When children ran to Jesus, the disciples feared they would be a burden to Him. But Jesus told His disciples to let them come, and then He laid His hands on the kids and blessed them. (Mark 10:13-16)
Jesus wants children to encounter Him and experience His love and blessings. Kids are just as capable of interacting with the Lord as anyone else, and since Jesus so frequently held them up as an example to adults, they may even be better at it than the rest of us!
In Psalm 103:7, David wrote, “He made known His ways to Moses, His deeds to the people of Israel.” There is a difference between knowing the deeds of God and knowing the ways of God. The people of Israel knew God’s deeds—they walked through the Red Sea and saw the fire on the mountain. They told the stories again and again. But Moses knew God’s ways, actually being the vessel through whom God parted the sea and being the one God called up the mountain to commune with Him.
Much of children’s ministry today effectively teaches the deeds of God, telling Bible stories about heroes of the faith and the miracles God worked through them. But at Roots Church, we also want to teach kids the ways of God, drawing truths from the Bible stories that invite children to experience the same supernatural Savior.
We teach our kids how to pray for each other, share their faith, and partner with the Holy Spirit in the expression of His fruit (like love, joy, and patience) and His gifts (like healing, miracles, and prophecy). All this is done in non-spooky, age-appropriate, and down-to-earth ways so our kids can experience and share the love and power of God in practical, non-threatening ways.
Parents: The First Ministers
We also believe the most important ministers in a child’s life are the adults in his or her home. We encourage and train parents, grandparents, stepparents, foster parents, and surrogate parents to be the best caregivers they can be, raising their children to know the God who loves them so deeply. We sometimes host parenting seminars and classes, and we look for ways to come alongside parents to help when we can. Kids don’t come with a manual, but the Church comes with a family.
Children's Ministry in the house Church Network
A church focused on meeting in homes presents unique needs for ministry to children. Older kids may want to be involved in the main house church meeting while younger kids would probably prefer something more age-appropriate. Whatever the case, we want parents to be able to fully engage in the conversation and ministry without feeling like they have to keep one eye on their young ones.
Whenever kids want to participate in the conversation with the adults, we love to have them involved. But if you find the kids in your house church need a place of their own, we have a solution: A team of trained and background-checked children’s ministers from throughout our house church network who will come to your house church meeting to teach the kids, pray with them, eat a snack (provided by someone in your group), and play games together. As long as someone is available at the time your house church meets, we can connect them to your group. You provide the room, and we’ll provide the ministry.
For safety and accountability purposes, we require two mature people with the kids at all times (either two adults or an adult with a responsible teen). If one of our children’s ministers is not able to find a volunteer to bring with them, we request someone in your house church (approved by the parents) help out for the evening.
Whenever possible (and particularly when there’s interest on the part of the kids), it’s great to include children with the adults during times of worship or prayer. If you plan on doing this, we recommend telling the children’s minister before the meeting so he or she can plan the schedule accordingly.
When the ages of kids in the meeting are widely spread out, we mainly teach to the primary age in the room while also making sure the youngest can remain interested and engaged. Older children are treated like helpers in a room of younger kids and may even be invited into the ministry process by reading to the kids or facilitating a part of the meeting they can handle.
All our children’s ministers are Mission-Partners of Roots Church, fully engaged in house churches of their own.
Children's Ministry At Big Gatherings
On the first and third Sundays, during the Encounter Nights where all our house churches come together, the Sprouts Kids’ Ministry meets simultaneously to the adult teaching time. Children are taught something along the lines of the same topic being covered in the adult meeting (provided the topic is age-appropriate). In this way, families can discuss what they learned after the meeting and continue growing together.
Kids ages 4 and up remain with parents during the music portion of the meeting and then go with our children’s ministers to an age-appropriate class of their own. For security purposes, kids are “checked in” as families enter the meeting place, and parents can pick up their kids afterward using our secure system. Children under 4 can be dropped off before or after the music time.