Discipleship

Being Practical: Building Bridges Between Children’s & Youth Ministries

I am so exited to invite Fawn Bauer to the conversation today. Fawn’s heart beats for Youth Ministry & the students God has brought into her life. She makes bold decision to follow wherever God leads her, and I’m honored to call her my friend. Today she shares with us some practical ways to build bridges between ministries that often seem to live in separate countries.

I’ve served in youth ministry over the last 13 years as an intern, a ministry assistant, a volunteer, and now, as a full-time youth minister at Sycamore View Church. I’ve spent a lot of time watching strong youth ministries become even stronger when they partner with children’s ministries.

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Children are Never Too Young

I’m so excited to invite Josh Ross to our conversation today. Josh is the Preaching Minister at Sycamore View Church in Memphis, TN. I had the great honor of working under his leadership for 2 short years. I’ve known few other church leaders who are more humble and Kingdom-hearted than Josh. Josh is the author of Scarred Faith and co-author of Bringing Heaven to Earth. He is married to his best friend, Kayci (who is an even better speaker than him); together they have two boys, Truitt (age 8) and Noah (age 6), whose prayers move mountains.

I’m so grateful Josh agreed to share some insights from a Preaching Minister’s standpoint. He is truly a champion for Children’s Ministry. Welcome, Josh.

I’ve had the privilege to share in a few Passover meals throughout the years. It has become something I crave every spring. I get together with other Christians, and since we are followers of Jesus, we celebrate the Passover with Jesus as the main event. It is memorable, inspiring, and informative.

The first time I participated in a Passover meal, I was stunned to see how involved children were. I went back and read Exodus 11, and sure enough, it is in there. Children were not only present, but they participated.

It took me a little while to reconcile this with how our churches attempt to keep their children quiet during communion. Yet the meal (Passover) which our communion (Eucharist) comes from involved children talking…a lot.

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Because Children’s Ministry Matters

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One day I was having lunch with a church leader. I was still fairly new to Children’s Ministry & (in hindsight) assumed everyone understood why Children’s Ministry was so important. Prior to our lunch, I had given him a copy of George Barna’s book, Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions, to read hoping it would somehow help our strained working relationship. At lunch that day he told me, “Now I get why Children’s Ministry is important and matters to the church.” All I could think was, “Wait, what?! No wonder we are struggling; you never thought Children’s Ministry mattered in the first place.” It became clear why our relationship had been strained over the previous year and a half: we did not view the importance of Children’s Ministry the same. You don’t know what you don’t know, and he didn’t know he didn’t know.

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Why Child’s Praise?

Like a dog that gnaws on a bone only to bury it for a time then sniffs it out again to gnaw on it once more, the idea of starting a blog has weighed on me off & on for at least a year. When it did I created a convincing column of Cons and pushed it to the back burners of my mind, pretending like I had convinced God that He was crazy.

Until He made Himself abundantly clear, “No, really. I’m not the crazy one.”

 My response was very respectful: “Fine! If this is really something you want me to do, You’re going to have to give me a name for this stupid blog…and a purpose…AND ideas.”

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