Big Thought

I have been listening to Andy Stanley’s Leadership Podcast. It has been rocking my free word. If you don’t subscribe to his pod cast you should.

He asked a question on his talk about Breaking Paradigms.

Here is the question:

“What do I believe is impossible to do in my field (Kids ministry) but if it could be done would fundamentally change my business (Children’s ministry).”

I asked Jim Wideman this question I think he gave an excellent answer. He feels that we as kids workers need to get kids to read, apply and love the Word of God. Basically we have so much more to offer kids but they walk away with less life transforming truth.

I have been thinking about this question for days because I believe if we find that thing unpack it and do it we can have a part in transforming a generation of kids ministry.

I am still wrestling with my answer. What do you think that one thing that is impossible to do in Kids ministry?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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14 thoughts on “Big Thought

  1. Two in our context:

    The first is the outliers. Kids who for one reason or another don't tap into our children's ministry. This could be a parent thing or a child thing. They're not in our system. It's hard to know who they are, but when I attend service I see them. I'd love to get them to visit just once and try it out…. I may need to create an initiative for that – some sort of open house day.

    The second goes back to Orange. We'd consider ourselves to be Orange; however we're miles away from the parent involvement that we desire. Especially when it comes to parents actually OWNING their child's faith development.

    OK, a third. I agree with Jim. Children themselves aren't owning their faith. We live in an affluent area and our kids don't need anything; this transfers into their need for God and the Bible – but here you're changing a value set (most likely of parents) to put more emphasis on making Jesus the pie plate not just a slice of the pie – and enter all areas of life.

    These won't necessarily fundamentally change the "business" however as we seek solutions they might fundamentally change the way we do CM at our church.

  2. The One Thing – Getting Parents to recognize the value of Partnering with the Church.
    Parents make time and invest money in what they perceive has value for their child. Case in point – Youth Sports. I coach youth football for 7-8-9-10 year old boys. It cost $175 + $100 league fee + additional fund raisers during the year. Parents are required to attend practices, games, and provide transportation all over the metro Phoenix. And they do it willingly.
    What if parents recognized the same value and made the same commitment to the church and involvoing their family in the ministry? The difference it would make is immeasurable! Provididng quality and communicating the value is critically important.

  3. Dan and Keith,

    I think you are both hitting on something with figuring out how to get parents to see the huge role they play in their child's faith journey. I am not sure how or where the wheels came off the concept of family faith. We need to work hard to make sure parents are equipped, for the monumental challange of guiding their child's faith in a faithless world.

    Great points guys. Excellent insight.

  4. Two in our context:

    The first is the outliers. Kids who for one reason or another don’t tap into our children’s ministry. This could be a parent thing or a child thing. They’re not in our system. It’s hard to know who they are, but when I attend service I see them. I’d love to get them to visit just once and try it out…. I may need to create an initiative for that – some sort of open house day.

    The second goes back to Orange. We’d consider ourselves to be Orange; however we’re miles away from the parent involvement that we desire. Especially when it comes to parents actually OWNING their child’s faith development.

    OK, a third. I agree with Jim. Children themselves aren’t owning their faith. We live in an affluent area and our kids don’t need anything; this transfers into their need for God and the Bible – but here you’re changing a value set (most likely of parents) to put more emphasis on making Jesus the pie plate not just a slice of the pie – and enter all areas of life.

    These won’t necessarily fundamentally change the “business” however as we seek solutions they might fundamentally change the way we do CM at our church.

  5. The One Thing – Getting Parents to recognize the value of Partnering with the Church.
    Parents make time and invest money in what they perceive has value for their child. Case in point – Youth Sports. I coach youth football for 7-8-9-10 year old boys. It cost $175 + $100 league fee + additional fund raisers during the year. Parents are required to attend practices, games, and provide transportation all over the metro Phoenix. And they do it willingly.
    What if parents recognized the same value and made the same commitment to the church and involvoing their family in the ministry? The difference it would make is immeasurable! Provididng quality and communicating the value is critically important.

