Children’s Ministry 2017-12-07T14:05:02+00:00
See HOW We Strengthen Your Church

We will help you find the answers to your questions about Children’s Ministry. Here are some we frequently hear:

Training the next generation of God’s people is not an optional activity for any of us.  We are commanded to make disciples as we are living this life (Matthew 28) and we are commanded to teach the children God’s story (Deuteronomy 6, Psalm 78).  The best tool for getting this truth out among your congregation is the pulpit.

  1. Pray for and encourage your pastor to regularly remind everyone of their discipleship responsibilities.
  2. Have regular training for all your youth and adults which emphasizes teaching the Word to children.
  3. Organize a team of people who enjoy discipling children and have them pray about how to cast this vision before the whole church. Rather than put out an “all-call” for teachers, have your team:
    • Pray that God will reveal those who should serve in each place.
    • Regularly post children’s ministry needs for congregation to pray about.
    • publicly acknowledge and thank those teaching children, constantly requesting prayer for this vital church ministry.
    • Encourage those teaching children in creative ways, helping them enjoy privilege they enjoy being called to this highest of Kingdom service.  (Matthew 18)

CDM can help. See a video of Joseph Parker talking about Effectively Recruiting and Training Teachers and a video by Sue Jakes talking about Building a Children’s Ministry TeamThere are also resources in our Children’s Ministry Toolbox to help you equip and encourage your team!

There is so much on the market to choose from and much of it is not consistent with what Reformed and Presbyterian churches teach as the Gospel.

  • Take a look at our curriculum summary chart as we have reviewed much that we would and would not recommend and analyzed it according to the needs of the local church.
  • Consider Teacher Training in the content of your curriculum. There is a tendency to think that you can make anything work for children, but beware. Your curriculum needs to be training your teachers each week to communicate the gospel in a way that is consistent with what is being preached in your pulpit. Teacher friendly, easy to prepare, fun, and inexpensive should not be top priorities when it comes to training the next generation.
  • Many times, when teachers are unhappy with the curriculum that they are using, you have a teacher problem rather than a curriculum problem. Not that the teachers are incompetent, but they need to have a restored vision of what they are doing, a renewed calling to the ministry, and some fresh ideas on making disciples of the next generation.
  • Call CDM to set up a facilitator for you to review curriculum and to train your teachers to understand and use the curriculum you choose.
  1. Adults should always be present in a classroom, not only for child protection but also to protect the adult from any accusations.
  2. Background checks are another process that is good to begin when you don’t need it.  Eventually you may feel the need and it will be more difficult to launch a program if there is cause to be concerned about your staffing and volunteers.
  3. Make sure that you have a simple, but fool-proof check-in for all preschool children.  In a larger church, you may want that process to go on through elementary grades.
  4. Post an evacuation plan and a lock-down plan for every room in case of fire, tornadoes or any other danger.
  5. Your Children’s ministry team will be able to think of any other necessary precautions for your local church and community.
  6. For developing a Child Safety Policy or for personalized training at your church see our Child Safety page.

Our Children’s Ministry Toolbox has some great Child Safety Resources  including books, online resources, and sample policies.

“God established a testimony…which He commanded our fathers to teach to their children that the next generation might know…so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God…”— Psalm 78:5-7a

At CDM we believe that our children are heirs of the covenant of grace, and we bear the responsibility to teach and to tell them who they are in Christ Jesus. From diapers to diplomas we have opportunity to demonstrate the gospel in word and deed, believing that God will work in their hearts in his time and in his way. So, how is your church’s Children’s Ministry doing with this awesome opportunity of making next generation disciples? CDM can connect you to people, training and resources that will encourage your entire congregation to participate in this kingdom-growing ministry.

Sue Jakes, CDM’s Children’s Ministry Coordinator encourages the churches that work with her to evaluate their church’s programs using 3 questions:

1      What are doing well as we love and disciple our children?

2      How could we improve all that we are doing now?

3      What elements are we missing in completing the call to disciple our children?

Once you have evaluated your present ministry, CDM can help connect you to the resources and the people with the expertise you need. A great first step is connecting with a member of our Children’s Ministry Leaders Team (look for their information below) Or plan on attending one of our Established Conferences.

As you minister to children, know that CDM can help. You are not alone.

Children’s News/Events


CDM Children’s Worship Curriculum

Teach Me to Worship is adapted from a curriculum originally developed by the staff at Orangewood Presbyterian Church in Maitland, FL. The curriculum presents and explains common elements of worship that the universal church has used throughout the ages. An annual subscription allows full access to downloadable PDF’s of the curriculum (including pages for parents, handouts, teacher’s pages, and instructional videos).  Click for more information.

Orders can be placed at the PCA Bookstore.

64% of Christians accepted Christ before the age of 18… and are more likely than those who are converted when older to remain “absolutely committed” to Christianity.

