I agree with those who suggest that a vibrant children’s ministry is one of the five core programs essential to a healthy church or church plant. We are fortunate at the church where I serve to have a very capable godly Children’s Ministry Coordinator on our staff. But even having the best Children’s Ministry Coordinator or the best Children’s Ministry program is no substitute for God’s design.
In a post found on Relevant Children’s Ministry, titled: 5 Reasons Church Should Not Be the Primary Place Where Children Learn About God, we are reminded of what I consider to be the God-given pattern for raising children to grow in the Christian faith. While the church plays an important, even a vital, supplemental role, the church should never usurp the authority or the primacy of the parents.
Here are the five reasons:
- God has Called Parents to be the Primary Spiritual Leaders of Their Children
- No One Has More Influence in a Child’s Life Than His or Her Parents
- Kids Spend Much More Time at Home than They Do at Church
- The Church Compliments What Parents Are Teaching Their Kids at Home, but Cannot Replace It
- The Church’s Job is to Equip Parents to Lead Their Kids Spiritually
These principles are reflective of what I (and many others) would call a Covenantal Children’s Ministry.
Interesting that while studies have been conducted to discover why so many leave the church upon emerging adulthood (after high school graduation) most of those studies are revealing that in homes and churches where the principles of Covenantal Children’s Ministry are followed, not only do the kids not end up leaving church as often as they do from churches where kids are segregated and entertained, but the vast majority of Covenantal Kids don’t leave the church at all.