Continuing from the previous recap.
Less than 5 hours of sleep, my wife and I woke up and joined other men for special breakfast seminar on God-honoring children’s ministry led by David Michael, Pastor for Parenting & Children’s Discipleship at Bethlehem Baptist. Unfortunately, this message is not on the web. However, here are some of the points/principles that he mentioned on how to have a God-honoring children’s ministry in our churches:
- Children are not the center of the universe (including in the church). Life does not revolved around them. This is the issue between man-centered vs. God-centeredness. We (the church) needs to faithfully teach parents and children that we exist to glorify God, not ourselves.
- Avoid using the Bible only to teach morals. If so, we’re simply raising up a bunch of moralists and Pharisees.
- Have the entire family members to bring their Bibles to church. This is a critique on the contemporary churches where more and more the Bible is disappearing or invisible in the hands of people who come to church. Although the Bible verses on the screen can be useful in the worship service (though this can be debatable), but it should never replace the Bible in their hands. The children learn by watching their parents, and the parents must diligently model and teach the importance of bringing the Bible (the Word of God, the sword of the Spirit) to Sunday School and to worship service.
- Memorize the verse(s) together as a family. This can further be applied within the whole church, which brings a whole new level of accountability within the entire church.
- Teach theology to children. Never underestimate what the Holy Spirit can do through the Holy Scripture.
- Raise the standard and expectations for the workers involved in the children’s ministry.
- Parents involvement in understanding and raising their own children. At Bethlehem, the parents cannot have child-dedication unless they’ve taken the class first.
- Equipping the parents, not replacing the parents. We must equip the dads for spiritual leadership in their homes.
- We need to get men involved in the children’s ministry, not just the ladies.
- Don’t encourage disengagements of kids from the parents and adults (e.g., separate worship service while adults are having theirs, etc). Children should attend the worship service together with their family and with other adults, and not be separated. Although some children (adults included) may not fully understand the pastor’s preaching (due to immaturity and/or unregenerate hearts), there is wisdom in this. And the parents need to understand this, and need patience and their support.
Stay tune for Part 3.