My podcast this week is in response to a post in the Kidology forum where a Kidology member laments,
I’m working at a new church and realize that the youth don’t know that much about the God’s Word or Jesus. I’ve sat and scratched my head trying to figure out what approach to take. Many of the youth have been coming to the church as kids, but haven’t really learned about a relationship with Jesus. ….they aren’t interested and neither are the parents. The majority of the youth ….are moving on and the youth director assigned to their age group is clueless. They focus on events rather than ministering to the kids. I’m about to pull my hair out because I feel like I’m the only one who see’s the problem. HELP!”
If I had to answer you in one would, it would be: DISCIPLESHIP. The church today spends too much time and energy and money trying to turn out disciples through mass/large groups ‘events’ and what you describe is the results. “The proof is in the pudding” as the saying goes.
If you want to see the solution, you have to look no further than the ministry of Jesus. He did ‘large group’ ministry too – teaching on the hillsides, right? But what made the difference long term? He poured His life and spent the majority of His time pouring into just a small group of just 12 men. That is how I have modeled my ministry for over 20 years. Fantastic large group events that draw kids and families, yes! But pouring the bulk of my time and energy into discipling a small group of kids, and always discipling a small group of kids, and training teachers and leaders to do the same.
And guess what? It is those kids I discipled who are now strong Christians and many in Bible college or in the ministry today.
If you want to learn about my KC Krew, the small group of kids I poured into every year in my ministry, check out: Kids Church Cookbook – Part 6, and if you want to use the discipleship book my wife and I wrote that DiscipleLand publishes, check out: My Awesome Adventure.
But resources aside – the KEY is to start discipling kids ONE on ONE, and getting others to do so. Only RELATIONSHIPS will make a long term difference in kids lives. NO PROGRAM will introduce kids to Christ.
Let me repeat that: NO PROGRAM, NO PRODUCT, NO CURRICULUM will guide kids into a genuine relationship with Jesus that will last into their teenage years. Only a PERSON can do that.
—-> If a child doesn’t have a PERSON who PERSONALLY introduces them to Jesus and PERSONALLY guides them into getting to know Him (other than a parent) they will stray from Christ until such a time that a PERSON guides them BACK to Jesus.
It’s THAT SIMPLE – and THAT DIFFICULT.
Let me encourage you to listen to my PODCAST FROM TODAY where I dive into this topic: Kidmin Talk 037
You can get some FREE discipling resources as a result! I’m passionate about this stuff! (as if you couldn’t tell!)