  6. We outsource everything.
    Why do something yourself when someone else can do a better job at a lesser cost?
    Many parents pay high fees and enroll their children in Preschool as a method of socialization.
    In my circle of friends, not one of us changes our own car's oil… Jiffy Lube is more than willing to do it for $20.
    People in Oregon don't even pump their own fuel at the gas station.
    Heck, my landlord doesn't even let me mow my own lawn… we leave it to the professionals.
    So, why wouldn't families expect to be able to outsource their children's faith development to "professions"?

    At some point, the church needs to look at the consumer model of program driven ministry it fell in love with in the last couple decades and reconcile it with the church's call to be a faith community… not a spiritual Starbucks.

    I think we do that through the language we use and the vision leadership teams cast. I also think it'll be a process and isn't going to change overnight.

  7. Dan and Keith,

    I think you are both hitting on something with figuring out how to get parents to see the huge role they play in their child’s faith journey. I am not sure how or where the wheels came off the concept of family faith. We need to work hard to make sure parents are equipped, for the monumental challange of guiding their child’s faith in a faithless world.

    Great points guys. Excellent insight.

  8. We outsource everything.
    Why do something yourself when someone else can do a better job at a lesser cost?
    Many parents pay high fees and enroll their children in Preschool as a method of socialization.
    In my circle of friends, not one of us changes our own car’s oil… Jiffy Lube is more than willing to do it for $20.
    People in Oregon don’t even pump their own fuel at the gas station.
    Heck, my landlord doesn’t even let me mow my own lawn… we leave it to the professionals.
    So, why wouldn’t families expect to be able to outsource their children’s faith development to “professions”?

    At some point, the church needs to look at the consumer model of program driven ministry it fell in love with in the last couple decades and reconcile it with the church’s call to be a faith community… not a spiritual Starbucks.

    I think we do that through the language we use and the vision leadership teams cast. I also think it’ll be a process and isn’t going to change overnight.

  9. My inner Etch-a-Sketch got all shaken up earlier today so I'll have to think about this some more now that my mental slate is wiped clean. I also have heard Andy say something like, "What would the new guy come in and do if someone took over your job? Walk out, walk back in, and do it yourself."

    I'm going to check back when one of you other people has this all figured out and then run with it. 🙂

  10. My inner Etch-a-Sketch got all shaken up earlier today so I’ll have to think about this some more now that my mental slate is wiped clean. I also have heard Andy say something like, “What would the new guy come in and do if someone took over your job? Walk out, walk back in, and do it yourself.”

    I’m going to check back when one of you other people has this all figured out and then run with it. 🙂

  11. I have found that children's ministry challenging in several areas. We were having a real difficulty trying to get some of our children to attend our children's meetings during the service. I would invite over and over and it seemed to do no good at all. Finally I announced from the pultpit that the parents were welcome to attend the children's meetings with their child. This revolutionized our children's ministry. The parents saw what their children were learning with the other kids. It was quite interesting to here the parents say when childrens church was dismissed "Wow, i did not know that story was in the Bible." Even the parents learned something and children loved it. Having an open house might be quite effective as another idea. God bless

  12. I have found that children’s ministry challenging in several areas. We were having a real difficulty trying to get some of our children to attend our children’s meetings during the service. I would invite over and over and it seemed to do no good at all. Finally I announced from the pultpit that the parents were welcome to attend the children’s meetings with their child. This revolutionized our children’s ministry. The parents saw what their children were learning with the other kids. It was quite interesting to here the parents say when childrens church was dismissed “Wow, i did not know that story was in the Bible.” Even the parents learned something and children loved it. Having an open house might be quite effective as another idea. God bless

  13. I listen to this podcast too and Andy does a great job of messing with my head.

    For me that impossible thing is how to equip parents to be effective nurturers of their kids faith.

    I have found that parents know they should be the main discipler of their kids and they even desire it. The problem is they have no idea how to do it or how to change their life styles so it could even happen.

    It doesn't take parents long to realize they can lead their kids where they themselves are not.

  14. I listen to this podcast too and Andy does a great job of messing with my head.

    For me that impossible thing is how to equip parents to be effective nurturers of their kids faith.

    I have found that parents know they should be the main discipler of their kids and they even desire it. The problem is they have no idea how to do it or how to change their life styles so it could even happen.

    It doesn’t take parents long to realize they can lead their kids where they themselves are not.