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Children’s Ministry Is About…

August 25, 2011

When I was around 18 years old I had my first experience working with a children’s ministry. The kids at my church in Illinois needed a host/teacher to lead the kids through a large group time for about 20 minutes each Sunday. All I had to do was wear khaki shorts and a safari hat and read through a lesson-script in an Australian accent for six weeks.

This was all more easily said than done, of course. (Especially the accent; in one lesson my accent moved from Australia to Britain to Alabama in about six minutes.)

With that experience as my context for children’s ministry, I never considered volunteering like that again. That is, until I was asked to pray about leading E3Kids. Having started to follow Christ at age 15, I had almost no context for what kids’ church was even supposed to look like, much less what it should look like at a church like E3.

Over the past 18 months in E3Kids, though, I have learned way more than I ever thought possible about working with kids for Christ. For a taste of what God has been teaching me, here is a list of what children’s ministry means to me:

  1. Children’s ministry is fun! I love fun. I love fun a lot. I knew that if I was going to survive working with infants, toddlers, preschoolers, kindergarteners, and elementary school students, fun would have to be a priority. Every week, I want E3Kids to be fun for all of the children and for the volunteers. Nothing is worse than grumpy kids trying to survive a grumpy lesson from a grumpy teacher!
  2. Children’s ministry is always new!Every week is a new experience in E3Kids. Each new Sunday means a new lesson, new games, new crafts and, usually, new families. Each experience is fresh and new, and that can be tons of fun (see above)!
  3. Children’s ministry is easy, when you’re prepared.The real work of E3Kids is done Monday through Saturday when all of the workers are looking over the week’s lesson, gathering supplies, and praying for the kids. One hour of advance preparation lets you focus on the kids themselves on Sunday, and that is the truly important part.
  4. Children’s ministry is about God’s love.Even if half of the day’s volunteers stay home with the flu, the DVD player isn’t working, and a handful of kids simply will not pay attention—even in the worst possible scenarios, children’s ministry is never ruined, because it’s not about the curriculum or the flashy video or anything else. It’s about showing God’s love to a new generation. That truth can turn “disastrous” Sundays into a meaningful, life-changing experience of God’s love.

If you’re interested in helping to communicate God’s love to the next generation (while having fun!), our fall semester is about to start! Email Dan Durrenberger at dand@element3.org or call 850.973.7688 for more info!

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