Insight from a Children's Pastor & Awana Commander

Book Review: Relational Children’s Ministry


Throughout my many years of ministry, I have always shared how the way you impact a child’s life and gain parental support is through building relationships. This has been a desire by many people serving in Awana and in other children’s ministries. One year I led a breakout session (workshop) at an Awana conference on building relationships with clubbers. I was used to having 25 – 30 people attending a breakout session so when I saw about 30 attendees in my breakout session I thought nothing about it until I realized that there were only about 100 people attending the conference! About 1/3 of the conference attendees were in that breakout session on building relationships!

Dan Lovaglia, in his book Relational Children’s Ministry, expounds about the benefits of having a relational ministry. He eloquently shares how you can relate to children and families by putting five discipleship invitations that Jesus modeled into practice. It is not just a book of theories and philosophies, but he gives practical ways to have a relational children’s ministry with the realization that not all relational children’s ministries will look the same, and that there is no “silver bullet” where if you do “A, B, and C” that all will be great. We need to be intentional to have a relational ministry and it is not an easy thing to do, it is a journey where each path is different.

One thing that I thought of as I read the book in regard to ministry is that we need to have a roll call, not a head count. With a head count, it is impersonal, you just count the number that should be there, whereas with a roll call, you call each child by name and you know them, the beginning of a relational ministry.

As Dan notes in the “tagline” for the book, having a relational children’s ministry helps turn kid-influencers into lifelong disciple makers.

Are making lifelong disciples? I encourage you to get Relational Children’s Ministry and begin to transform your ministry.



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