GUEST POST – Where We Lead

About three years ago, I had one of our pastors come and ask me if I would write a baptism class for kids.  My initial answer was “no,” but I didn’t know why I was saying that.  I knew baptism was an important part of a child’s faith, but if anything, that importance led me to say that it shouldn’t just be taught in a class!  Over the next several months I became very self-reflective of our ministry and began to ask myself the question, “why do we do what we do?”

When I assessed the 5th grade students, I was taken by surprise! We had 5th graders who grew up in our church unable to tell me some of the most basic pieces of the Bible.  When asked who Cain and Abel were, one 5th grader responded “aren’t they wrestlers?”

I know that it’s the parent’s job to raise their kids and teach them the truths about God! However if I am going to “partner with parents,” I had better have a plan! It’s not o.k. that a 5th grader should grow up in our church and not be able to tell me the most basic of Bible stories! But as I evaluated what we were doing, I was left asking myself “what is our process of growing our kid’s faith?”

It’s easy to get caught up in filling schedules or wanting exciting services, but when it’s all said and done I better have a plan for where I want to lead families in their walk with the Lord! So over the next several months I sat down and mapped out where I hope a 5th grader is when they leave children’s ministry.

I soon realized why my answer about the baptism class was “NO.” I didn’t want to teach kids about baptism, I wanted to lead them to the decision that baptism is a valuable part of who they are! Our goal needs to be leading students to a place of understanding their faith and how it works.

We came up with three questions that we hope every 5th grader can answer by the time they go on to Jr. High.

  • Who is God?
  • What that means to me?
  • How am I going to live because of Him?

We sat down and intentionally built programs, wrote curriculum and put systems in place for helping lead kids to the place of answering these questions. This has become a process of leading kids on a journey to discover their faith and how their faith should affect the way they live. This gives us opportunities to lead them into baptism, missions, serving and more! All as we focus on what the end goal objective is and intentionally strive toward it.

What’s your end goal and how will you reach it? Chart out a plan for seeing your end goal become a reality!

Michael Grove is the Children’s Pastor at Calvary Church in Naperville, Illinois. 


  1. Elaine Roberts says:

    I love how you wanted to find the root of what was why you were hesitating in writing the class. Since doing this have you gone back to students and asked them these questions randomly to see how your intentional bible teaching has changed their knowledge from before?

  2. Penny S says:

    We came to the same conclusions and it was like a punch in the gut. Why were we sending our 5th graders out the door so I’ll-prepared? Answer they just didn’t get it. More than stories, more than a fun hour, they needed to be in touch with the Holy Spirit. It changed our thinking and how we do kids ministry(God’s Story impacts our lives let’s experience Him in our classrooms and in our homes)

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