Raising Up Kids to Serve in Children’s Ministry–A Lesson from the Laminator

how did you do that
A couple of weeks ago our church shook things up a bit and had a small group open house on a Sunday morning. This meant changing up our services and where and how we did some things in our children’s ministry area.

Since we were beginning some new teaching on “Growing the Fruit of the Spirit,” I decided that maybe this would be a good time to pull out the old laminator from my Children’s Ministry Bag-O-Tricks and let the kids spend some time making a “Fruit of the Spirit” placemat! (And yes, I did think that perhaps it would use up some time since we had no idea how long these things take.)

Plus, I mean, after all, who doesn’t love a good church-made placemat???? And did I mention it was LAMINATED???!!! Because it was!

So HiSKidZ got busy with their base mats, glue-sticking on their fruits of the Spirit until finally the moment of magic arrived. It was time to LAMINATE!!!! (Yes, there was that kind of excitement in the room, and they still seemed to have no real idea of the awesomeness they were about to be a part of!)

One by one they came in awe and wonder at this amazing machine I had obviously kept hidden from them for the span of their entire lives. (For their safety, or the safety of the laminator, I suppose)

“How does it do that?”

“OOOO! It’s hot!”

“What’s it doing in there?”

“Hey! My thing looks so much prettier when it comes out.”

“Where did you get that?”

“I think my glue melted.”

“Can I do it?”

“Here I’ll do it.”

“Hey, get out of my way. I’m helping Ms Dawn.”

“He’s not letting us have a turn.”

After a quick intervention so no one lost their Fruit of the Spirit, (including me) we continued on.

And on and on it went. They couldn’t get enough of the amazing plastic melting machine and the technology of transformation that was happening right before their very eyes.

It was then that I realized how much I had been keeping from them, and I began to ponder how many other amazing wonders were used in preparing things for them to use rather than allowing them to know the joy of using them for themselves.

Things like envelope glue pens, three hole punches, three hole paper, those super long giant staplers, spiral book binding machines. . . the list is probably endless.

But more than keeping them from experiencing the joy of the tool itself, I had taken from them the joy of serving with the tools.

And so, in large group time on this Small Group Sunday I learned this most valuable lesson:

Lead a child to the laminator and you have equipped him for the day, but teach him to laminate and you have equipped a children’s volunteer for life.

fruit of the Spirit placemat

Why You Should Answer the Call to Volunteer in Children’s Ministry

answer the call

My heart is so burdened. I often write for those in children’s ministry—volunteers or other children’s pastors. But today, I’m writing to those who need to hear and respond to the call of God to help out in their church’s children’s ministry programs.

There appears to be a serious shortage of people who are willing to make a commitment to helping children know Jesus. Across the country, in large and small churches, east coast, west coast and mid west, churches and children’s ministers are struggling to find people to serve in their ministries.

It’s a spiritual battle, and it is taking place within the walls of our churches and within the hearts of God’s people.

Children’s ministers are no longer called to minister to children, but to empower volunteers to serve. It has even been suggested that 85% of a children’s pastor’s time should be delegated to recruiting, equipping, encouraging and appreciating volunteers.

Yet churches and parents often still expect that same children’s pastor to invest 85% of their time teaching, encouraging, planning events and equipping children.

Since 85% + 85% = 170% of their time, well, “Houston, we have a problem.”

Jesus knew it, and so He told us, “Ask the Lord of the Harvest to bring workers into the field. For the harvest is plentiful and the workers are few.”

Truer words have rarely been spoken. Children are so receptive to the love of God. Children are hungry for people to invest in them. Children want to be led. But the window of time is short, because children aren’t children forever.

And like the leaves change and fall with the seasons, a child’s openness to the things of God has a very short window.

Don’t wait to be asked. Your children’s pastor or ministry leader may be swamped under the demands of a 170% work schedule. People often have a zillion reasons why they can’t serve in children’s ministry, but here are five I’ve come up with as to why you should consider answering the call of God and making the call to your children’s ministry leader.

5 Reasons to Answer the Call to Serve in Children’s Ministry

1—You have a chance to be a part of leading children to Jesus. Without Jesus, people are going to hell. With Jesus, people can be saved from hell. Care enough to help save a child.

2—You have a chance to be a part of leading children to Jesus. Repeatedly in God’s Word people found their way to Him because someone else led them there, and sometimes they did it when they were tired, beaten, shipwrecked or endangered. In the U.S., out of all those, we can probably only claim tired. Come and lead a child to Jesus.

3—You have a chance to be a part of leading children to Jesus. God promises us that He will equip us and strengthen us for His mission. Trust God to empower you to help lead a child to Jesus. He’s very reliable, and trusting Him can change your perspective and your life.

4—You have a chance to be a part of leading children to Jesus. To paraphrase Mordecai when he talked to Esther, if you don’t do it, someone else will, you may be in your church for such a time as this. Children’s Ministry may be a little dangerous sometimes, but so is the alternative.

5—You have a chance to be a part of leading children to Jesus. We are in danger of raising another generation of children who don’t know Jesus. If you are reading this today, God is calling you to do something about it. Think about it. If you knew God was calling, wouldn’t you want to answer the phone?

Ok so those five reasons were really just one reason. But, what more reason do we need to serve than the privilege to partner with God to lead a child to Jesus and to see them saved from hell?

Answer the call. Make the call. See what God will do. Then write and let me know!! There’s nothing I love better than a great story of God at work in people’s lives.

Coming soon: What you can do to help when you are just not a “kid person”—not everyone is y’know!