This past week I wrote on a Facebook group about the need for the Kidmin community to go back to the basics, specifically getting kids back to their Bibles. Although I was met with TONS of support and many like-minded people; I also encountered one person who was almost offended at the idea.
He said, ‘I’m all for kids getting back into their Bibles, but I think taking kidmin back to the basics will do more harm than good.’
Admittedly my response wasn’t too kind but it was only a sentence; this was largely because I dumb founded as to why anyone would think focusing on the BASICS (especially in the areas of Bible, Prayer, Pastoral ministry) could ever be harmful?? However, everyone has their own opinion and I left it.
Later that day I came back to Facebook to something that greatly disturbed me. His following comment completely blew my mind and in many ways its sums up one of the struggles I have with children’s ministry in America.
He said, ‘You find it hilarious that I think concentrating on the basics is going to do more harm than good? Why don’t you wake up and smell the coffee, bro? This is the 21st century, kids don’t want basic, they don’t want traditional. They want over the top, extraordinary, bright, and loud. That’s what they see everyday on TV or on their smartphones surfing the internet and we do them a disservice by bringing them in, sitting them down and basically putting them in a time machine to a kids ministry service in the 90’s. Now, don’t get me wrong I don’t think we need to sell out our beliefs and convictions to put on a show, but I think that we need to use the technology that is readily available to us to reach them. Let’s stop looking at the changing of the times as a bad thing, step into the 21st century, and minister to kids in a way that is going to capture their attention.’
I don’t completely disagree with his comments, but I have some BIG concerns and questions…
1. Why are we always so concerned with giving kids what they want?
This sounds terrible, don’t get me wrong, I want my kids to enjoy kids ministry. BUT I won’t plan my ministry all around them having fun. They need to grow in their faith and understand that they come to church to learn. Too many kidmin get so caught up in the fun side, that they lose sight of what it’s really all about. Quit giving your kids what they want, and start thinking about what they need.
2. Why are we trying to compete with Disney/the internet?
This one I will NEVER understand. Technologically the church world is always behind the secular world; and I think that is ok. Why are we putting the pressure on ourselves to entertain kids with an amazing performance and fancy resources? I joined kid’s ministry to minister to the broken, not compete with the World’s best entertainers.
3. Why would a focus on the Basics EVER cause harm?
I was speaking with a high school volleyball coach and he said, ‘every year I go back to the basics’. If we lose sight of the basics, our whole purpose falls apart. Who cares if your kids have fun at church, if they never learn how to read the Bible or they never learn to pray or hear from God? The basics should be the very basis of success; NOT whether your kids had fun.
4. Are we thinking more about ourselves or our kids?
The basics aren’t fun and they definitely aren’t glamorous, but they always produce true disciples of Christ; isn’t that what it’s all about? Too many kidmin get caught up in games, stage designs, fancy graphics and the fun stuff….because they really like doing them. Spending time in the Bible and time in Prayer isn't quite as fun. If we truly care about our kids, we would be more interested in discipleship and the depth of the kids we are raising.
What are your thoughts? Are you for or against getting back to the basics?