Kid’s church is a great place for a child to learn about God, Christ & faith. Obviously, as a children’s pastor, I wish that every kid had the opportunity to come to church to hear about God. In the end though, I know that a church service is only one of the many experiences that a child needs in order to grow in their relationship with Christ, and ultimately to have their faith stick with them for a lifetime.
What else do kids need to grow up following Christ into adulthood? Well, for one thing, opportunities to serve. Diana Garland in Inside Out Families writes,
Community service was significantly more closely related to the faith development of teens than attending worship services. Service appears to be more powerful than Sunday School, Bible study, or participation in worship in the faith development of teenagers.
Giving kids and youth the opportunity to live out their faith in practical service increases the likely hood that the child’s faith will stick with them for a lifetime. This is why I get so excited when parents get their kids involved in serving, and even more excited when parents serve with their kids.
At Calvary, we have a dad who has taken, or is going to take, all of his kids on their first missions trip with the church. We have a mom and daughter that volunteer in our wheelchair van ministry, faithfully serving together to go pick up our shut-ins for church on Sunday. We have had families that serve at the local soup kitchen, My Brother’s Table, together. Every year we have parents participate in our Christmas and Easter productions with their kids. All of these parents, and the dozens like them, are giving their kids a chance to grow in their faith outside the regular Sunday morning classroom.
I wonder if the statistics showing how many teens walk away from their faith after high school would diminish if every child were given opportunities to serve and put their faith into action? What would happen if parents invested the time and energy to get their kids plugged into church beyond the classroom?