Catch a vision for lasting ministry to children

by BeckyD on October 8, 2013

hand1 for 50 strategy is to equip individuals in local churches worldwide with training that leads to lifetime impact for children.

But what kinds of activities will lead to lasting ministry to children?

Children’s leaders from over 80 nations have identified six key elements leading to the growth of life-long believers. We have organized these elements of lasting ministry to children into the 1 for 50 Hand.

  • One:  Making Disciples

    Intro: At its core 1 for 50 is all about the “One.”
    ONE Savior loved by
    ONE believer helping
    ONE child at a time come to know and follow Christ

    • God’s Word (Matthew 28:19-20) Jesus also gave his followers ONE mandate: to go and make disciples.
    • So how are we doing? While much training and ministry to children has taken place in communities around the world, somehow we find that many children are not choosing to follow Jesus wholeheartedly for a lifetime. We have not always made disciples.
    • The goal is to change our focus to a long-term view of working with children to making disciples, rather than just seed planting or “drop and run” ministry.
  • TWO:  Reaching the Unreached

    • Intro: ONE follower of Jesus obeying the great commission and reaching out to ONE other person: now there are TWO. As believers, we’re always looking for the ONE who is missing, like in the story of the lost sheep.
    • God’s Word (Matthew 18:14) This is God’s heart. At the end of the story we read, “Your Father in heaven is not willing that ONE of these little onesshould be lost.
    • So how are we doing? Unfortunately 2/3 of all the children in the world do not yet know or follow Christ at all. We have not reached them – yet.
    • The goal is to expand our focus to reaching children outside the church as well as those in our churches already.

    Next, Making Disciples and Reaching the Unreached leads us to also think in terms of …

  • THREE:  Engaging Families

    • Intro: A child plus a mother and a father equals THREE. If a child knows Christ, but his family (with many or few members) does not, we need to consider how to reach the family as well. If a family knows Christ, we need to help them reach and disciple their own children.
    • God’s Word (Deuteronomy 6:4-7) God’s original plan for growing love and obedience in his people was families.They were to do this as a normal part of their walking and talking.
    • So how are we doing? Often in ministry to children, we have neglected the family. Since families have the primary spiritual influence on their children we must consider how to reach whole families, not just the children.
    • The goal is to help Christian families reach and disciple their own children as well as considering those in their community.

    Working with real families in the real world also leads us to think in terms of …

  • FOUR:  Nurturing the Whole Child

    • Intro: This includes a focus on FOUR parts of a child, the whole child: physical, mental, social-emotional, and spiritual.
    • God’s Word (Luke 2:52) We see in scripture that Jesus grew in wisdom, in stature, in favor with God and favor with man:  FOUR parts.
    • So how are we doing? Some families are doing well. Some need practical help. Overall, about 2/3 of the world’s children are at risk, living in crisis situations of one kind or another.
    • The goal is to affirm our focus to first nurture the children already in our care. Then, we need to consider how to help those in crisis in our communities.

    Nurturing the whole child also leads us to think in terms of …

  • FIVE: Building the Kingdom

    • Intro: These tasks are too great to face alone. The thumb enables all these elements to come together, to become useful for accomplishing God’s purposes, to build his Kingdom.
    • God’s Word (Ephesians 4:11-13, 16; John 13:34) Jesus said the world would know we are his disciples by our love for one another. Paul explained the importance of working together as a body.
    • How are we doing? Among the 40,000 denominations in our world, some are working together well. Some are not.
    • The goal would be to work together with others in the body of Christ to build the kingdom as we reach and disciple children—not just to build our own churches or ministries.
    • Building the Kingdom also leads us to think about the people that Jesus identified as “greatest in the kingdom”: children!  They are needed and invited.

    So, how can we be sure these will really lead to children knowing and following Christ for a lifetime? There is one final element that is essential to energizing all the others. It is …

  • SIX: Heart of the Leader

    • PALM: Ultimately, reaching and discipling children begins with us. We must be following Jesus wholeheartedly.
    • How are we doing? One of the reasons so many children are leaving the faith as adults is because their leaders have not been an example of wholehearted devotion and dependence on Christ. It is also a reason why our modern world has little interest in Christ. Some of us are not that interested in Him ourselves. Or, we’ve hoped someone else would disciple our child for us.
    • The goal would be to start with ourselves. Fall in love with Jesus all over again. Fall in love with God’s Word. Learn to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. This fuels every other area of our work to reach and disciple children.
    • God’s Word (John 15:5-7) Joyfully, this final principle comes with a promise relevant to our work with children. Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
A'Ampaire Zephania David October 22, 2013 at 2:51 pm

It’s my prayer that if any one is touched, you stand with me in Key Elements 3, 4 and 6.

I urgently need help in bringing up the whole child, and training of leaders so we can have capacity to help the over 10,000children God has put into our trust.

Church buildings constructions, clinics, classrooms, dormitories, office blocks, household income boost, food security and others. Please pray with us and if possible, please come and join us as soon as possible.

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