Matt, Amy, and Henry open up What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry like this:

“Ideas can be infectious. Like a drop of ink spilled on paper, an idea keeps reaching, stretching until it has run dry. What Mat­ters Now is an idea that began with the simplest of questions: “What matters now in children’s ministry?” This is a question that every leader in the field of children’s and family ministry an­swers on a daily basis through their decisions, communication, meetings, programming, curriculum, recruiting, and schedule. This is the question that underscores countless hours of time and effort by pastors, support staff, and volunteers. This is the question that gets answered every time a church opens its doors to children and families. This question matters.”

They’re right.

Whatever your craft or field of expertise, “What matter’s now?” is a question that you need to continual ask yourself. In a world where life comes at us at 100 mph, we have thousands of options for spending our limited time and budgets. How we answer that question will determine the priorities for our staff, volunteers, and resources. Ultimately, in children’s ministry the answer to that question will determine how we care for the most precious commodity: the next generation.

I was humbled when Matt emailed me a few months ago and asked me to join the other 32 children’s pastors featured in this book. We have all been wrestling with this question for a long time. The What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry project gave us a chance put those thoughts into words but also to bring more people in on the conversation. While the opinions offered are as varied as the authors themselves, they each represent an approach to children’s ministry birthed from the trenches of service to kids throughout the world.

The authors invite you to think about:

What if the church intersected more with the natural milestones in a family’s life?
Does living in the digital age matter to our approach to teaching kids?
If we were confident in our role, would it change the way we lead and serve?
What happens when the “easy to track” stuff becomes all we think about?
Are we capturing a child’s imagination when we communicate with them?
How willing are we to experiment with how we minister to kids?
What would ministry look like if we partnered with other churches and built the Kingdom?
What is all this ORANGE stuff about?
Seriously, parents are important!
Are we selling cheap grace?
Do we have a clear end in mind when it comes to our content?

And so much more…

As you read each entry, we invite you to enter into a dialogue with us. These are ideas at this point in our journey serving kids. They may tweak and change in the ebb and flow of ministry throughout our lives. I know that I’m thrilled to walk this journey with such amazing people such as YOU who keep me focused yet continually thinking about what matters now.

Go over to the What Matters Now in Children’s Ministry site and download the book. NOW.

Side Note: As a design geek myself, I have to give a HUGE shout out to Imago who did a great job on the layout and design. Check them out too! They’re working to integrate the power of story and multi-sensory experience with how we worship in our faith communities.

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