Having served in children’s ministry for over 30 years, I have seen a lot. I have seen children’s ministry minimized, I have seen it come to the fore-front, and now it seems to be fading again. Having seen these trends, I now understand why churches should abandon children’s ministry based upon comments and statements made by the “church”. Here are the top 3 reasons why churches should abandon children’s ministry:
- God is a gracious and loving God, He would never send a child to Hell. All children go to Heaven when they die.If all children go to heaven when they die, then they have no need for a Savior. There is no need for a church to have a children’s ministry since all children have a “free pass” to Heaven.
- Deuteronomy chapter 6 tells us that parents are the primary spiritual influence in a child’s life. It is the parent’s role to teach their children about God.If the church properly instructs parents, then the parents should teach their children, not the church. The church should give that responsibility back to the parents and not take it on themselves.
- Family ministry is what the church should be focused on In Genesis, God established the family as the first “small group”. Families should worship and learn together. When we serve in children’s ministry, we are really in family ministry and so we should just drop the term “children’s ministry” since we are really in family ministry, ministering to the family, and not the child.
Would you add any more reasons to the list?
(NOTE: This post is to initiate thought about what we say in regard to children’s ministry and how others may perceive it. I am very passionate about the need for children’s ministry in the church and do not believe that we should abandon it.)
I do not believe that a church should get rid of children’s ministry, rather, they should prioritize it. The post is to initiate thought about the various things we say about children’s ministry and how they contradict. Many years ago, a focus was placed on children, now the focus seems to be shifting away from children and back to adults (parents) via “family ministry”.
Let’s look at each point briefly:
- How would you answer a parent who says, I don’t need to bring my child to church because all children go to Heaven?
Jesus died to save everyone, even children. Children need a Saviour.
- The church talks about how parents have abdicated their responsibility to teach children the things of God and how the church took it and we need to give it back. If we give it back, then there is no need for children’s ministry. Instead we need to find ways to partner with parents.
- If a family chooses to stay home and worship as a family, the “church” begins to ask why aren’t you here? You cannot have it both ways, trusting parents to be the spiritual influencers, then telling them they are inadequate. – Are we saying that children’s church and Sunday School are not important if we emphasize families worship together (I agree that families should worship together a times).
Is the church sending “mixed” messages to families? Is children’s ministry important, or is ministering to families (i.e. parents them to lead their children).
What message do churches inadvertently send to parents about the importance of children’s ministry in the church by the things they say?