to be a part of the process.

Of course, the primary goal is to have children coming to know and grow in Christ. We want to equip the next generation for a life in Christ. Of course, we cannot control this; this is a work of the Holy Spirit. But we also know that God wants us to invest our resources into kingdom-building works. This is not a fruitless and joyless burden. Instead, we rejoice in the fact that He allows us to be a part of His work. 

What does it look like for you to be a part of building Christ’s Kingdom? Come back tomorrow.

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