One battle that most children’s ministry leaders and workers face is the constant feeling of being overlooked and misunderstood. We hate that there are those who look at our ministries as being childcare. We long for people to recognize that God is moving in our classrooms and auditoriums.
Here’s a problem that is rarely addressed … do we have this same childcare concept for our nurseries and preschool ministries? Our first reaction might be that we aren’t guilty. We love our babies, toddlers, and 3- and 4-year-olds. We have great teachers with them each week.
After listening to a CD of Vickie’s teaching from our national Ignite conference, I was challenged to ask you to reexamine these ministries and ask some pertinent questions. Are you making room for the Holy Spirit to move in these ministries? If John recognized the presence of God in Mary while he was still in his mother’s womb (Luke 1:41), can’t our babies be impacted by God’s Spirit today? If praise and worship is truly in a child’s DNA (Psalm 8:2), can’t our toddlers and preschoolers dance before the Lord and lift their voices and hands as they worship God? If God told the young Jeremiah that He would put words into his mouth (Jeremiah 1:6-7), can’t our young boys and girls speak God’s Word?
Consider these ideas: (Remember, don’t be lengthy. You are dealing with short attention spans.)
PRAY. Lay hands on and pray over every child in your nursery/classroom each week. You have no idea what is going on in that child’s home. You have no idea about “baggage” that has been passed down from generation to generation. Pray blessings with your understanding. Pray blessings in the Spirit.
WORSHIP. Praise and worship must be included in each service. Sing the same songs each week. At this age, repetition is important. Make it fun with the dancing unto the Lord and clapping. Make it worshipful with hands raised, eyes closed.
SPEAK. Have the children say God’s Word. Often the verse is the same week after week. Don’t just say the verse. Allow the children to speak God’s Word. You are creating what hopefully will become a lifelong discipline!
Let’s create radical, Jesus-loving, Holy Ghost-moving children’s ministries and allow it to begin in your nurseries!
(Do yourself a favor and pass this blog entry on to your nursery/toddler/preschooler leaders. You’ll be glad you did!!!)