What is the goal of children’s ministry? Is it to cultivate godly character, teach biblical morality, develop a Christian worldview, learn the importance of church, help establish Christian relationships, grow together spiritually, partner with parents, make disciples, or something else?If you don't know your goal, there won't be a desired outcome. Click To Tweet
What do you think the goal of children’s ministry is? The goal of children’s ministry is incredibly important. If you don’t know your goal, there won’t be a desired outcome. And if you don’t have a desired outcome, your ministry is pointless.
The goal of children’s ministry should be directed to one supreme end – to nurture lifelong healthy growing relationships with Jesus.
Children experiencing transformational relationships with Jesus is children’s ministry’s indispensable and immutable goal. While we need many things in children’s ministry, they’re all secondary to children falling in love with Jesus and living only for Him. As the Anglican Network in Canada astutely defines it, “Our goal in children’s ministry is for every child to come to know God, and out of that knowledge, to love him, and out of that love, seek to live for him.”While we need many things in children's ministry, they're all secondary to children falling in love with Jesus and living only for Him. Click To Tweet
Author Michelle Anthony aptly observes: “We need to make Jesus central, the focus of all we do. We need to resist becoming distracted by doing things about Him and instead create an environment where children encounter Him.”
Achieving the goal.
Don’t alter the goal – not in any way. To reach the goal, your ministry strategy and methodology must focus on profiling every facet of Jesus. There are nearly 200 names and titles given to Jesus. The goal of children’s ministry is to help children come to know Him as Saviour, Lord, priest, friend, king, and so on.
Knowing Jesus is more than intellectual assent – more than knowledge about Him. We must connect children’s hearts with the heart of Jesus. We do this by carefully and intentionally revealing the nature and character of Christ – by helping children discover that He’s “gentle and humble in heart” Matthew 11:29.Ministry success is seeing children identify wholeheartedly with Jesus. Click To Tweet
The above points out that the success of children’s ministry isn’t determined by attendance at meetings, having lots of fun, awesome themes, appreciative parents, or kids saying, “Church is dope!” Ministry success is seeing children identify wholeheartedly with Jesus. And to make this happen, we must start with the desired outcome and work our way back to what we must put in place to get there.
Evaluating the goal.
What does your children’s ministry look like today? Is Jesus the preeminent goal? Are children getting up close and personal with Him? Do the relationships children have with Jesus today differ from those they had with Him a year ago?When the goal is nurturing lifelong healthy growing relationships with Jesus, we usually have to take a much longer view of faith formation ... Click To Tweet
You may need to change your metrics and adjust your growth markers to evaluate what’s being accomplished. You should also be aware that when the goal is nurturing lifelong healthy growing relationships with Jesus, we usually have to take a much longer view of faith formation and revise our understanding of community.
But I’ve said enough for now. If the outcome is children loving Jesus with all their heart, soul, mind and strength, you’ve definitely reached the goal.
© Scripture Union, 2023