Paradigms

Awakening Generations: Strategies for Jesus-Focused Children’s Ministry

New strategies for Jesus-focused children’s ministry must be developed, or another generation will be lost …

Catalysts for change

The faith formation of children isn’t what it should or could be. If children are going to develop resilient faith, we must do more than go with the flow, fill a need for Sunday School teachers, or run programs just because we want to do something for children. I don’t say this lightly. This generation of children (in the Western world) is more disconnected from Jesus, His Word and His Church than previous generations. To contribute to the renewal of the nations, we must strategically consider how we can better help children love and live for Jesus.

Awakening generations. What we do, why, and how we do it should be evaluated. There are existing paradigms and practices of ministry that are not Jesus-centric. What’s needed is a biblically informed and Holy Spirit-directed realignment of our methodology and philosophy of ministry. We must be catalysts for change to awaken today’s children to Jesus and His Story. Not change for change’s sake. We need every generation working together to lay a foundation for renewal and revival.

Jesus-focused strategies

So, how do we do this? What are the strategies for Jesus-focused children’s ministry that will awaken this generation of children?

Build momentum

It begins with ministry practitioners looking for new ways to view issues, invite dialogue, and help each other think more deeply about what we’re doing (or not doing). The aim should be the lifelong transformation of children’s hearts and lives. This requires everyone pulling in the same direction, with every family and local church championing Jesus.

To build momentum, we must stop putting our efforts into lesser causes. Even good things can be the enemy of God’s best. Developing ministry strategies to help children and parents connect with Jesus and His Story, and then activating our plans must feature at the top of our to-do lists.

Identify priorities

To connect children with Jesus, we must prioritize teaching the Gospels. But not for biblical literacy or knowledge per se. While God’s Word is essential and contributory, we must look beyond it to make a whole Christian. Nothing less than a redeemed and undivided life lived for Jesus makes a total Christian. For this to happen, we need the rebirth of evangelism and organized discipleship in every Christian home.

Incorporate everyone

We must also be intentionally intergenerational. Incorporating everyone in nurturing the faith formation of children is essential. Grandmothers and grandfathers, uncles and aunts, parents, single adults, empty nesters, college students; everyone is vital for the future success of children’s ministry. Age-insulated models should give way to age-integrated approaches. While some age-specific activities are called for, the church should function as a family of families.

Make Bible reading and prayer normative

Alongside an intentional intergenerational approach @church, we must raise the level of faith formation @home. Bible reading and prayer should be regular and normative in every Christian household. What must we do to make this happen? How can we encourage and equip parents? Who can we call on to teach and train families to be missional? Asking and finding answers to these questions will build momentum.

Be patient and persevere

Finally, we must pray earnestly, think biblically, act collaboratively, get theologically grounded, and be in it for the long haul. For Jesus to come fully into focus for this generation, our adjustments will take time to come to fruition. So, we must be patient, persevere, and pursue long-term objectives.

What new strategies for Jesus-focused children’s ministry would you suggest? Please comment below.

Related Articles

Developing a New Plan for Children’s Ministry

Ten Building Blocks for a Children’s Ministry Strategy

© Scripture Union, 2024

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1 Comment

  1. I suggest, visual, like exposing the children to films of the life, works, words and miracles of Jesus. We can also dramatise it for them. Such images don’t leave their minds as they grow. My life is a living witness.

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