My journey in KidMin began when I turned 10 or 11 and was allowed to volunteer in the church nursery on Wednesday nights. I had sung on the kids worship team, memorized the books of the bible and the scripture memory booklet as fast as I could. I knew the church layout backward and forward and could not wait to love on some little kids. To serve, was the highest form of responsibility and ownership of my faith I could imagine. To be trusted with the care of the church’s little ones.
After graduating from college, I was entrusted with my first kids ministry at Quest in Seattle, WA. This picture captures the first experience we had together, bonding outside of Sunday mornings. This VBS included the 4 kids from our church, 4 from the church across the parking lot (which would later become our own!), a handful of friends from the church planting community, and the kids that I nannied. We were an eclectic mix, to say the least. A lot has changed since 2003. Our journey has been special, unique and unforgettable.
My favorite “shift” in ministry at Quest has been our growth to become a vibrant Children and Family Ministry. It has not been so much about programs, but rather the ministry philosophy, and the way we view the work that is being done in the church, for and WITH children. We do not DO children’s ministry because the children need us. God is always at work, our job is to simply come alongside God in God’s work. As the Holy Spirit moves and stirs in a church, kids are in a great position to hear the voice of God and respond in worship. We create environments and space for God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit. By inviting kids to participate, we learn and grow together.
KidMin is a dynamic and changing culture in church ministry. I believe within the next decade the church will move from seeing kids as the most vulnerable people in the worshipping community (though they will certainly be vulnerable) to the most valuable in the worshipping community as we move toward re-integrating them into the church body and allowing God to bless the church through their gifts and passions and dreams. Keeping kids connected to their faith, when the world seems to draw them away from God at every corner, will mean providing space for their faith to be acknowledge as authentic, real, and a true gift to the church.