I was at the ONE conference for Youth and Children’s Ministry Leaders last week. One of the prerequisites for attending was your Senior Pastor had to attend. I went with my church and my Senior Pastor. To set the framework, Perry Noble opened with a keynote address. Perry spoke strongly on these seven key issues about Youth and Children’s Ministry.
- Youth and Children’s Ministry has more potential than any other ministry in the church. (Most people make a decision for Christ before they are 18 so every dime spent on them is money spent on mission).
- Healthy Youth and Children’s Ministry must be supported by the Senior Pastor with time and money. (Youth and children’s ministry should be one of the best resourced areas of the church)
- Senior Pastor needs to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. (Do you want to try to control the movement of God in young people or unleash it?)
- Age Appropriate Environment matters. It should be inviting, comfortable and fun. (if it is not fun then that means it is the opposite, which is boring)
- Keep it simple- Have a clear and contagious vision
- Tension and conflict between ministries must always be addressed. (unresolved tension is sinful)
- CALL (his words not mine) the right people to the right places in youth and children’s ministry NOT according to their wants and desires but according to gifts needed and their passion to serve.
We need to work together to help churches put a priority on children and youth in the church. In the Summer 2009 edition of Leadership Journal, Kara Powell from Fuller Theological Seminary says, “At this point in our research, we’ve found that one thing that really makes a difference is getting kids actively involved in the life of the church before they graduate.”
The key is let’s invest- time, money, relationships, the church- in the life of children and youth so they might grow up to be life-long disciples of Jesus Christ.