“Childcare” vs. “Ministry”?

Can we get real?  We’re tired of some of what passes for “ministry” to children.  For instance, how often have you seen announcements for a special church service or other “adult programming” that includes the infamous P.S.: “childcare provided”?

Is that what ministry to children is – “childcare?!”

Maybe you’ve seen this too, and are tired of the same thing?

–          A “losers and leftovers” mentality where whatever ministry “scraps” are left over from “the important stuff” are tossed to kids?

–          Rudderless, vision-less, passion-less and anemic children’s “ministry” as the status quo – that’s  “good enough”?

–          Does your church leadership “get” children’s ministry – or do they see it as way down the totem pole in institutional priorities, something as “nice” but not all that necessary or crucial?

Where do they go – and why?

Ever wonder why so many teens/young adults leave the church once they hit an age where Mom and Dad aren’t hauling them into the pews every Sunday?  Could it be that they’re merely mirroring exactly what the church has communicated to them  for their initial 12 to 16 years – saying in every imaginable venue, by every available means, that they don’t matter or are inconsequential?

And we wonder why lose them?

Duh.

Too low?

We’ve seen lots of “junk” that passes for “children’s ministry.”  Folks, it’s a cryin’ shame.  The bar is set so low that a snail could hop over it without breaking a sweat.  Expectations are in the basement.  The vision is as fresh as last year’s headlines.  Twenty-four notice constitutes “long-range” planning. Lackluster performance.  Substandard quality.  Volunteers are disrespected, unappreciated, or unsupported.  Leadership is too busy pouring time, energy and resources into adults to pay much attention to “the least of these.”  What’s truly saddening is the mindset that’s perfectly willing to let the above continue unabated.  So long as the Sunday morning babysitting service is manned, everyone’s happy.

Oh, really?

Is that what ministry to children is all about – providing free childcare or a babysitting co-op?

Join us next time for How to Choose a VBS Program and When the Shepherd Turns Green, followed by our two cent’s worth on what we think ministry to children ISN’T. Let’s build from there – onward and upward!

Also in the pipeline:

Three meanings, 7 must-haves and 5 goals for your Children’s Ministry

Basics 101

– A two-part series on Getting Started in Children’s Ministries

– How to Choose a Primo VBS Director

Social Media in Ministry

Lots more, so stay tuned!

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One response to ““Childcare” vs. “Ministry”?

  1. Amen! I am both a Sunday School teacher of many years, and a child care provider-sorry to say, mostpeople in both fields feel this way. Children’s religious and academic learning suffer greatly because of it–America is full of young academically and religiously ill-prepared students. Our country will be judged for both. America has been given many resources to do an excellent job in both areana’s. It is sad to say we do not prepare our children for life, but it is even sadder to say we do not prepare our children for death! Woe to us who do not intruduce our offspring to the golrious God of the universe!

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