By Jana Magruder
Discipleship is a sticky word in ministry circles. We all know that evangelism is essential to our calling as followers of Jesus Christ, and, as leaders in kids ministry, we know the urgency of leading our children to understand and respond to the gospel. However, there is such a thing as discipleship in congruence with evangelism, not just what you do after a child becomes a Christian.
An Intentional Plan vs. a Haphazard Plan
That is why it is so important for your kids ministry to have a wise plan of discipleship. This discipleship plan should be age appropriate for each stage of a child’s life both mentally and spiritually. Also note that a discipleship plan is different from curriculum. Before you select a curriculum, it’s necessary to have a roadmap for where you are going. That would be a discipleship plan.
If we do not have a discipleship plan in place, it can be all too easy to fall into what I call “haphazard discipleship.” This kind of discipleship happens when you cherry-pick content to teach Bible stories and hope that children learn what they need from it.
It’s tempting to gravitate to this style of discipleship. After all, free content for teaching Bible stories can be found online in only a matter of seconds. Activity and craft suggestions are abundant on Pinterest. We can piecemeal together biblical content to create a makeshift discipleship plan. But if we are not careful, our Bible lesson ends up being haphazard and can even lead to kids to not fully understand biblical concepts.
Know Where You’re Going
If we don’t have a spiritual roadmap for what kids are learning, they could inadvertently be learning heretical things. So as you implement a discipleship plan for your kids ministry, be sure to select a framework that will help you keep your kids, parents, and leaders moving in a direction for the most effective discipleship.