Help the Children Come
The familiar sounds of fall are in the air: School buses rolling through the neighborhoods, football fans shouting at their televisions and pastors begging the members to help in children’s ministry. Isn’t it wonderful? Last weekend I told the congregation we were considering a variety of signing bonus incentives to get more volunteers.
- Unlimited Starbucks Gift Card to provide the necessary caffeine to do battle with the forces of darkness.
- Special Awana Jewel for your heavenly crown that God will give to those who serve a full year in Awana.
- Child Tithe Credit, God’s blessing to deduct up to $500 from your annual church contributions.
- Reserved Back Row Aisle Seat with your name engraved. Trespassers will be thrown into the nursery.
I was actually pretty proud of this list. Unfortunately, I don’t have the means to make good on any of the offers so they will have to remain a joke.
Instead, I preached a sermon from Matthew 19:13-15 that outlined our vision for children’s ministry at Evergreen Bible Church. One of the core truths I highlighted was that parents are called by God to be the primary agents in the spiritual training of their children. To put it another way, children’s ministry is essentially biblical parenting, not church programming.
What that means is that when parents with young kids come to church they have two options for their little ones. They can teach them individually by keeping the kids with them in the worship service, or they can team up with other parents to teach them cooperatively in the kids classes upstairs. Sending the kids to the kids programs with no involvement, however, is not a viable option.
Our foundational expectation is that child participation means parent participation. If your kids participate in one or more of the children’s ministry programs then we expect at least one of the parents to help in one of the programs. This has always been our expectation, but as the church has grown in numbers, we have noticed a decreasing level of parent involvement. The expectation seems to be that “someone will do it.” But this idea is unsustainable and unhealthy. Hence, my reiteration of our foundational expectation.
For those planning to be involved in the cooperative children’s ministries, here is a list of the current openings.
Saturday 6pm: 1 monthly helper in the nursery
Sunday 9am: 3 monthly helpers in the nursery, 3 monthly teachers in the K-5.
Sunday 11am: 2 monthly helpers in the nursery
Tuesday Awana 6:30pm: 10 leaders, 10 helpers/verse listeners, a game director and a childcare worker.
Our kids ministry leaders will be working to contact our participating families to see what volunteer options will work best. If you already have an idea of what you would like to do, it would be wonderful if you would contact them.
Jillian Valway, Nursery/Pre-K – email@example.com, 360-901-8893
Beth Duvall, Children’s Ministry – firstname.lastname@example.org, 360-901-8402
P.S. My wife, Kristin, would like to give a big ‘Thank You!’ to all who served in the summer kids program. Your participation helped our kids get a wonderful introduction to the Fruit of the Spirit. Well done!