I have been wrestling with the question of how we help our children and young people become adult members of the church for some time. I am going to be giving the opening address at the Family Ministry conference in a couple of weeks with the title “It Takes a Whole church.” So I thought I would give some time to reflect on what it is we are trying to see happen in the lives of the children and young people in church life. Strangely we often don’t think about the goals for our youth and children’s ministry and so keep on doing the same old things we have always done or innovating without clearly thinking about the ends we are aiming at.
I came across this list and wondered what you make of it? What is missing? Which area do you think we the church are struggling with most in the UK church?[styled_box title=”10 goals for the children in our churches” class=””]
1. Trusting in Christ
2. Understanding grace and living in grace
3. Communing with God regularly
4. Demonstrating moral responsibility
5. Accepting responsibility in the congregation
6. Demonstrating unprejudiced and loving lives
7. Accepting authority and being personally responsible
8. Having a hopeful and positive attitude
9. Participating in the rituals of the christian community
10. Engaging in mission and service
I guess it depends how you frame the goals. Because we could put it in terms of skills or competencies; here’s my list in response. It’s not perfect and I am happy for your input to help improve it.[styled_box title=”Alternative 10 competencies” class=”sb_red”]1. Ability to understand, interpret and apply the scripture to everyday life.
2. Ability to articulate what they believe and why.
3. A virtuous life – i.e. patterns of behaviour that help to make godliness second nature.
4. An appreciation and a role in the life of the church.
5. A habbit and commitment to daily missional decision making.
6. An understanding of what is essential and what is negotiable in Christian doctrine.
7. The ability to articulate a clear sense of vocational calling for the whole of life.
8. A heart trained to love God and his ways.
9. The ability to integrate their academic life and christian life.
10. The ability to make friends within the body of Christ.