I took part in a roundtable discussion yesterday with pastors and staff from churches around the area. The topic and reason for the conference was the subject of evangelism. It was a great time of church leaders sharing different ways that they try to reach people for Jesus. I was the lone children’s pastor in attendance so I gave my thoughts on my strategies for reaching children and their families. When it came to evangelism methods and techniques that were being shared I really couldn’t add anything novel or innovative to the discussion that hadn’ t been heard before. Therefore, I simply worked my ministry vision into the the discussion. I explained that the main principle of my strategy is to simply clearly explain and share the Gospel.
As children’s ministry leaders and parents, you are very aware of the myriad of options that are available when it comes to curriculum, programming, events, etc. But there is one area that I feel strongly about and try to constantly remind my teachers and volunteers and that is the intentionality of keeping the Gospel central in whatever we do. What do I mean by that? I mean that to simply never forget to teach the Gospel: the good news that God sent His son Jesus to the earth to rescue sinners from eternal death by dying on the cross for their sins, and later raising from the dead after three days and ascending into Heaven to rule at the right hand of God. And that all who repent of their sins and follow Him will receive eternal life.
No matter what curriculum you are using it is very easy to lose the forest for the trees when teaching children. For instance, when teaching about David and Goliath do you ever teach the lesson redemptively? Do you ever explain that David was one of Jesus’ ancestors? And do you then take the segway into telling how Jesus is our Savior? Do you ever explain to them that just as David trusted God to protect him from lions and Goliath, so we can trust Jesus to save us from eternal death?
You may ask, “What does a random Old Tesament story have to do with Jesus?” My answer: Everything. There is indeed a scarlet thread that runs throughout all of Scripture. That scarlet thread represents the blood that Jesus shed on the cross as he redeemed his people. No matter what story children are being taught, the good news of Jesus should always be presented because, quite simply, that good news should be the penultimate reason that a child is at church in the first place.