Most Kids’ Ministries say they want to help parents raise their kids. The sentiment is good, but off. We shouldn’t be trying to help parents raise kids. We should be trying to help them grow adults.
Every Kids’ Ministry I know (including the ones I’ve led) gets this wrong.
There’s a difference between raising kids and growing adults. Kids are dependent, needy, and immature. They can’t help that; their kids. It’s part of being a kid. That’s fine when you’re six. It’s not fine when your 36 to be dependent, needy, and immature. We don’t want those kind of adults coming out of our ministries.
Growing adults is different. Adults (real adults) are self-sufficient, fulfilled, and mature. They see the world for what it is but never stop trying to make it what it could be. They know who they are. They do what they say they’re going to do. They don’t need you to spoon feed them truth. You can depend on adults.
What does a ministry that grows adults look like?
It gives kids a say in how their programs are run.
It gets every kid involved so they know church is not a weekend show.
It shatters the consumer mentality by letting kids serve other kids. It refuses to let them remain as spectators.
It is never content to allow kids to be just the future of the church. It reminds everyone they are the church now. Kids can do amazing things!
It gives families a target to aim for.
It gives volunteers the freedom to lead from their strengths.
It teaches kids to say no to the good so they can say yes to the most important. It does this by doing a few things really well instead of a lot of things poorly.
It doesn’t let parents delegate parenting to the church.
It works in unity with their Student and Adult Ministries because they see the bigger picture.
It does the hard work of making God’s Word accessible to kids week in and week out.
Are you helping parents raise kids or grow adults?