Tuesday, May 13, 2008

BRINGING UP THE NEXT GENERATION OF KIDSERVANTS

I love it when a thought, vision, or idea is shared by someone else.

Even when I can't find the someone else who shared it.

For the last couple of weeks, I've been thinking about our church and its children's program. I am currently serving only in the Sunday morning activities, but my dreams and passion are still in the broader umbrella of all our kids' programs (just waiting for some organizational changes that will enable me to function in that capacity). My thoughts turned toward our phenomenal volunteers, men and women who devote their Sunday mornings to helping kids know the Savior. Two of our KidServants (as we call them here) are physically challenged. And then there's a big bear of a grandpa who teaches a 3rd-5th grade class. There's a 20 year old young lady in college who leads an infant-toddler group. And a mix of mechanics, truck drivers, and administrators who tackle the awesome task of helping kids grow in their faith. It warms my heart to see these folks every week.

But one day, I asked the question: "what is the average age of all our KidServants on Sunday morning?" Aside from the 20 year old and another lady who is in her 30's, most of our group is 40+. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Physical appearance aside, these saints have energy to spare. In no way, shape, or form do I want to downplay the contribution of these men and women.

But I remember I first taught a 5th grade Sunday School class when I was in high school. My wife taught when she was in junior high. Even my oldest daughter led a group when she was still in school. In my adventures at Children's Pastors Conferences, I've met children's pastors, directors, and coordinators that look like they just graduated. And I found myself wondering: "where is the next generation in our children's program?"

And then I read a blog. One of many blogs I regularly read. And the writer talked about his dream and plan to start recruiting the next generation. His words clicked and resounded within my spirit. The only trouble is, in my haste, I failed to note which blog I was reading. Soooooo....if you recently wrote about recruiting the next generation, please know that your spirit bore witness with my spirit!

Meanwhile, I shared my thoughts with the elder who is over me. He got very excited about the possibilities. The thought of a younger team being implanted in ministry is thrilling. Again, we don't want to replace our current workers (unless they want to be replaced), but we do want to begin actively seeking responsible older teens and 20's to step up and begin assuming these rolls. Several of our ministries have already begun doing this (two kids who grew up in our Sunday School are now elders in the church!). It's time for children's ministries to do the same.

1 comment:

  1. Elisa Worsham5/16/08, 7:42 AM

    I absolutly agree with the fact that children's ministry is where the churches children and youth can start serving and learn this important responsibility of a Christ Follower. This is one of the first things God revealed to me when i entered children's ministry leadership. We now have 4th graders thru HS serving at different appropriate capacities in our Children's ministry,Puppeteers,Tech Booth (the kids learn tech quicker than adults) Worship Leaders, Small Group Leaders, and we are using the youth going on mission work in jamaica as councelors for our Vacation Bible Camp...the list of roles for the next generation to serven in is endless.

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