Children’s Ministries

While I was serving as a youth pastor, my senior pastor impressed upon me the importance of giving children focus and attention during our ministries. In another setting, during a camping week I observed how Rev. John Hadley ministered to the children by giving a child a small wooden box and asking him or her to find something during the day that would fit inside the box. As the children’s session began the following day, Rev. Hadley asked that child to come forward. After a bit of dialogue, he ceremoniously opened the box and revealed what the child had hidden away: e.g., an acorn, a bright flower, or an Indian arrowhead. Then he gave an extemporaneous object lesson illustrating a spiritual concept, using whatever was in the box. The children loved it!

When God called me to be a senior pastor, I incorporated the same idea into our morning worship services. After inviting the children to gather on the platform steps, I receive the box from a child and present an object lesson. After the object lesson is completed, I hand the box to another child for the following week. Several tips I’ve learned regarding this practice:

* Assign someone to keep a list of who has received the box to ensure that everyone gets a turn.
* Plan at least five to ten minutes in your service for this ministry.
* Give the box to visiting children in an effort to connect with their families and to encourage them to return to the church.
* Occasionally ask the children to help you come up with an object lesson.

The children may not remember the object lessons, but they will remember they are loved and valued by their church family and their pastor.

Mike Eleveld, Pastor
Berean Baptist Church
Portage, Michigan