If a parent were to ask me, “what is the single most important thing I can do to make sure my kids stay in church when they become adults?”
I would not hesitate.
“Get them involved in ministry at a young age and keep them involved.”
Of course I can’t guarantee that your child will stay in church when they become an adult, but I can tell you how to increase the percentages.
People that get involved in church stay in church.
People that do not get involved in church may hang around for a while, but will eventually leave.
I had a unique opportunity to observe this first hand. I was children’s pastor at a large church in Minneapolis from 1986 – 1992. I was traveling for many years and then was offered the children’s pastor job again at the same church.
When I came back after ten years the first thing I did was to look for the kids that grew up in my children’s church. Most of them were not there. The statistics held true. Eighty percent of the kids from the 80’s were not at my church any more.
On the bright side, I found that 60% of the kids that were involved in ministry were still in the church.
Here are some examples.
Monica was eleven when she started leading worship in Super Church. Today Monica sings in the sanctuary. She never left the church and she has always used her gift for the Lord.
Seth is the Grade School Department Head.
Kelly is an associate pastor at a thriving church in Arkansas.
Ginger teaches in at a Christian school.
Adrian is the producer of a TV show at a church in Georgia.
All of them started in ministry at 9 or 10 years old. They were on the puppet team or the worship team or AV team and they are still in ministry today.
Jesus told us to “Go into all the world and make disciples.”
According to Young’s concordance a disciple is a “taught or trained one”. The heart of a pastor is discipleship. A pastor gives people an opportunity to do things. A children’s pastor gives kids an opportunity to do things. If you are a one-man team you are not making disciples.
They say that 20% of the people in our churches do 80% of the work. Why is that? Maybe it is because we tell them when they are children that they can’t do anything for they Lord and they continue to believe that when they become adults.
What are some things that kids can do in church? I’m glad you asked that question. Here is a list of things that I have asked kids to do.
- Take up the offering
- Pass Buckets
- Help new kids find a seat
- Write out name tags
- Run power point presentations
- Create power point presentations
- Pray for the sick
- Teach an object lesson
- Play the piano
- Lead Worship
- Run a Camera
- Pray with kids for salvation
- Intercessory prayer
Kids can do whatever you will train them to do.
What are you waiting for?
Pick one child and get started.
Not only has Mark served in the local church as pastor, associate pastor, and family ministry pastor but he is also a certified coach with the John Maxwell Team.