Five Key Promises Essential to the Well-Being of Children

December 15, 2006

Not all children are getting what they need to be successful in life

A recent study completed by the Search Institute and Child Trends, on behalf of the National Promises Study and America’s Promise – The Alliance for Youth, indicates that millions of American young people ages 6 to 17 are not adequately experiencing the five Promises that they need to build their character and competence. The study is part of a broader report titled Every Child, Every Promise: A Report on Our Nation’s Young People.

The five Promises that form the foundation of this analysis were identified and defined by America’s Promise – Alliance for Youth in 1997. They represent commitments to be fulfilled to every child, including:

• Caring Adults – to be supported and guided by caring family, teachers and others
• Safe Places and Constructive Use of Time
– to be physically and emotionally safe and have an appropriate balance of structured and unstructured time
Healthy Start and Healthy Development – to have physical and emotional health and growth, and a means to sustain health
• Effective Education – to have access to adequate education and life-long training to gain effective life and marketable job skills
• Opportunities to make a Difference – to have outlets for engaging with the community and to have outlets for having an impact beyond oneself

Since the inception of the Promises model, America’s Youth has used it as the foundation for its research, educational and programmatic initiatives.

At LOGOS, we eagerly support this approach to understanding what kids need to be healthy and successful in life. However, we strongly feel that Spiritual Growth and the development of a disciple’s relationship with God through Jesus Christ are also critical to children (and to all of us for that matter)…and we would place this promise quite high on the list above. In fact, LOGOS’ approach to developing children calls for a whole-child focus in which the body, mind, and soul all receive an adequate level of nurture to produce the total result.

What promises are your congregation making to children…how does your children’s ministry deliver on those promises?


Calling All Volunteers

December 8, 2006

Getting an adequate number of volunteers for children’s ministry is a real challenge for most churches

In a recent survey of its church leadership teams, Pioneer Clubs discovered that leader recruitment is an issue for nearly 75% of participating churches. Despite a broadly accepted understanding of the value of adult involvement in ministry with children, many congregations have difficulty in consistently providing an adequate number of volunteer leaders for their programs.

At LOGOS, we appreciate this challenge and point to a solution for increasing adult participation in ministry. We are committed to a defined, biblically-based process of call in which potential volunteers carefully discern God’s intention for their involvement and seek alignment between their gifts and the ministry’s needs. Elevating solicitation/recruitment to the status of call and discernment can energize the process and provide a stronger motivation for volunteers…but more importantly, it places God squarely in the midst of inviting disciples into ministry.

How does your ministry gain and retain volunteer leaders? God is calling us to serve…let’s make God’s call an important part of our work with children.