10 Reasons Pastors Should Be Involved in Children’s and Student Ministries

The stress of being a children’s or student minister or lay leader today must be intense at times. Children and young people seem to face pressures that my generation seldom faced. Families are more broken than ever. As a pastor, I want to be particularly involved in the children’s and student ministries. Here’s why:

  1. Staff members or lay leaders deserve my support. If I’ve hired or enlisted them, I have an obligation to support their work. They need to know I have their back, and one way I can show that commitment is to show up at some of their events.
  2. Children and teens need spiritual role models. They will ideally find their primary role models in their family, but that’s not always the case. One of their role models ought to be the person who preaches the Word to them every Sunday; however, the pastor whom they see only behind the pulpit will probably remain distant.
  3. They will likely listen differently to sermons if they know their pastor well. That’s not always the case, of course. But, I know from experience they are more inclined to listen if their pastor is their friend, the man of God who hangs out with them beyond the Sunday morning service.
  4. Children and teens need heroes. They will have heroes, even if they often find them among media “heroes” who are seldom heroic and sometimes not even real. My guess is they would turn in this direction less often if real, living, growing, honest, humble Christian leaders gave them more time and attention.
  5. They will eventually make some decision about Christ. If they choose to follow Christ, I want them to know me and trust me enough to allow me to help guide them. If they choose to reject Christ, I pray they will think twice because they know their pastor truly loves God and them. 
  6. The Enemy aims his arrows at all generations. He frankly doesn’t care how much he hurts our little ones and teens. As their shepherd, I want to walk beside them and make it more difficult for the Enemy to get them. 
  7. Even children and teens struggle with sin. As a young believer in my teen years, I struggled with sin silently and secretly. I wonder how many older children now deal with recurrent sin issues, too – but with no one to talk to.  These generations aren’t likely to turn to their pastors for help if they never have a conversation with us in the first place.
  8. Some will be called to ministry. God always has the next generation of leaders ready when we older folks move off the scene. He uses us, though, to help prepare the young leaders – if we follow texts like 1 Timothy 2:1-2 and teach others who then teach others.
  9. They will be adults some day. Some of my greatest blessings as a pastor have been sharing life with adults that I baptized when they were children or teens. Young people who know and love their pastor are often really good adult members.
  10. Jesus welcomed children into His life. His disciples sometimes saw them as an interruption (Luke 18:15-17), but not Jesus. We who are undershepherds would do well to model our life more after the Shepherd.  

What reasons would you add?

9 Comments

  • Gene Bracken says:

    It helps the pastor stay young, when he is spending time with children.

  • Steve Maltempi says:

    The Southern Baptist of Texas Convention is doing a camp exclusively for minister’s kids (MK’s), grades 7-12. It will be during the summer of 2016. The camp, MK Breakaway, will focus specifically on helping MK’s thrive! More details will be released soon.

  • Mike Camire says:

    This is a great post! I love the fact that all of our senior pastors, including a pretty cool interim pastor we had while we were searching for a new pastor 😉 , have been involved in our student ministry at Parkway over the years. A few years ago, we got very intentional with this by having the senior pastor serve as our main speaker for our high school retreat every year. This allows him to be more relational with the students and speak to them more intimately. It also allows him to bring his family along so the students get to know and love on his family. We also have him play a special trivia game every year during an event we call “The Great Game Show” which one of our biggest events we do during the summer. We even name the game after him! The students LOVE it when they get to play against their pastor! Our senior pastor will even where one of our t-shirts when he preaches on the Sunday of a retreat weekend or special emphasis weekend. As a student pastor, it is so encouraging to have an involved senior pastor within our ministry. It is important for the students to see him outside of the Sunday morning context and get to know him. It is also crucial for them to see him support the ministry and see that he cares for them. This post is a great reminder and encouragement! Thanks for posting!

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