10 Simple Ways to Pastor Kids / by John Hailes

I’m a firm believer in Pastoral ministry. Kids are just like adults, when they don’t feel loved and cared for, they close themselves off; not just from people but also from God. I strongly believe that pastoral ministry can make the difference between kids being closed off to God or open to Him!

Here are 10 simple things we can ALL do to the Pastor kids in our lives.…

1 . Appropriate physical touch

High fives, fist bumps and even a quick side hug! An easy way to get kids comfortable with you is with appropriate physical touch.

2. Mix grace with discipline

Find ways to show grace to your kids by doing things for them even when they don’t deserve it! Discipline is important, but we have to show kids that they can still come to us if they mess up!

3. Ask them about their week!

This is SO simple! Yet we so often neglect it! Take an interest in what is happening in your kids lives outside of Church! This is something we often start our services with....kids ALWAYS love to share!!!

4. Visit them for Lunch at school

Take time to visit some of the school in your local area! You may go to see one child for lunch, but end up seeing 5-6 that you know! It’s a great way for kids to connect with their faith outside of Church.

5. Go to their Sports games/Music rehearsal

Show them that you care about their whole life, not just their Church life!

6. Send them a card on their birthday

No one cares more about their birthdays than children!! Download kids birthdays from your check in system and send out a bunch of cards once or twice a month!

7. Send their parents positive postcards!

When you see something special that a child has done, take time to send their parents a postcard or letter to let them know! This is bound to end up on a fridge at home and we all know that feels good!

8. Send a postcard when you miss them!

It’s not uncommon in American Church culture for a family to go AWOL for a few weeks or months. We can’t always keep track of everyone, but when you notice a child has been missing then be sure to write them a postcard to let them know!!

9. Visit them in Hospital/Home when Sick

Everyone needs a pastor for prayer and comfort when they are sick or in hospital! Call a kid up or visit them in hospital to cheer them up!

10. Pray for them!

It sounds simple, but it can never be overstated. Pray for kids throughout the week, but also make sure you find 1-2 kids each Sunday, before or after service, to pray for in person! It may feel weird, but ask God to show you those who need it!!

Of course these are only the tip of the ice berg! Pastoral ministry isn’t a formula…everyone is different! Do what you can to reach people where they are at! The more we love kids, the more they will be willing to open up their hearts to us and essentially God!