If the Family of God Acted Like Family
In the Field of Grace - A Book Review

Children's Ministry Leadership - A Book Review

 I received a copy of "Children's Ministry Leadership" from the author for the purpose of generating a review. The opinions expressed here are my own.


We call Hebrews 11 the Faith Hall of Fame. Men and women of God who proved themselves faithful, not knowing the outcome. They allowed God to work through them. 


All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised.” Hebrews 11:39 (NLT)


I realize I have a Faith Hall of Fame too. We all do as believers. People who have poured into our lives, teaching us about Jesus. Sometimes using words.


Evelyn. The first Sunday School teacher I can remember. A beautiful elderly lady who always had a smile on her face. In that little room built underneath the stairs, she taught us the very basic Bible stories. And yes, she used a flannelgraph.


Chuck. A senior pastor from my childhood. A youth pastor in my teen years. The officiant at my wedding. So much of my faith journey includes memories of him. He had a great amount of knowledge. But never tried to be anything less than real. 


Goldie. Perhaps one of the sweetest ladies I’ve ever known. My Bible drills teacher. I don’t remember ever thinking that memorizing all those Bible verses felt like work. We learned every one through a game of some sort. Or a little friendly competition!


Now, with my own daughter, I keep an eye out for those who will be in her own Faith Hall of Fame someday. People who will come and go in her life, perhaps not ultimately seeing the godly woman she’ll become. But with the help of their faithfulness and Lord willing, we’ll all get her there. 


It’s important.


So, when Dr. Andrew Knight asked me to take a look at a new book he’s written, Children’s Ministry Leadership, I agreed to do so. Walking alongside fathers (and mothers) to raise children up in the instruction that comes from the Lord is vital in a child’s life.


In establishing the premise of the book, Dr. Knight writes:

"Local churches are faced with the challenge of attempting to impact their culture through recruiting and training workers in order to maintain a concentrated effort to reach children."


Things are different today. We know that. We can’t teach our kids about the Bible and how to have a relationship with the Lord the exact same way we learned. But remember, the methods may change but our God does not.




Early on in his book, Knight establishes a need for a children’s ministry using Scriptural evidence.


Next, he goes beyond presenting the need to conducting a project that discusses how to meet the need. As a church, if we know we’re supposed to emphasize educating our children, what do we do about that? Knight’s project, the heart of his book, goes about teaching us how to educate our children.


In his project, Knight identifies three problems he will focus on with his church partners.

“Three problems within the scope of the children’s ministry were addressed. First, was Trinity Baptist Church effectively enrolling children into their children’s ministry? Second, was there effective and ongoing training to develop leaders for the children’s ministry? Third, was there a plan to recruit parents to become leaders in the children’s ministry?”


Throughout the project, Knight examines the differences in children’s ministries based on the location of a church, its size and staff. He took great pains to identify any factors that might alter the results.


At the conclusion of his project, Knight shared some key factors that offered solutions to the three problems addressed in the study.


1) Was [the church] effectively enrolling children into their children’s ministry?

The churches with the highest level of success in enrolling children were those who practiced creativity in reaching out to the community. 


The pastor would make it a point to visit Awana families on a regular basis and emphasize the importance of becoming participants in the church children’s ministry as a whole.


The pastor visited with the Christian School arm of the church. Not just with administration or in the classroom, but on the bus. He realized a bus driver develops a special bond with children too. The churches’ bus ministry on Sunday mornings was also focused on for maximizing its effectiveness.


One pastor took to leading Bible clubs at apartment complexes and at a public elementary school. 


2) Was there effective and ongoing training to develop leaders for the children’s ministry?

The most success in this area was found in reaching out to new people through a community class. Using a seven-lesson model, parents are taught sound biblical truths that will ultimately benefit both children and parents.


3) Was there a plan to recruit parents to become leaders in the children’s ministry?

Success in this area really ties to number two. Again, outreach to the same group of new people. In this case, specifically newly saved adults. What better way to learn the core biblical truths than to learn them in order to teach children.


In closing, I found the pastor interviews found in Appendix A-E of the book to be most helpful. They discussed methods that are currently working. Also what areas could be improved upon moving forward. Budget details were discussed.  


The Bible study class curriculum is also included in the Appendix. It looks excellent.


We need books like this. To remind us that we can’t leave the faith of our children up to  chance. We need to be deliberate and organized in our approach.


Someday, when I talk to my daughter as a mature believer, I want us to smile thinking back on all the members of her Faith Hall of Fame. Those men and women who helped us get her there.


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