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April 12, 2018

Framework for Kids Ministry

By Daniel Im

Q&A Webinars are a monthly segment designed for Plus Members to hear from leading experts in church planting, multisite, and multiplication. For this month’s segment, Ed and I talk with Brian Dembowzyk, the Managing Editor of The Gospel Project and author of Gospel-Centered Kids Ministry.

Thriving Parents = Thriving Kids Minister

Biblically, parents are called to be the primary disciplers of their kids. However, many parents feel unequipped to do so. Many books and guides offer ways to help equip parents disciple their kids. Among these books is Cornerstone, written by Brian Dembowczyk to equip parents to serve as the spiritual heads of the household, as well as providing a framework to equip kids ministers to disciple children.

One of the best ways to equip parents to disciple their kids is by not putting a time frame on discipleship. Allow yourself to move through a guided study like Cornerstone organically with your kids. Brian shares that this will create a more natural transition into discipleship conversations.

Framework for Kids Ministry

When developing a kids ministry, you have to start with the right philosophy. First, you have to develop a vision. The philosophy needs to reveal what the kids ministry is going to accomplish. Every ministry of the church should share the same vision and philosophy, expressed uniquely through each ministry.

When beginning a kids ministry, it is important to establish what your ministry is trying to accomplish with the time span that you have the kids, from birth to youth ministry. What are you responsible for helping parents do during that season? The following three questions build the framework for kids ministry:

  1. Are we teaching them the gospel?
  2. Is the gospel transforming them?
  3. Are we releasing them into mission?

These three things happen in order, so it’s important to focus on first teaching kids the gospel. It’s easy to turn kids ministry into child care/babysitting. Brian suggests that your philosophy should be engagement rather than gospel culture and mission. It would be wise to plant a kids ministry in a church plant. You have to start with a vision for kids ministry, rather than jumping into the curriculum.

Avoid Turning Kids Ministry into Child Care

This is a common problem in churches, and it’s important to acknowledge this issue before planting a church. Like plumbing, water always falls to the lowest level. If you aren’t intentional about kids ministry, it will fall. There are things that can help avoid this cycle.

First, start with vision. Get into the hearts and minds of the adults. We have been entrusted as stewards of our kids. As a church, we are entrusted as stewards of the children of our church. This is a problem worth addressing and fighting for.

To read the remainder of this article and to watch the full video with Brian Dembowczyk, click here for the full post.

This video is part of Plus Membership. To get full access to it, and much more, I encourage you to become a Plus Member. Click here to see all the benefits of becoming a Plus Member.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Im

Daniel Im (@danielsangi) is the Founder of NewChurches.com and the Director of Church Multiplication for LifeWay Christian Resources. He is a Teaching Pastor at The Fellowship, a multisite church in Nashville. He is the author of No Silver Bullets: Five Small Shifts that will Transform Your Ministry, and co-author of Planting Missional Churches: Your Guide to Starting Churches that Multiply (2nd ed) with Ed Stetzer. He also co-hosts the New Churches Q&A Podcast, the 5 Leadership Questions Podcast, and a brand new podcast with his wife on marriage and parenting called the IMbetween Podcast. He has an M.A. in Global Leadership and has served and pastored in church plants and multisite churches ranging from 100 people to 50,000 people in Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, Korea, Edmonton, and Nashville. Visit Danielim.com to learn more.

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