My husband invited me to come hear him preach before we started dating. I, of course, agreed. However, he said it was easy to get to his church, so I took him at his word and took off without any directions. An hour later, I had no idea where I was. I stopped at a gas station, and discovered I had somehow instinctively stopped a block from the church. I had ended up close to my destination, but it had taken me longer than anticipated and I was still slightly off of my intended path.
While serving as a children’s minister, I was asked to make a philosophy of ministry. A philosophy of ministry is much like a set of directions; it defines the core beliefs of the ministry. I will spend the next week delving into the pragmatics of my philosophy of ministry. Please also share your ideas and thoughts, as well as your philosophy of ministry!
1. Inviting children to come to Jesus, and teaching them about his plan for them. When Jesus disciples tried to hinder the children from “bothering” him, he told them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these” (Mark 10:14). We desire that every child will come to know Jesus personally.
2. Centering our ministry on our only source of absolute Truth, the Bible. We believe that “all scripture is God-breathed and helpful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Every lesson comes straight from scripture.
3. Encouraging students to pass Jesus’ love to others. God’s plan does not start or stop with us, and we pray that our students will not only personally know Jesus’ love, but they will feel compelled to love others as a result of Jesus’ unconditional love for them. In his last words before ascending, he told his disciples, ““All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).
4. Involving parents. From the beginning of God’s Story, he makes it clear that families are a central part of his plan for teaching and training children to seek after him. As Moses gives his last speech to the Israelites, he tells them, “These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you. Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:1-9). The home is the beginning of all teaching, and central to kids growing to love the Lord.
These four points are non-negotiable for me. Although in different contexts, this may look very different, I hold to this philosophy and use it to plan my course of action.
Please share your non-negotiables!!! I’d love to read what other people have created!