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The Red Book is not about everything in children’s ministry, but it is about the things that really matter.
The Red Book is about the things that don’t change.
I have not written about culture and technology because the times are always changing, but the things that are most important are eternal—like God, they stay the same.
Children are precious to the Lord; that is why He called you to this ministry.
The focus of your ministry is kids, but in order to be successful as a kids’ pastor, you have to know how to effectively communicate with parents and how to recruit and train volunteers. The lifeblood of any kids’ ministry is volunteers. You can survive without money, but you can’t survive without volunteers.
Additionally, it is vitally important that you maintain a good relationship with other leaders in your church. One of the dangers of children’s ministry is that you can become isolated from the church body. It is not spiritually healthy for you or the children.
Not only does God want you to lead kids and peers, He also wants you to “lead up.” In other words, it’s important that you learn how to have influence with your senior pastor.
Finally, and most importantly, you are ministering to God when you minister to kids.
So, why the Red Book?
Red represents the blood of Christ. The blood of Christ is just as powerful in the 21st century as it was in the 1st century.
Think about the most important message that you can teach the kids in your class?
What would it be?
Most of us would agree that we need to teach our kids that Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead, and yet most kids’ ministries shy away from a clear presentation of the Gospel.
It’s amazing how many churches think a bold presentation of the Gospel is too strong for kids, but let’s take a look at what God said to the Israelites concerning the Passover lamb in Exodus 12:3-8, 24-27 NIV:
“Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. . . . Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. When they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the door frames of the houses where they eat the lambs.
Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. When you enter the land that the Lord will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. And when your children ask you, “What does this ceremony mean to you?” then tell them, “It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.” Then the people bowed down and worshiped.”
I hadn’t seen this before, but recently I noticed that God instructs the children of Israel to select a lamb four days ahead of the Passover and to bring the lamb into their homes.
I believe God did this so the family and the children would become attached to the lamb before the slaughter. He wanted kids and parents alike to feel emotion when they sacrificed the lamb—just a little bit of the pain that it cost the Father to sacrifice His Son.
It is not a pretty picture. I’m sure the kids were crying when the lambs were slaughtered. When they had to take the blood of their lambs, and smear it on the doorpost of their houses. The children of Israel could not save their own kids. They needed the power of God to save their children.
For kids to have an understanding of the grace of God, they need to have an understanding of the price that Jesus paid for their sins.
My point is this: the Lord Jesus wants you to preach the deep things of the Word to the kids in your class.
Regardless of your denomination or church size, my prayer is that this book provides a strong foundation that you can build your kids’ ministry upon.