Ministry with Children
Children, with their propensity to love and their unending pursuit of play, are not only perfectly prepared to receive the evangelizing work of God’s Church; they are also exceptional at evangelizing adults. Evangelization is about discovering the love God has for us and responding with as much love as we possibly can return. It is about setting a good example and showing others the joys of living the Christian life, a life of self-sacrifice and love for others. We teach people to love unconditionally just as God loves. This is why children are such excellent evangelizers.
The challenge we have in developing our evangelizing ministries for children, therefore, is to make sure we do not undo the gifts God has already instilled in them. We need to be careful not to numb a child’s passion for play and love. We have to be careful that we set a good example for the responsibility we have toward others and to show how to redirect a passion for fun and play toward a passion for learning about God.
Top Takeaways from Chapter 9
Make disciples, not theologians.
Help students experience a relationship with Christ rather than an expertise in Catholic theology.
Teach with testimony.
Be a witness. Share your stories. Be vulnerable and allow students to see how they can be loved by God too.
Plan with a purpose.
Know why what you are teaching is important and have a specific goal in mind when you come to class.
Develop a relationship with the parents and talk to them about your parish’s inviteable events.
Empower children with choices.
Allow children to choose to take up their journey of discipleship on their own. Teach with questions more than answers.
Catechize within a community.
Where can you go to find a community of fellow evangelizing disciples to support you in your ministry with children?
Don’t make ministry with children boring. Be joyful and show how them how to experience the joy of the Gospel.