If you want to have significant influence on people in the church and community, which ministry in the church would you devote your time to advancing? The preaching ministry? Worship ministry? Student ministry? Something else? May I suggest you consider giving your time to, drum roll, please…
The preschool and children’s ministries.
On Mondays I always share a quote from a significant book on teaching, Christian education, and general leadership principles. Today’s quote comes from a book title Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions. Listen in on George Barna’s conversation with the church:
Research regarding all facets of moral and spiritual development – whether related to worldview, beliefs or behavior – shows that development starts as early as age two…By nine, most children have their spiritual moorings in place.
The implication of these findings is clear: Anyone who wishes to have significant influence on the development of a person’s moral and spiritual foundations had better exert that influence while the person is still open-minded and impressionable – in other words, while the person is still young. By waiting until a person is in his or her late adolescent or teenage years, the nature of influential attempts must be significantly integrated into the person’s life. At that stage, spiritual influence requires a more complex process to dislodge what already exists prior to replacing it with a divergent perspective….the older a person gets, the more difficult it is for him or her to replace existing moral and spiritual pillars.
Our efforts to teach and nurture children are an investment in the future – theirs and ours. Children who are exposed to and embrace godly lives enjoy the lifelong benefit of God’s blessings and significant opportunities for influential service. (pp.47-48)
If you lead an adult Bible study group, one of the greatest ways you can support the reaching and teaching of children is to encourage your group members to leave your group to assume leadership roles in your church’s preschool and children’s ministries. Hold onto your people with a very loose grip and challenge them to make a difference in the lives of preschoolers and children by becoming group leaders for them.
If you’re already a teacher or leader in your church’s preschool and children’s ministries, may I say “thank you”? Thanks for investing your time and energies into the most significant people in our churches!
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