By Delanee Williams
How is your church investing in the next generation?
Churches throughout the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) will observe Children’s Ministry Sunday on Sunday, July 21. The special day was added to the SBC calendar after the Executive Committee approved a motion made by a 9-year-old at the 2018 SBC annual meeting in Dallas.
This is a great day to thank God for the ministry to children, their families, and their volunteers your church provides.
Make every effort to use this day to remind children of their importance in the church and how they can tell others about Jesus. Recognize and honor children’s ministry volunteers who invest in the lives of children and their families. A variety of resources have been created for leaders to use in their church.
But this designated day isn’t the only time to support children’s ministry. We can all play an active part through fervent prayer. Here are prayer prompts to use and encourage your children’s ministry.
1. Pray for the children in your church.
The children in your church may come from a variety of backgrounds, including single parent homes, foster homes, blended families, intergenerational families, and children whose parents do not attend church.
- Pray for children as they develop spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically.
- Pray they come to know Christ and grow in their faith.
- Pray they would boldly share Jesus with friends.
- Pray for godly friendships. Pray relationships built during the children’s ministry years will continue to build in future years; giving them Christian community and accountability through the teenage years.
- Pray for authentic, lasting heart transformation in the lives of the children in the church.
2. Pray for parents and guardians of children.
Just as children come from a variety of backgrounds, parents and guardians do as well. Some parents have grown up in the church, while other parents have never been to church. Some parents in your church are single parents, step parents, foster parents or grandparents raising grandchildren.
- Pray parents would grow in their relationship with Christ. For parents who have yet to accept Christ, pray they would understand their need for a Savior and become a Christian.
- Pray for wisdom and guidance from the Holy Spirit as they seek to be the spiritual leaders and provide a godly home for their family.
- Pray for opportunities for spiritual conversations with their children during the week; intentionally recognizing teachable moments and continuing spiritual conversations.
- Pray that in the busyness of life, they would make church a priority in their family’s life.
- Pray parents have wisdom to understand and guidance of how to parent each child the way God has created Him.
3. Pray for children’s ministry teachers and volunteers.
This group is vital to every children’s ministry. These volunteers are the hands and feet of Jesus as they teach and care for the children in your church’s ministry.
- Pray they would hear God’s voice as they read His Word and prepare the lessons. Pray for their spiritual growth and relationship with Christ.
- Pray they will see ways God is using them to make a difference in children’s lives.
- Pray for renewed strength, energy, and health as they teach each week. Include their family members’ strength, energy, and health in your prayers, as well.
- Pray God would encourage them with time of adult fellowship and godly friendships. Children’s Ministry teachers need adult fellowship and community with other believers.
- Pray for teachers as they seek to build relationships with the families of the children they teach and partner with parents in the child’s spiritual development.
4. Pray for the children’s minister.
The person who oversees and leads the kids’ ministry may serve as full-time, part-time, or as a volunteer.
- Pray for wisdom as they communicate their heart for ministry to children and families.
- Pray their relationship with Christ grows and deepens. Pray for spiritual protection for his or her family from the enemy.
- Pray for renewed strength, energy, and health as they lead the children’s ministry. Include their family members’ strength, energy, and health in your prayers, too.
- Pray they will build relationships with other adults including church staff members, children’s ministry volunteers, parents and children’s ministers from other churches.
- Pray they are encouraged as God works in and through them in the lives of children and families in the church.
As you pray for the children’s ministry regularly, seek out the children’s minister, leaders, and parents for others specific ways you can pray. Then, let them know you’re praying for them by sending a handwritten note, email, or text message.
Even better, let them hear you pray aloud for them in person or by phone. When you hear someone pray aloud for you, it’s extremely impactful and meaningful.
Children’s Ministry Sunday provides an opportunity to recognize and pray for children, parents, teachers, and children’s ministers.
How do you plan to celebrate Children’s Ministry Sunday?
DELANEE WILLIAMS is kids ministry specialist at LifeWay Christian Resources.