Children and the Future of the Church

September 21, 2007

The church is always just one generation away from extinction.” This is a phrase used by leaders all over the world as they describe the future of the church. Many also say that children are the future of the church and others argue that children are not the future; they are the church of today. No matter where your position is on this, one thing seems apparent; the church today does not live and act like it is one generation away from extinction and that young people are critical to its future. A brand new study of a large denomination indicates that more than ¾ of all clergy and laity believe the church needs to do something to attract more young people and nurture their faith. However, the same study indicates that less than 1/3 believes that the church needs to change its priorities, budget and ministry style to achieve this. Most of us live like Hezekiah in 2 Kings 20: 19. Isaiah tells him of the destruction that is about to come to his kingdom and Hezekiah asks, “Will there not be peace and security in my lifetime? Isn’t that just like us? We wonder about our own comfort, security, and desires and let those who come after us deal with what ever comes their way.

Leaders like Walt Mueller, Perry Noble, Andy Stanley and George Barna indicate that if we are going to establish a church for the next generation it means doing whatever it takes today to bring them in and nurture them. It means putting a priority on making sure that we live out what Deuteronomy instructs, “… to talk about our faith with young people at all times and in places.” It means welcoming children in a way that engages them. That is much easier to say than to do, but from Abraham to Jesus we see God’s care and concern for the next generation. So as you look at your church ask yourself these questions:

How do we demonstrate that the next generation is a priority for us? (e.g., budget, time, style, ministries, etc.)

How are we preparing for the next generation like David in Psalm 78:1-8 and Psalm 71:17-18?

How are we living out Mark 10:13-16? (Let the children come to me…..)

Listen to our podcast on reaching the next generation with Pittsburgh East Community Church, a church that is on the move…and committed to children and youth.


Now is the Time to Measure and Build Effectiveness

September 7, 2007

Evaluating where you are going and setting the foundation for getting there are critical for effective ministry…

We have never done this before, but this is a repeat of one of our blogs that has been in extremely high demand. Since this came out in the summer and now is the time for ministry start-up, we thought we would share it again as a way of reminding you of the importance of measurement.

Children matter to God so they better matter to us in the church. We have been claiming without reservation how important it is to support the spiritual development of children within families and in churches…and how those efforts should be linked by purpose and function in unison. Building a saving relationship with God through Jesus Christ is the most important thing in the lives of our children…and, in fact, in our own lives also.

So, how can churches be sure that their efforts in children’s ministry are properly focused and are working productively toward such a critical goal? At LOGOS, we have tried to answer those questions by translating our more than 40 years of ministry experience into a model, or framework, which defines the characteristics of ministry effectiveness. The resulting Ministry Effectiveness Model has been developed for those churches who use a LOGOS-style ministry model and for those who don’t. Generally, it includes characteristics in three broad categories:

• Purpose – intent and objectives of the ministry within the church’s broader mission
• Practicality
– approach, plan and resources to support the ministry
• Impact – capability to produce results that matter

If churches are going to be effective in their service to children, they must engage in constructive dialogue about their ministries and commit to discovering ways to improve them. To support churches in that process, we use our effectiveness model to facilitate their efforts toward probing the fundamentals and seeking specific opportunities for improvement. The criteria that comprise our models help leaders to pinpoint key elements of ministry and to target symptoms that may indicate ministry ineffectiveness. In the final analysis, the model is a great tool for guiding a church’s ministry planning, development, and problem-solving initiatives.

You can find the LOGOS Ministry Effectiveness Models in the library on our web site.

Listen to our podcast: Is your Children’s Ministry Effective?