Insight from a Children's Pastor & Awana Commander

Parents Serving in Children’s Ministry


Last week I read a post on entitled: Why Kids Need to See Their Parents Serve“.


I can provide testimony to this because I saw my parents serving in many ways in the local church as a child, even into my adulthood. They set an example for me that no one else could set. After all, whether we like it or not, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”. Meaning that our children are growing up emulating our good attributes and our bad ones. They are watching when we don’t realize it, even from the earliest age.

My only concern with the post is not the post itself, but how people in children’s ministry will respond to it, and use it. The post should not be used as a “guilt trip”. It should not be used to re-enforce the catch phrase, “if you have children, then you’re in children’s ministry”. It does not mean that the only place parents can serve is in children’s ministry.

I know some ministries that require a parent to serve in some function if they have a child participating in the ministry (usually the nursery, but also in other areas of children’s ministry).  I can honestly tell you that I cringe when I hear of churches doing that. Jesus desires a willing heart, and so should we as we seek volunteers.

Parents can serve God and the local church in many ways suited to their passion. Whether lawn care, building maintenance, teaching, mentoring, whatever, there are opportunities to serve. The greatest opportunities are when you can serve as a family.

The example of serving should not end when your children enter adulthood either. I know several, including myself, who continue to serve long after our children have grown. Why? I can only speak for myself, but it is a matter of following a passion, a calling. It is not because of obligation that I serve, it is love for God and a love for children. It was an enjoyment I get out of having a nice looking lawn that I cut the grass at the church. It is the small connection with others that I greet. It is not because of an obligation, it is an outflow of God living in me.

Yes, children need to see their parents serve, but they should not see you “serve” as you dread having to wake up on Sunday morning, or dread preparing (if you do) for the lesson, or complain afterward about the unruly kids. That is not serving, and that is setting a very bad example for your child. It is not an outflow of God’s love in you.

So parents, serve the Lord with gladness (Psalm 100:2) and show your children God living in you, wherever you may serve Him.


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