Your church's outreach to children and their parents are top-notch. The nursery and Sunday school classes are full and offer great faith-learning experiences. The daycare and parents-day-out services are thriving.
But what if a child who's a part of your church family reveals his dog just died? Her mom and dad are divorcing? The family is moving to another city? These are pastoral (not programming) issues.
Is your church prepared to be in ministry with children? To relate with children where they are?
Children yearn to be noticed and recognized as individuals who have an important place in the church. Remember the vow the congregation takes at a baptism or dedication of a child? The church declares a commitment to be a part of the lives of the children in their midst.
Sadly, children often are treated as objects of church programming rather than as persons of sacred worth. Shelves bulge with creative instructions for teaching children about God through activities but few exist about relating with children about their daily spiritual concerns. The Children's Minister fills the resource void to help you connect with the lives and pastoral needs of children.
"Part of our problem stems from the fact we are not even aware of the crises that children go through," writes Hays. "What a child may perceive as a great need may not have even occurred to an adult. … Even in situations where pastors, staff, and volunteers have earnestly sought to minister to children, many have felt incompetent. … This book is written from over 20 years of ministry with children: visiting in their homes, caring for them and their pets, celebrating with them the joys of special events, and walking with them in the ordinary events of life."
Senior pastors, church staff and volunteers, children's pastors—all will find a treasure trove of tested guidelines to help you effectively offer the presence of Christ to children. They are waiting for you.