When our kids were young, my family and I went to a church while on our
summer study break; it was a new church, very small, that was meeting in a movie theatre. How can I say this…it was one of the most programming challenged services I’ve ever attended. It was so bad, that we were looking at our watches five minutes after the service started. When the service mercifully ended, we wanted to get out of there and never return. I know, that isn’t very gracious and I should have been focused more on worshiping Jesus and … you would have wanted to leave too.
But when we went to pick up our kids, they were having an absolute blast. They didn’t want to leave! There was a couple who had just poured themselves into that ministry, and made it really, really good. I still recall how they had transformed a meager space into a
time-machine with special-effects music that took the kids “back” into Bible times. New kids, such as ours, were treated extra special and taken to a treasure chest full of small toys from which they could choose, just for coming the first time.
We went to some of the “best” churches in the area that summer, but our kids pleaded with us to take them back to the one we could barely stand.
Here’s the lesson: No matter how good the service is, if the children’s ministry is bad, they won’t come back – unless they’re people without children.
Wake up. Children are the heart of your growth engine.
And if a pre-believer ever were to come to your church uninvited, it would probably be for the sake of their kids. And if a pre-believer comes because they were invited, what you do with their children will be a deal-breaker.
So I’ll say it again: Your church’s children’s ministry is the most important sub-ministry in the life of your church.
Now, start treating it that way. (DR JAMES EMERY WHITE)