Interview with Dallas Willard (part 1 of 3)

The other day on Google wave Chris Chancey posted and interview he had with Dallas Willard. I found it helpful and several things that Dr. Willard had to say spoke to me so I asked Chris if I could post it because I believe there are lots of nuggets to think about from the oldest veteran out there to the kids pastor just starting out.

This past week I had the opportunity to sit under the teaching of Dr. Dallas Willard, author of Spirit of the Disciplines and Renovation of the Heart and professor of psychology at USC. He taught in depth about spiritual disciplines on “The Human Side of Holiness.” (If you have any interest in learning about the disciplines, I would be happy to email you notes and book recommendations.) During the week, I had a few minutes to sit down with the jovial old man and gain wisdom on his thoughts of about Kid’s Ministry:

1. In your opinion, what is the essence of children’s ministry?

  • Help them feel received

Allow church to be a place that offers love and reception like no other place they can go, so that when they are without that in their life, they crave it. If they are not getting it anywhere else, they should be able to count on getting it at church.

  • Teach them about the Kingdom

The Kingdom of God was Christ’s main topic on earth yet we rarely hear those words mentioned in church. In the basic sense, every person has a Kingdom (or Queendom for little girls). Each person is responsible for their own Kingdom and if they understand the teachings of Jesus will surrender their Kingdom to be apart of the Kingdom of God. It’s your job to help children understand that.

  • Invest in a few

Numbers really work against us in ministry. The harvest is plenty but the workers are few. One person can really only go deep with a few kids. We need more people to do the jobs that one person is expected to do by himself. In the end, you have to be open to the Spirit and pour into a few kids that seem to have some potential. With God’s help these kids will end up impacting the others around them and may in time reverse this whole dilemma of too few workers.

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