Home Children's Ministry Leaders Do They Know That They Belong?

Do They Know That They Belong?

Display Their Work

Children love to show off their artwork. If you’ve ever gone to a parent night at school, you’ll find the hallways filled with examples of student work and if you go with your child, you will need to find theirs and let them talk about it. What if in church, we created the same opportunity for conversation by displaying the kid’s artwork, not in the children’s ministry wing, but in the space frequented by the adults, thus opening the door for conversation between young and old?

Give Them a Voice

Churches are great at making committees. Come on, you know it’s true! What if each time a committee is created or established, a “youth” chair is automatically a part of the plan? Create a space where older youth can sit and be a part of the discussions that guide the church. Let them know their voice is a needed part of church growth and development by giving them an actual voice in those areas.

Open the Pulpit

Some of the greatest lessons I’ve learned have come from kids and youth. As children and youth pastors, we have the great privilege of hearing those stories, but often the other members of our congregation do not. What if we intentionally invited those kids and youth who have stories to share the opportunity to share what they’ve learned with the larger congregation?  Even if it is something “we” already know? Peter tells us to “stir one another up by way of reminder” and who better to stir us up than the next generation?

Listen. Just Listen.

Ultimately, that was what made my daughter feel like she belonged. She felt heard. They listened. It was really that simple. If there is room for their voices, I believe the children and youth will speak. But that won’t do any good if we don’t listen. Truly listen with all that we have, not passively because we have to, but actively because we want to.

There’s no simple answer for reversing the trend of young adults leaving the church, but there are lots of opportunities for us to improve. Listening to our children and making space for their voice to be heard could be one really big area. Let’s give them a voice.

This article originally appeared here and is used by permission.