Children's Ministry Leader
At one of the five churches where YES! co-founder Judy Wick served as Children's Pastor, they were considering the name "Kids Reaching Kids" for the children's ministry. But the more they thought about it, the more they realized this moniker was putting a fence around the children's generational scope of impact.
Sure, kids are in a prime position to reach other kids, but they are also capable of impacting the generations of their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. (So the ministry name was condensed to 'KidReach', and they had the privilege of seeing kids reach well beyond the borders of their peer group.)
Ironically, another golden thread in their KidReach ministry was helping kids understand that they were already old enough to serve the Lord. They don't have to wait until they get their driver's license or high school/college diplomas. They are not the 'future Church'. They, along with Christ-followers from every living generation, are part of the current body of Christ, His Church.
YES! is dedicated to the serving potential on the other end of the age spectrum, helping older adults see that they are still young enough to serve. Adults over 50, 70, 90 and beyond are not the Church of the past. They, like the children you serve or any other Christians our culture may want to marginalize, are the Church of the present. And children, along with teenagers and young adults, can be great communicators of this message.
Our YES! message to children's pastors and ministry leaders:
Don't work in a generational cocoon. Help your children value, inspire and become advocates for every generation in the church. And of course, allow those with life experience and spiritual wisdom to join you in discipling the children.
Make every effort to mainstream the kids into the life and worship of the whole church. Don't let them only experience church in isolation from older generations.
Find opportunities for the children to serve side-by-side with other generations. Encourage the children to use their gifts to serve the Lord. Do necessary screening to protect the children from danger or harm, then make sure spiritually mature, trustworthy adults besides yourself are engaged in their lives. These relationships are part of the glue that will lead to faith that sticks.
And if you see the need for stronger intergenerational ministry, invite YES! to your church to help stir the embers. With her strong background in children's ministry, Judy is a gifted speaker who can help challenge and guide your colleagues in children's ministry as well.