The Children Can Follow Jesus: Children's Ministry at Christ Covenant
Pictured from left to right are children's ministry leaders: Josh Herring (children's ministry director), Jenn Herring (nursery), Pam Hager (children's church), Ann Roberson (nursery), Grace Halvorsen (Joyful Noise children's choir)
My wife didn’t grow up hearing Bible stories. Those made-for-Sunday-School stories like the axe head floating in the water or the left-handed man plunging a sword into an obese man or Daniel lounging with the lions. She never heard this stuff as a child, but I can still picture the flannel graphs for these stories!
Teaching Bible stories—this is the first stage of making disciples. And that is what all the ministry to children in our church aims to do, to make disciples of young children. Famously, Jesus spoke about children frequently, admiring their faith as a template for adults to follow (Mark 10:13-16). And of course Timothy knew the Scriptures from childhood, which gave him the wisdom leading to salvation (2 Tim. 3:14).
Children can certainly become disciples of Jesus, and those who serve and teach children at Christ Covenant are leading them to become followers. That is the goal of children’s ministry at Christ Covenant: to aid parents in providing instruction and examples leading to mature discipleship. We want the children to know and love the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Not only does our theology say that God can save children and loves to do so, but our own experience confirms that this desire of ours to make disciples of children is not out of reach. Barna surveys suggest that over eighty percent of those who become Christians do so before age 18. Charles Spurgeon described his observations about the conversion of children:
“I will say broadly that I have more confidence in the spiritual life of the children that I have received into this church than I have in the spiritual condition of the adults thus received. I will go even further than that, and say that I have usually found a clearer knowledge of the gospel and a warmer love to Christ in the child-converts than in the man-converts. I will even astonish you still more by saying that I have sometimes met with a deeper spiritual experience in children of ten and twelve than I have in certain persons of fifty and sixty.”
Jonathan Edwards wrote A Narrative of Surprising Conversions, and described the revivals taking place in Northampton in the 1730s. He proceeds to describe two particular conversions in detail. One of them is little Phebe Bartlet, daughter of William Bartlet. Phebe was 4 years old.
So by the words of Jesus and the example of Timothy and statistics of Barna and experience of Spurgeon and Edwards—from all these things, we know that children are fertile soil for planting the seeds of the gospel.
Consider the parable of the soils in Mark 4, and in particular the parable of the sower who scatters the seed and then walks away from it (Mark 4:26-29). This passage is wonderful for children’s ministry:
“The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
We are thankful for so many faithful servants in our church who are scattering the seed of the gospel onto the soil of young hearts week after week. Do you want to serve in children’s ministry? There are many options:
1. Work in the nursery, serving parents by caring for children
2. Teach a children's class on Sunday mornings or Wednesday night
3. Serve as an assistant in one of the children's classrooms
4. Teach or assist in Children's Church during the worship service
5. Help with the children's choir on Wednesday nights
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