In any children’s ministry we undertake in the local church, we must keep in mind our main objective, which is to show Jesus to the children in our care. They must hear that He loves them, that He died to save them, and that He will guide, protect, and care for them if they will learn to listen to His voice. We must communicate His beauty and the joy of walking with Him through this life.
Not just about being a good person
It is so easy for Sunday school teachers (and other children’s workers) to fall into the trap of teaching moralism alone. “Be a good girl, because that makes Jesus happy,” is a common lesson that is only half true. It is true that we want children to be good, and that the motivation should be to please the Lord. But if we are trying to earn His favour by our good works, we will soon be very discouraged (and kids are clever enough to figure this out). We cannot be good enough! We need a Saviour. So, the faithful Sunday school teacher must walk a fine line. He or she must present the Gospel without pressuring the children, as well as teach right from wrong, without conveying the false idea that we can be good apart from His grace.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me”
Another trap we as teachers sometimes fall into is that of simply entertaining the children that we are supposed to be ministering to. If we believe that the goal of children’s ministry is to keep the kids “out of adults’ hair,” then our children’s ministries soon begin to resemble a circus. Lots of fun going on, everybody’s busy and happy, but no one is really learning very much about the Lord. Don’t get me wrong; our children’s classes should be fun. Just don’t forget your primary goal: to show them, Christ. If they can just catch a glimpse of His glory and beauty as revealed in His Word, He will win their hearts! You are not just the babysitter while the grownups learn God’s Word. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me.”
The main thing is Jesus
I want to challenge you today, if you are a parent or a children’s ministry worker, to remember the main thing. The main thing is Jesus. Lift Him up before the children in your care. Even toddlers can see and understand if mommy or teacher really loves Jesus, and it makes a big impression on those little hearts. Teach them the Bible stories and verses. Train them to obey and be kind. And have fun with them! But don’t forget to show them, Jesus.