In helping kids grow spiritually in their walk with the Lord, we must understand that God does the work.
The Bible says in John 6:44, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him”. It is our responsibility to provide for our kids the opportunities to allow God to speak to them.
We are all familiar with the Great Commission, which says in Matthew 28:19, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” In ministering to children we have to be careful not to fall into the trap of being program oriented. Now don’t misunderstand me–it is our responsibility to provide great programs for our kids to grow in their walk with the Lord. But sometimes we get so caught up in the programs that we forget about the people. This can happen very quickly if we are not careful.
One trap that I have seen is thinking that we must have all the latest ministry tools. We think we have to be greatly skilled at doing puppets, characters, illusions, and human videos. While these are great tools and things that we can all work on, we are trying to achieve a more important goal. That goal is helping to make our kids disciples. As we look at the model that Jesus gave us in discipling people, we see that Jesus spent time with His disciples.
This is exactly what we need to be doing with our kids. When we get right down to it, it’s all about relationships. We can build relationships with our kids in numerous ways. They should see us as more than just the person who teaches and preaches on Sundays and Wednesdays. Spending time with them at church and outside of church is valuable in making them disciples. School events, sporting events, and birthday parties are all excellent ways to build one-on-one relationships. Just spending time with them and hanging out might seem unspiritual; but believe me, it is not. In doing this we are being God’s hand extended to them.
The combination of teaching and building relationships will enable us to help our kids grow spiritually. If we truly want to be like Jesus, we will model our discipleship after Him. We must never forget that people are always more important than programs. Our kids will grow in their relationships with the Lord, because in the end it is God that draws them to Himself.