— Barna Group

CHILDREN’S MINISTRY LEADERSHIP

CDM’s Children’s Ministry Team is a group of men and women who are “in the trenches” of ministry to children. They volunteer their time and expertise to help CDM serve the local church. They give insight regarding current issues in Children’s ministry, and are available for training and advice. This group of practitioners helps CDM staff members stay in touch with the needs and desires of those who serve in local church.

Sue Jakes

Coordinator for CDM Children’s Ministry

Sue Jakes is Children’s Ministry Coordinator for the PCA’s Committee on Discipleship Ministries. Sue oversees the effort of CDM to connect and equip those who serve in discipleship ministry to children. She develops and reviews resources to help those who work with children and youth and conducts training for church leaders, staff, and volunteers. Sue is also the Director of Children’s Ministry at Westminster PCA in Atlanta..

CDM Children’s Ministry Team:

CDM’s Children’s Ministry Team is a group of men and women who are “in the trenches” of ministry to children. They volunteer their time and expertise to help CDM serve the local church. They give insight regarding current issues in Children’s ministry, and are available for training and advice. This group of practitioners helps CDM staff members stay in touch with the needs and desires of those who serve in local church.

Jimmy Brock grew up in Northern Virginia and then headed to California for college. He and Suzanne got married right after he graduated and he taught high school math in inner-city Los Angeles for 3 years. During this time, his sense of calling to pastoral ministry only increased and he and Suzanne headed to St. Louis with two small boys to attend Covenant Seminary. After four years of seminary and 2 more boys, having gone from east coast to west coast to mid-west, they headed south to Atlanta and Church of the Redeemer, where Jimmy served as Pastor of Family Ministry. In the summer of 2017, Jimmy & Suzanne were recommended for church planting by the Church Planter Assessment Center of the PCA and called by Tidewater Presbytery to start a new church in the Princess Anne area of Virginia Beach. They are both excited to be returning to the state where they grew up and to have the opportunity to share God’s love and build up a new church family in a new place. Jimmy and Suzanne love to have people in their home, share food, games, and conversation, watch football, and play with their now 5 boys.

Email:  jimmy@princessannemission.org
Current Residence: Virginia Beach, VA

Jeremy Case grew up in the children’s ministry of Perimeter Church. He joined the Perimeter church staff in 2004 with Camp All-American, one of the largest day camps in the country. He currently serves as Director of Children’s Ministry at Perimeter Church. Jeremy resides in Suwanee, GA with his wife, Carolyn, and three boys.

Email: jeremyc@perimeter.org
Current Residence: Atlanta, GA

 Anna Johnson is the Director of Children’s Ministry for The Kirk of the Hills Presbyterian Church in St. Louis, MO. Anna’s love for children and her desire to assist parents as they raise their children in the Lord has led to her involvement in children’s ministry for over eighteen years. Anna taught in the classroom for 16 years before the Lord called her to begin working in the church. She desires for children to learn God’s word, to love God’s word, and to live God’s word – all in a nurturing and grace-filled environment. Anna’s husband Jack is currently serving in the United States Air Force, and they have one daughter, Emma Grace.

Email: anna.johnson@thekirk.org
Current Residence: St. Louis, MO


Sherry Kendrick has served as the Children’s Director of Covenant Church of Naples in Naples, FL for five years. She has a degree in elementary education from East Tennessee State University and 30  years of experience in children’s ministry as well as homeschooling, private school education and public school education. She loves children’s curriculums and tends to collect them. She is married to Mike and they have three grown children and one grandchild.

Email: sherry.kendrick@covenantnaples.com
Current Residence: Naples, FL

John C. Kwasny  is Director of Christian Education and Children’s Ministries at Pear Orchard Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Ridgeland, Mississippi. John has received his M.A. in Counseling and his Ph.D. in Christian Education. He is also the Worldview Integration Specialist at Christ Covenant School, an adjunct professor at Reformed Theological Seminary (Jackson), and Director of One Story Ministries, authoring Children’s curriculum for the church, school and home. John and Martie have eight children.

Email: john@pearorchard.org
Current Residence: Ridgeland, MS

Joseph Parker is Director of Next Generation Ministries at Christ Church Atlanta. He was born and raised in Southern California. Due to his parents’ love for children, working in both local churches as well as community-based programs, they moved a lot. These experiences early in life laid the foundation for what the Lord would use to develop his “call” to shepherd and equip adults how to diligently disciple their children in the Word of God. Joseph and his wife, Kelly, have adopted two boys.

Email: josephp@christchurchatlanta.org
Current Residence: Atlanta, GA


Barksdale Pullen is the Minister of Community Life at Wildwood Church in Tallahassee, FL. He received a PhD in educational studies from Trinity International University. Ordained in the PCA, Barksdale has also served as the Minister of Children’s Discipleship at Christ Presbyterian in Nashville, and Pastor of Children’s Ministry at Kirk of the Hills Presbyterian in St. Louis.

