Imagine the following scenario: You have become fully convinced that your church needs a more rigorous plan for the comprehensive discipleship of children and youth. Maybe you were spurred on by watching our recent “Zealous Together” event. Now what? How can you best spread this vision and encourage your church and other parents and teachers? What if parents and teachers are hesitant to try something new?
Next Steps for Ministry Leaders
- Take an active, visible role in proclaiming explaining the vision to the whole church body. Lead and feed the flock in this sacred endeavor. Inspire, support, and encourage the church, especially parents and ministry volunteers.
- Develop an overarching vision statement for your church (or you can use Truth78’s vision statement). Use various means to distribute it throughout the church body.
- In the coming weeks, commend the four-part video series, Foundations for God-Centered Children's Ministry to ministry leaders, volunteers, and parents. These 15-minute inspirational videos give an overview of the essentials on which to build a biblically solid discipleship model.
- Email a copy of our “Developing a Vision Orientation of Ministry to Children & Youth” publication to all parents and any perspective children’s and youth volunteers.
- Consider giving copies of Zealous: 7 Commitments for the Discipleship of the Next Generations to ministry leaders and/or volunteers.
- Invite parents/teachers to a dinner or dessert gathering and watch “Zealous Together.”
- Explore curricula and resources that will fuel a more rigorous discipleship program. Read about our scope and sequence here.
- Establish prayer groups that highlight specific prayer topics for the discipleship of children and youth in your church. Consider using the Big, Bold, Biblical Prayers for the Next Generation booklet as a guide.
- Download "A Guide to Growing Zeal for the Discipleship of the Next Generations."
Next Steps for Ministry Volunteers and Parents
In my experience, the longing for a more rigorous and comprehensive discipleship plan for children and youth sometimes starts from a groundswell of concerned parents and teachers. Because of the great demands on pastors and elders, some may not be intimately acquainted with what is happening in the Sunday school classrooms or the resources available for the church and home. Here are some steps to consider.
- Avail yourself of the resources mentioned above. Consider any that would be appropriate to pass on to ministry leaders.
- Ask to meet with those who oversee children’s discipleship in your church. Humbly convey any concerns you may have, and share resources that have helped you, while making sure to express thankfulness for their leadership.
- If “big changes” are not an option at this point, consider asking for a small, incremental change. One woman asked if she could use the Truth78 curricula in just one class during the year. The teachers, students, and parents were so amazed at the difference, it created a hunger for more biblically rich curricula throughout the other grades.
- Comprehensive discipleship begins at home! No matter what the current state of children’s and youth ministry in your church, parents have the sacred and primary responsibility to disciple their children. Encourage other parents to take greater ownership of this. You could start here.
- Be patient and be vigilant in prayer! The past year has been challenging for many churches and families. Yes, this opens a door for changes in the way things have been done, but it also has left many people weary. Pressing for a more “rigorous” discipleship vision may, at first glance, appear overwhelming.
Not sure what to do next in your particular situation? Do you need more help in implementing any next steps? Our customer care team is made up of experienced ministry leaders and volunteers who would love to help you. Just give them a call at 877-400-1414 (M-F, 9 AM-3 PM CT).