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What God Wants to do In the Next Generation

“Why is it important for family ministry, kid’s ministry, or youth ministry to matter in your church?”

As leaders, you know the answer. You know the importance of connecting kids and teenagers with caring adults, partnering with parents, and helping kids and students develop an everyday faith. Chances are, it’s not just your job, but it’s also at least a part of your purpose. 

But sometimes it’s important to answer that question for your elders, lead pastor, deacons, or the decision-makers in your church if you want your church as a whole to invest in the next generation. 

I know that’s true because of the pastoral epiphany I had when my own son had a personal crisis of faith in his early teen years. Living in Northeast New Jersey is not exactly the Bible belt, and my son was the only Christian in many spaces. This really affected my wife and I as parents, and God used people in the Church, not just our local church, to invest in his life. 

So, my experience with my son as a parent, led me to think about the experiences of parents in our church and evaluate how good we were doing as a spiritual family at prioritizing the next generation. And I had a decision to make.

We could not delegate the care of the next generation to one department as an organization. 

Caring for the next generation isn’t just the job of the student pastor or kid’s pastor. 

We needed to be willing to invest energy and take the brightest minds in our community to answer the question,

“How can we all contribute to advancing what God wants to do in the next generation?”

Because the truth is, we need the entire church family to come alongside the youth and children’s teams and the parents to invest in the future of the church. 

As a matter of fact, I couldn’t say as a leader that I care about the future of the church I wasn’t willing to invest time, talent, and treasure into the future of the church. 

That meant I had to look at two things: how we were allocating resources and how we were investing in developing people that actually serve in the next-gen department. Then through meeting with the children’s and youth teams we began to shrink the gap between what we said was a value and what was the actual priority. 

But here’s the thing. This can’t all fall on a head pastor. It’s your job as a children’s or youth pastor to advocate for your ministries and present the brain science, social science, theology, problems and possible solutions to your leadership so they can understand the vision and why next-gen ministry is so important. Through communication, partnership, honesty and empathy you can answer the question, 

“Why is it important for family ministry, kid’s ministry, or youth ministry to matter in your church?”

And help the next generation become a bigger priority for the your church.

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