Email: bpullen@wildwoodtlh.com
Current Residence: Tallahassee, FL

Becky Sinclair is the Children’s Director at Clemson Presbyterian Church in Clemson, SC. She has a passion for teaching children God’s Word and encouraging memorization of Scripture. She loves to explore different avenues and curricula to communicate Scripture in innovative ways. Her hobbies include spending time with her husband, David, and their adult children, walking her dog, Riggs, and knitting.

Email: becky.sinclair@clemsonpres.org
Current Residence: Clemson, SC

Lisa Updike, Director of Children’s Ministries at Covenant Presbyterian in Harrisonburg, VA, has been in love with Jesus since she was a little girl and has always been passionate about sharing the gospel with others. She has extensive ministry experience which includes homeschooling, teaching in Christian Schools, working as a learning disabilities therapist, leading children’s choirs, and spearheading children’s programs in several churches over the last 30 years. Lisa and Kevin have 4 children (3 through adoption).

Email: lisa@cov-pres.org
Current Residence: Harrisonburg, VA

“Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.”

— Deuteronomy 32:2

TRAINERS:

Regular training for your teachers and children’s ministry staff is our #1 recommendation for keeping a children’s ministry vital and growing.

If you would like to have a trainer come to your church,
please contact Bethany Belue at bbelue@pcanet.org.

Are you wondering about Children’s Ministry?

We have tried to answer your questions, but we can’t cover every question about Children’s Ministry here, and we know some questions are unique to your church. We want to help you. Feel free to call or e-mail us and tell us about your church. At CDM, we are committed to helping you find the answers you need.

Many churches sense the need for a part-time staff person to coordinate ministry to children when the church has 60+ children and there are obvious signs of growth in young families.  If your church finds someone in the congregation or community who fits your needs, we will provide training and networking for them.  Check out the Sample Job Descriptions in our Children’s Ministry Toolbox for resources. If all the signs are pointing to hiring a full-time director of children’s ministry (100 + children and signs of continuing growth), CDM will help you search for a qualified person.  The same training and networking will also be provided for full-time staff if needed.

We are very blessed in the PCA to have a Special Need Ministry team of facilitators to help individual churches define the best course of action with the special needs families that God brings to them.  Click on the link to find out more about Engaging Disability.

This is a question that must be answered by the session of your church.  Within Presbyterian and Reformed circles there is every possible position on this topic ranging from “absolutely not” to Children’s church for all ages during the entire service.  The questions that need to be considered are:

  • What is our motivation to need/have a special time of training for our children during corporate worship?
  • What ages would be best served by this?
  • What do we want this training time to accomplish?
  • How do we staff this time without losing continuity of purpose?

We can help you find curriculum to meet your needs when your leadership has answered these questions.  TEACH ME TO WORSHIP is a curriculum developed by CDM to train children in worship.  Got to www.teachmetoworship.com  and download a sample lesson to see if this would work for your church’s children.

The following is a reasonable ratio chart, but your church may want to adjust depending on classroom size and available volunteers.  However, two adults should always be present when caring for and teaching other’s children.

0-12 mos.      1:2

12-24 mos.    1:3

2-3yrs           1:5

4-5yrs           1:6

6-10 yrs.        1:10

Teaching Children the First Catechism or the Shorter Catechism is highly recommended. Many churches have a Sunday evening or midweek program to accomplish this. One church holds a week-long catechism camp rather than traditional VBS in the summer. Whatever your church decides to do, the parents need to be on board. The most successful catechism attempts are ones that are supported by the parents and there is ongoing practice and teaching at home in corroboration with the church. The following resources are recommended and can be ordered from the PCA bookstore:

When a church is small, you have the wonderful privilege of getting to know all your children and praying about what structure would work best for them.  The one-room school house served our nation well for over a century and we do not have to be confined to modern education systems to have success in our Christian education programs.

Think outside the box, having older children helping younger children.  Before worrying about what curriculum to choose, get to know the students and begin building relationships with and between them.  Then, as you look at curriculum, you will know exactly which one will suit the training of all the children God has given you at this time.  His plan is always perfect.

If You Build It, We Will Come!

We would love to bring our one-day training event to your church.  We will work with you to make sure the conference accomplishes the purpose that you have in mind. It may include only children’s teachers, parents and staff, or training tracks could extend to youth and church leadership. If you would like to schedule a one-day training event at your church, please contact Kathy Wargo.

To find out more about scheduling a Children’s Ministry Conference at your church click the following link: Bring CDM to Your Church

One of our conference training tracks is focused on Gospel parenting.  As we train our children in the church we must come alongside our parents giving them all the tools that they need for discipling children in the home. This may be something you would want to provide for the parents in your church.

Click on the following link to find out more information on scheduling a Parenting Conference at your church.

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