The St. James Missionary Baptist Church Youth Development Ministry strives to train and develop a generation of youth that boldly exalt Christ and model Him in every aspect of their life. We strive to build youth who are not afraid to profess and live for Christ. With this premise as our foundation, the Parents and the Youth Development Ministry should work together to aide in the spiritual development of our youth. We hope that we can foster a relationship that identifies the roles of the Ministry, Parent, and Youth.
Here are five basic expectations you should have of a children's ministry and five ways you can support the Youth Development Ministry as a parent.
5 basic expectations of your Youth Development Ministry:
1. Teaches your child the Bible with intention.
A healthy children's ministry should be built around a comprehensive, age-appropriate strategy designed to help each child understand the Bible and know the gospel. Teaching moral principles from the Bible is a good start, but it's not enough. A scope and sequence that focuses on Jesus and the gospel is essential.
2. Keeps your child safe.
Every child should be protected by layers of security that include limited access to the children's ministry area, security labels for children and parents, methods for emergency contact, adequate staffing, secure exits, and planning for fire and medical emergencies.
3. Loves and accepts your child.
It is vital that your child associates positive feelings with attending church to encourage long-term church involvement. Every child should be showered with love when he arrives at church.
4. Offers well-rounded activities.
A good children's ministry understands that children have spiritual, emotional, social, and physical needs and will meet those needs in balance. Look for a combination of activities that gives your child the opportunity to learn about Jesus, have fun, make friends, and develop as a person.
5. Communicates clearly and effectively.
The ministry leaders should inform you of what your child learned and what activities are coming up. The Youth Development Ministry utilizes technology to aide in constant communication. If you haven’t already, please make sure you have subscribed to the church email blast, Youth Development Remind account, Live School, read our quarterly newsletters, view our events, and check the website for updates.
5 ways to support your Youth Development Ministry
1. Disciple your child.
The Bible clearly instructs parents to disciple their own children. What a child experiences and learns at church should echo what they are learning at home. When parents abdicate this responsibility, the children's ministry is forced to play a role God did not intend and gospel effectiveness will decrease. Free the ministry to do what God designed it to do. Have questions about how your child is behaving during Youth Development activities? Ask your children's ministry leaders or check their LiveSchool account.
2. Follow the ministry's policies.
Your children's ministry has policies for a reason. While some policies may not seem important to you, resist the urge to bend the rules. Policies are strongest when everyone follows them equally. Besides, it's important to model respecting authority to your child.
3. Participate in the ministry.
The success of the Youth Development Ministry hinges upon the support of the church as a whole. As a parent of a youth member, it is imperative that you are actively involved in your children's ministry. Many parents make the mistake of prioritizing sports, community organizations, and other activities over church. Help your child to value God by valuing participation in church. Be the physical embodiment of the dedication to Christ that we are trying to impress upon your child.
Some parents believe that church is "their time" and have no problem handing off their child to the children's ministry. As a result, many children's ministry leadership teams are stretched thin and are wearing themselves out. If each parent involved in the ministry volunteered, the worker pool would be large enough to prevent this. Commit to volunteering on a regular basis, or at least during special events.
5. Support the children's ministry leadership.
Make it your goal to be the ministry's biggest fan. Affirm the leadership team whenever possible and when you have questions or concerns share them directly with the ministry director or pastor. Encourage other parents to do the same. Above all, pray for the ministry and leaders.