Are Children Left Out?
In the book “What About Me?” this statement is made. Most churches accommodate the adults first when constructing the church building and equipping it. Is that a true statement? I believe it is!
Our children are thought of last in the planning and construction of a church building. The furnishings for the auditorium are given priority because the adults will be using that part of the building most. They, of course, are the source for the revenue to fund the building projects. Kids are not going to give much money so we plan to provide the best for the adults.
I would never say that adults should necessarily suffer or be deprived so that the kids can have the be best accommodations. What I would say is that the reverse is often true.
Years ago I was holding meetings at a church that had just completed a new auditorium. It had padded pews, carpeting, and air conditioning. It wasn’t just nice, the building was very nice. Vacation Bible School was held and the children met for assembly time in the old auditorium where the carpet had been removed from the concrete floors, metal chairs (sized for adults) were used, the building was no longer air conditioned and the sound system had been taken out to use in the new building. On the first day with more than 500 kids the noise level from the metal chairs on concrete was extremely loud. The second day at child, because the temperature outside was 105 degrees, fainted and fell flat on her face on the floor. Finally on the third day the pastor and the deacons relented and let us used the new auditorium.
It is so sad that churches do not realize the importance of ministry to children. Most Christian adults were saved as children. Statistics have shown that 85% of all people are saved between the ages of four and 14. George Barna, the Christian researcher, states: “One of the data trails pointed out that most people decide what they will do about Jesus — either wholeheartedly follow, merely acknowledge, or ignore or reject Him — while they are young.” (1c) If the Sunday School class is boring, the teacher not really concerned for the children, the surroundings uncomfortable, how long the children will continue to be a part of our churches? The answer is…until their parents or caregivers stop forcing them. Many young people stop attending as soon as they have the freedom to stop or when they cause a big enough “fuss” for the parents to relent and allow them to stay home. We must make our children’s ministry centered on the needs of the children. This will take time, effort, thought, and money. A concerted effort on the part of the church leadership is necessary. We must have an effective ministry to children in our local churches. Proven methods will assist in providing the best ministry to children so that kids will never say consciously or subconsciously; “WHAT ABOUT ME?”
What about you? Have you seen instance where children’s ministries were not seen as important? Leave your comment below.
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