Beyond the Sunday School Room
Updated: Mar 24, 2019
What is going to be the future result of my current ministry actions? This is a question that I often ask myself, both as a children's pastor and a parent. My desire for my own children's spiritual well being and that of the children at my church are the same. I want to be able to provide the greatest help that I can now to children that will allow them to develop a strong relationship with God that will last a lifetime.
As teachers or children's ministry volunteers you have the ability to make an impact on every child with whom you interact. We must be aware that the children that we teach now will one day have to answer the tough question of "Do I believe this (insert various doctrine) for myself or do I only believe it because my parents told me to?" Every child we encounter will face this pivotal time. Of course, the hope is that they will make the decision to follow God and not fall away. Everything we do in children's ministry needs to be focused on equipping our children for this moment in life. We typically see this take place in their teenage years but really they answer this question in their hearts long before then. When it comes time for them to decide if this is truly for them, they need someone with whom they feel comfortable talking. Many often feel like if they talk to their parents they will be disappointing them or failing in some way.
It is my desire for my children to have developed relationships with people who are strong Apostolic adults so that when the time of questioning comes, they will feel like they have many advocates. That is where we as children's ministry workers come into play. As my children grow up in my church's children's ministry, I want them to have a close, genuine and loving relationship with each of their Sunday school teachers. They must have people they feel comfortable going to that will give them a Godly answer. In our day and age, the questions our children have are very real and direct. Such as, how do I know God is real, how do we know the Bible is real, with so many religions in the world how do we know we are right. These are uncomfortable questions if you are not prepared with an answer. As a children's ministry volunteer, we must prepare ourselves for these questions.
My challenge to you is to purposely build your relationship as a spiritual leader with your students beyond the Sunday School room. Make it a point to say hello to your students when you see them outside of class. Let them hear your voice praying for them in the altar. Let them see you worshiping in services. Take a minute whenever you can and let them feel like the most important person in the world if only for that minute. Whether you think so or not, they are watching you. What you do now while they are young may be what gives them confidence to trust you with one of the most important things they will go through in life which is the decision to stay and serve God or to give it up and turn to a life of sin. They need you now and they will need you then. Some of them have fewer Godly examples in their lives than others. You may be one of the only examples of Christ they have. So many people who have grown up in church can look back to a Sunday school teacher that made a major impact in their life. That teacher could be you. Be that teacher and more importantly be worthy of being that teacher. Pray for your students. Teach your students. Love students. Be an example of the Christian they should be in and out of the classroom. You are capable of changing lives. It is no mistake God has called you to children's ministry. Be the light that these children need.
In God's Service,
Rev. Cecil White