Our Evangelism and discipleship of children is separate from the Youth Ministry

Your Question:

“How do we create a coordinated plan for evangelizing and discipling children that coordinates with the youth ministry?”

The Issues:

Traditionally, the children’s ministry (CM) and the youth ministry (YM) have operated separately. This separation leaves the children open for a “culture shock” when they transition to the YM. The separation also robs the children and the parents from a sense of continuity regarding discipleship between the CM and the YM. Both CM and YM leaders must be willing to work on a unified process.

Scripture Foundation:

“…I planted the seed and Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So, neither he who plants, nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. He who plants and he who waters are one in purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.”  (1 Corinthians 3: 6-9)

Short Answer:

Every ministry leader should want to see spiritual growth in the people within their ministry.  You can probably assume that both the children’s ministry (CM) and the youth ministry (YM) leaders want to see their children and youth grow spiritually.  If both of the leaders are only interested in their own ministry, the children and the youth may not experience as much potential support as they would if there was a unified plan between the CM and the YM. 


To begin the process of building a unified evangelizing and discipling plan between the CM and YM, the CM leader should ask the YM leader, “What kind of student do you want me to ‘hand you’ at graduation?”  This question opens the door for conversations about the qualities of the sixth or seventh graders that “graduate” from the CM to the YM.  In one of my past ministries, the YM leader responded to this very question by saying, “I want youth who have a strong, personal relationship with Jesus, and who are passionate about serving others.” The answer drove me to adjust the CM curriculum and the CM team training to prepare to do what the YM desired. 


The conversations between the CM leader and the YM leader should also explore the possibility of combined events, cross-age mentoring, and the process of discipling both children and youth.  The unified plan should also deal with parent communication, parent support, and parent training.  The CM leader and the YM leader could also discuss the challenges that the youth face at home and at school.  It might be possible to address those challenges in the CM in order to prepare the youth to better face those challenges in the strength of the Lord. For more help on this powerful plan, click on the APPENDIX link below.

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