Last semester, I started reading several books by Charles Spurgeon and became captivated by one statement he made regarding children. I’ve repeated this statement so many times since reading it, and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how it impacts our children’s ministry.
Maybe it was just the right words at the right time, but I’ve labeled this statement as the greatest advice for children’s ministry leaders. Charles Spurgeon says,
“Be sure, whatever you leave out, that you teach the children the three R’s, –
Ruin, Redemption, and Regeneration.”
This concise statement calls our focus back to the Gospel. As children’s ministry leaders, we can get lost in the busyness of curriculum, volunteers, and buckets of goldfish crackers. We fret and sweat throughout the week trying to find the perfect game or video that will keep the kids attention and put our lesson over the top. While those things are certainly important, I’ll admit that they’ve often made me miss this simple truth:
These children need the Gospel.
They are fallen, sinful creatures just like you and me. They have no means of saving themselves from the immediate and eternal consequences of sin. They need to hear of Christ and Him crucified. They need to hear how to believe in the saving work of Jesus. And they need to understand how to walk in the salvation that God has graciously provided through Christ!
Don’t get me wrong, I want them to have fun. I want them to be engaged and enjoy the lesson we’re teaching. But most importantly, I want them to walk away with a clearer picture of the three R’s—Ruin, Redemption, and Regeneration. Without the Gospel, our investment is a waste of time.
Whatever you’re planning for this Sunday—stop and ask this question:
Does this lesson help kids to see the truth of the Gospel—ruin, redemption, and regeneration?
Wrestle with that question. Spend time making sure that kids are getting a clear explanation of the Gospel and a chance to respond to God. Just be sure, whatever you leave out, that you teach the children the three R’s, – Ruin, Redemption, and Regeneration.
This has been the greatest advice anyone has ever given to me as a Children’s Pastor.