We Do Provide Childcare!

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Young African American ChildOftentimes in children’s ministry, I come across a blog or a magazine articles that laments the fact that people think of children’s ministry as childcare.
Well, I am here to tell you that that is exactly what is.
Yes, yes, if you are committed to it and doing it right, children’s ministry is all about leading kids to Christ and discipling them to follow him.  That is our mission.  That is our goal.  That is our passion!  But, when it comes right down to it, we do provide child care.  We provide a kind of child care more valuable, more foundational and more absolutely necessary that any other.  Let’s see why.
Proverbs 4:23 tells us:

Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.

We provide child care because we care for the hearts of the children that are entrusted to us.  By helping them to build a relationship with God and showing them how to seek Him with their whole heart, we care for those little hearts.
Proverbs 3:20-21 tells us:

My son, do not lose sight of these—
keep sound wisdom and discretion,
and they will be life for your soul
and adornment for your neck.

We do provide childcare because  we care for the souls of the children who are entrusted to us.  By giving them a solid foundation in Jesus Christ, we give them the tools to withstand the storms that life will send at them.  By teaching them sound doctrine and theology, we give them life for their souls from God.  So, yes we do provide childcare because we care for their souls.
1 Thessalonians 5:21 tells us to:

test everything; hold fast what is good.

We provide childcare because we care for the minds of the children who are entrusted to us.  By teaching them that faith is built on a solid foundation revealed to us in the Bible and not on blind acceptance, we teach them to engage God with their minds.  By encouraging them to question what they are being taught, we care for those burgeoning minds.
Finally, Ephesians 6:10-17 is a familiar passage on the whole armor of God.  It reads:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,

We provide childcare because we care for the strength of the children that are entrusted to us.  By teaching them the Bible, truth, righteousness, and the gospel, and by helping them to build their faith in God on a solid foundation, we care for their strength.
So next time you tell someone that you work or volunteer in children’s ministry and they ask you about providing childcare, raise your head high and tell them the truth:

We do provide childcare.  We care for the heart, soul, mind and strength of God’s children on a weekly basis so that they may love him with all their heart, and all of their soul, and all of their mind, and all of their strength.

See, there is no shame in providing childcare!

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