Beyond Babysitting—Reaching the Generation of the Church Today
Children and evangelism—should these two words be in the same sentence? Can a child come to know Christ at a young age? The answer is yes! Jesus said in Matthew 19:14, “let the children come to me,” even when his own disciples tried to turn them away. Children are important. They are an important part of the church today. Children need to experience and hear the gospel. According to a 2009 Barna study, “nearly half of all Americans who accept Jesus Christ as their Savior do so before reaching the age of 13,” and “two out of three born again Christians made that commitment to Christ before their eighteenth birthday.” [i] So, a child is more likely to come to faith in Christ before he or she ever leaves the children or youth ministry.
Is your church investing in this generation of the church today or do you view your children’s ministry as merely babysitting so the adults can worship? If one is to reach all generations of the church, the church needs to be intentional in its approach to sharing the gospel with all who are a part—from infants to adults.
Here are some ways to be intentional in this approach:
- Start in the Bed Babies Room: Begin by laying a foundation of trust. If a strong foundation is developed in the early years, it is easier for a child, once they reach a level of understanding, to place their trust in Christ as their personal Savior.
- Be intentional in teaching the gospel consistently throughout the children and youth ministries. Don’t wait for one time a year or once a month to share the gospel as you may miss opportunities.
- Be evangelistic during special events such as VBS, Fall Festivals and Easter. Make sure in your programming you are sharing the gospel with children and families that attend.
- Provide opportunities for families to worship together and observe the ordinances of the church. Children learn through imitation. Use moments like Lord’s supper, baptisms and corporate worship as teachable moments.
- Provide opportunities for families and children to serve and share their faith together such as serving within the church, local mission projects and discipleship/outreach programs.
When it comes to children and youth ministries-the spiritual impact a church can have is definitely beyond babysitting. Make an impact and be intentional in sharing the gospel with all generations of the church today.