One of the great signs of a leader is his or her ability to deal with confrontation. Especially when it comes to unpacking taboo topics with children. If you lead a thriving and progressive children’s ministry for any extended period of time, then you will inevitably have to deal with certain challenging subjects. This can be extremely uncomfortable when the topic that needs to be addressed is in complete contrast to popular culture. One thing is for sure, avoiding critical hard issues will never help you in Children’s Ministry today or in the future. Next generation leaders must not hide their heads in the sand but must rise up, stand on the ENTIRE word of God, and equip parents in our sphere of influence to do the same.
Ultimately, we can’t be afraid to address a subject, but we can’t address a subject where we have limited knowledge. It is ignorance at the highest level to get loud about a subject that you know nothing about. This can prove extremely damaging to a coming generation who may consider the church as more opinionated than right. Children’s Ministry Leaders moving forward need to take the time to study the subjects that are affecting the children in their ministry. For example,
Gender, sexuality, and sexual identity is a subject that is not going anywhere
Diversity & Inclusion/ Racial Reconciliation
Premature exposure to sexually suggestive content
Mental Illness, Depression, & Anxiety Among Young People
Children’s Ministry leaders moving forward must study how to appropriately guide children in the way that they should go without sounding like an uneducated person. Our explanations must not only take place from an biblical standpoint but must be rooted in a reasoned, researched, and intellectually solid foundation. With children's unlimited access to information, trust me, they will be ready for your explanation and THEY WILL CHALLENGE YOU! So how ready are you? The Apostle Paul had a keen understanding of this. He carried a newspaper in one hand and a bible in another. Well…maybe not a newspaper but you know what I mean. He vigorously studied the times and the challenges his audience faced. It was precisely this research and preparation that enabled him to take real world issues, and respond to it with a biblical framework.
Too many Children’s Ministry leaders hurt their departments because they don’t want to admit that they just don’t have all the answers. You were never meant to have all the answers and that’s okay! This is why diverse teams are so important. At the same time, ignorance should not be an excuse. Just because we don’t know, does not give us license to remain uninformed. It is vital that we become more RELEVANT and skilled at addressing the subjects that are confronting our kids and families. At the end of the day, our job is to work with parents to raise up healthy spiritual champions. Although these conversations might be difficult, be bold, brave, and willing to lean into them, because if you don’t the world will.