There is something that my pastor has said a lot over the years,
“All healthy things reproduce.”
If you look around you – in all of God’s creation, this statement is true. Every creature that God created will reproduce if it’s healthy. Every plant that God created will reproduce if it is healthy. Fruit trees not only make fruit, but they produce seeds so that other fruit trees can grow. If you look around the world is full of examples of this truth. This is true for far more than just plants and animals. A healthy business will reproduce itself in some form or another. Can you say franchise? A healthy marriage will produce children. The examples could go on and on.
So, what does all this have to do with Children’s Ministry? Well, actually quite a bit. If reproduction is a sign of something healthy, then it provides us with a measuring stick that we can use to measure the health of many different aspects of our ministry. Let’s look at some questions you should think about in assessing whether or not your ministry is reproducing:
1. Are you producing disciples?
Once we have made Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, we are all Disciples of Christ. Considering that all healthy things reproduce, we have to ask ourselves, are we producing other disciples? Not only were we commanded to do so by Jesus, but it is an outward sign of our own internal health as a disciple of Christ. As children’s pastors and volunteers, sometimes we tend only to look at the children in our ministries as those that we disciple. Certainly this is important and a key part of children’s ministry, but as Christians we have a responsibility to be producing disciples of all ages. Trust me, I understand how difficult this can be as a part time/volunteer children’s pastor/worker. Despite this, I would still say that this is still an important measure of our health as a disciple of Christ. If you think of your ministry as a chance to disciple both kids and adults, you will surely find people of all ages to disciple. I would go on to say that the people we should look to disciple can be the people serving in our ministry as well as other people around us.
2. Is your children’s ministry growing?
This is an easy measure to look at and I think it is one that many churches often focus on. I have heard it said that, “God doesn’t care about numbers”. Really!? To me numbers are a measure of the number of people that we are reaching. Certainly numbers are not the only thing that we should be concerned with, but they do matter. They matter because every child that you add to your numbers is one more child that is hearing, and hopefully by God’s grace, receiving the Gospel. It is one more child that is receiving direction. It is one more child that is learning biblical values. It is one more child is being loved. I know this may seem harsh, but if your children’s ministry is not growing, it may be an indication that it is not healthy.
3. Are the children in my ministry inviting friends?
Now, this one may seem to go with the previous question, and to some extent it does. After all, a healthy children’s ministry will produce children who will invite their friends. However, this one is still different. In the previous question we are looking at growth as a direct result of a healthy children’s ministry. This would be a result of the actions and activities of the ministry itself. That is not what I am talking about here. With this one I am talking specifically about kids inviting other kids. I am talking about kids that are growing spiritually to the point where they are inviting their friends. I’m talking about kids inviting friends not because of the fun they are having, but because they know that their friends need to hear the Gospel. These kids may use the fun that can be had as a tool to get their friends there, but ultimately, they want their friends to know Jesus.
Certainly there could be other ways that we could use this to measure the health of our ministry. I think that this gives you the general idea.. So take this, and examine yourself and your ministry. As you examine the health of yourself and your ministry keep in mind that All Healthy Things Reproduce.
If you can think of some other ways that this principle can be used to measure the health of your ministry, please leave a comment and let me know. I would love to hear it!Matt Norman
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