After writing about “Developing a Biblical World View in Children” I have not been able to get this question out of my head. If our job as children’s pastors is to do what Matthew 28:19 tells use to do, (and I believe it is) “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations", then what does a discipled child look like? How can we tell where we are hitting the mark if we have not defined and determined what a discipled child is in the first place? Mr. Webster says that a disciple is a follower. Alan Root in his book “Disciplification!” defines disciplification in three ways 1. The travels of a disciple. 2. The practiced habit of “following” 3. A made up word which simply means the life-changes made to become more and more like Jesus each day. So if our job is to make followers who through life changes and good choices cause them to be more like Jesus, then what actions, habits and character traits should a twelve year old Christ follower possess?
For years I think we’ve been guilty of using faithfulness as the major evaluation if a child has been discipled. If a child was faithful to attend plus participate in loads of other children’s ministry activities and programing then we would send them into the youth ministry and feel like we succeeded. In a few years we would look them up in the youth group and find they were not there and wonder what did the youth pastor do to make this child loose interest? I have said for years that those of us that teach kids should think of ourselves as a foundation specialist. But anyone who has ever built any kind of building knows that the type foundation you build has everything to do with the type of building you can build. In construction you start with the building plans and then determine what kind of foundation does it need for what you are building. In children’s ministry I think many of us have been guilty of designing the foundation then saying to the youth ministry now go fit your building on the foundation we have built never one time sitting down and working together toward the end result. Sometimes the problem has started long before we promote them into the youth ministry even from one department or ministry to another within the total children’s ministry we are so territorial we haven’t worked as a true team and prepared them for the now as well as the next age group. Instead of looking ahead we have focused on the present which centers on and around our own ministry responsibilities. When we help other departments and ministries around us be successful then we’ll be successful. We are all on the same team working toward the same goal. Our mission here at World Outreach Church is to help people become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. Our mission for the children’s ministry as well as for our student ministries is to help young people and parents become fully devoted followers of Christ now and forever. You can’t hit the church’s mission without every ministry that makes up the church working on that same mission statement just breaking it down for their age groups.