Children's ministry rant

I have offered to take over the children's ministry director (volunteer) position at our church. I figured I might as well do something useful with my Religious Education degree after all!
Yesterday I spent ALL my free time, in between caring for the kids and the house and life in general, searching the internet for cool free stuff for kids. There are some truly amazing resources out there!
And you know what? I LOVED doing it. I felt totally rejuvinated by using some of the skills I acquired years ago. I am totally passionate about age appropriate teaching in church. I really believe our children deserve the best we have to offer them and they are incredibly teachable in their younger years. I think most of the time the only reason we don't put more effort into kid's ministry is laziness and selfishness. It DOES take a lot of work. It DOES mean some adults won't get to sit and enjoy church the way they want to.
But really, who is more important? I have been a Christian for years now and I am fully capable of picking up my bible and reading and learning and hearing from Jesus on my own. Most children do not have that capability.

And I am absolutely POSITIVE that kid's are important to Jesus- far more important, in fact, than my comfort on a Sunday morning.

Sermons are not geared toward children.... or shouldn't be anyway. So why do we expect them to listen and understand? Is the main point of church really to teach our kids how to sit and be quiet for an hour while they are bored out of their skull? I think there is plenty of other times to teach children appropriate listening behaviour. Why waste an incredible teaching opportunity by ignoring them on Sunday mornings?

And with the amount of free resources on the internet right now we can't use excuses like "curriculum is too expensive" because it is FREE! Sure it might require a little bit of extra work to find and tweak to our individual situations but it is definitely available.
I know lots of parents say that they teach their kids at home, and I believe that lots do, but I think we can all use some extra help teaching our kids about Jesus. And if we believe that every child is getting adequate God teaching at home we are only lying to ourselves.

Children are part of our congregations. We are called to teach them too. Not just their parents.
Can you tell this is important to me? But I'll quit ranting now and go to church and do a TON of photocopying.


Anonymous said…
WOW. Sounds inspired; sounds lke a calling. Sounds like this has been waiting in you for the right time.

I believe that you will see results that encourage and confirm your path from the start.

Sunday school gave Christianity to me, and then deepening my understanding and my practice of loving with all my heart soul, mind and strength became my responsibility. That is still my foundation.

The internet distills the best of people's experience, but you can always improvise and share what has delighted and strengthened you.

I am very happy this clicked for you and so grateful for what the children will receive from you.

Much love,
G. on the coast
Anonymous said…
P.S. from G. on the coast

In rereading your blog, I am sure that many adults are going to learn so much from you about age-appropriate activities, explanations, settings.

Laziness and selfishness may be masks for fear. Many people are afraid of doing the wrong thing or answering the basic questions children can ask or hanging in with a child in a frustrating or upset time. Your example may just show the way out of a stuck position.

I got wordy again, but your direction got me excited.

Amanda said…
good for you tara

it takes a community to raise children
Alida said…
How wonderful that your are able to answer this call...those children will be blessed through you!
Well said, I totally agree with you. Our children need lots of christian input into the their lives not just from us as their parents. I loved sunday school as a child and I hope and pray my children feel the same way.
Have a great day!!
Jenn said…
Good for you! Our church totally lacks in the kids area, but that is because there is only 2 families with young children, ours being one of them. It is a total struggle, as sometimes we would like to have our kids hear about God from someone else. But no one else wants to help out. So the kids watch a lot of Veggie Tales during the service. I know that it's a lazy alternative, but sometimes I just want to hear a sermon. Agh! Being a Christian parent is not easy.
ChristiS said…
I'm with ya on the passion about this subject girlie! That is why I am doing the children's sermons at church most Sundays, and am helping with the 3-5th grade Sunday evening programming! There are a TON of free things out there aren't there??
Wendy said…
Awe, cute photos!

Who made your blog template? I have to know! It's so cool! I need something more fun and professional like what you have here. Can I steal it? lol
Good for you! I completely agree - my kids do not do well with sitting through the service, and I am very happy that our church now provides an alternate activity for them. You are so passionate about it and that's so wonderful to see! :)
Krista said…
good for you Tara!! dh and i feel the same way, and it always amazes me when adults seem to think that the kids should just sit in a corner and be neither seen nor heard.
Great thoughts Tara, and great idea to give of yourself like that. You do have a lot to offer and I think the ministry will really benefit from your sweet spirit.
Posting this with photos of Olivia playing is beautiful!

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