Elder Rosemary Winbush is currently the Pastor of Children and Preteens and has been the staff Director of Children's Ministry at The Bethel Church in Jacksonville, Florida for the past thirteen years. She has served in the ministry of children for more than 25 years. She writes published curriculum for the children's ministry worship services and manages a team of more than 250 volunteers. She has developed a strong spiritually based children's ministry and created core structure with a leadership team of specialized service leaders, coordinators, assistant coordinators, group leaders, special needs leaders, special events and outreach service leaders.
Why have a children's ministry? A children's ministry is a ministry that helps children grow in the Lord. Matthew 19:14 says...let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. We want to be a place that leads children to Jesus Christ. We want to be a place that is one of the best places for a child to be during the week. We want to be a place to build faith, hope and love. We want to be a place to empower Little Saints.
The ministry begins with a leader. If you are that individual, seek God for guidance. Develop a "strong" prayer life!!! Stay in God's face constantly. In order to have a ministry of excellence, your walk with the Lord must be sincere. Your lifestyle should reflect Godly principles. You must be the bearer of good fruit. No one is perfect, but leaders who serve the Lord must strive to do the will of the Father and exemplify Christ.
How to Minister to the Family
Getting parents to be active in the spiritual growth of their child is a must. When we take that quick 15-20 seconds at dismissal to speak with the parent, we have an opportunity to encourage them to help their children learn more about the love of God and why they should live for Jesus
Things to consider
Develop techniques to effectively minister to children.
Select or write an relevant curriculum to teach Kingdom truths.
Create an environment conducive to teach the Word of God to children and helpful to volunteers. Make sure you are ministering to the children and not just teaching a lesson.
On a regular basis, examine your ministry to see what makes it tick (strengths and weaknesses).
Establish and find out what service areas are needed.
Jesus chose 12 disciples. He taught them and He sent them out. Even though Jesus selected 12, there were others who followed Him. Some were faithful and some probably fell by the way. But the 12 He focused on, He allowed them to gather others to be taught and to be sent out
Training is for everyone on the team including the leader. We can never stop growing or learning. Make it a purpose of providing special training times that are fellowship driven; training times that heighten spiritual awareness; training times that grow the team and the ministry and training times to just share ministry updates and general information.
Churches can no longer compromise safety; especially with our children. We have to pray for protection and post the guard. All workers in children's ministry should undergo a background screening to ensure that no sex offenders or criminals are in areas with children. We do take the forgiveness approach, but we must also exercise wisdom when it comes to well-being of others' children.
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