Children’s Church and Children’s Ministry: 5 Differences

Kids’ Ministry and Kids’ Church Are the Same Things… Right? Wrong. The differences may be subtle, but they are certainly there.

Chris Holland
July 20, 2022
Kids Ministry Leadership

Building a ministry for your youngest learners will have a profound effect, deepening their bond with God through coherent lessons and partnerships with parents. 

Keep reading for the main differences that make a children’s ministry process so successful.

Children’s Ministry Is More Than Sunday School

Children's ministry, kids learning in class

When your church only holds space for children in a narrow way that replicates their school education, your kids will only get half the picture. Sunday school is limited to the arts and crafts, fun, and games that take place while the adults are at church. It serves as a distraction while the adults worship.

Take a moment to think about the basic pillars offered in your ministry for adults. You probably have small group meetings, Bible study get-togethers, outreach initiatives, serving opportunities, and so much more. So why wouldn’t we offer the same to our kids? 

Children are sacred in the eyes of God and deserve every opportunity to find Jesus, so they can grow spiritually and experience faith in their lives. Transform their experience of the church from an early age by allowing them the same diversity as you would expect from ministry yourself. 

Children’s Ministry Follows a Curriculum Strategy

Developing children's ministry curriculum

The easiest way to do this is by designing a coherent curriculum strategy that connects the dots in a way that young minds can understand. When lessons build upon each other, they construct an overarching framework that kids can learn to appreciate deeply. 

Help God become like second nature to your students by breaking the big ideas into bite-sized chunks. Using a variety of mediums like hands-on activities, object lessons, and alone time shares the big ideas in an impactful, long-lasting way.

Put your kids first by creating a strategy that prioritizes their education. Check out our blog on how to create a curriculum strategy for top tips on switching from fragmented church lessons to an organized and coherent action plan.

Children’s Ministry Focuses on Child Development

Young girl presenting her bible project

A children’s church can often end up feeling like a kids club. It can feel like the childcare division of the adult ministry or a way to kill time with children while their parents are doing the real thing at the adult church. It causes a disconnect that can be hard to heal from.

Steer clear from throwing kids of all ages into a class together to do a blanket, generic task. Instead, design unique activities for each age group and dedicate different sectors of your ministry to showing up for kids wherever they are in their development.

While this might sound like a lot of work, the investment will quickly pay off. Creating a database of activities for kids of different ages enables you to reuse them year after year, which enables you to provide quality education with little effort. 

Or, jump ahead of the game and choose a children’s ministry curriculum provider that aligns with your strategy. This saves you valuable time and, if you choose right, ensures your young learners receive top-tier resources designed by experts in their field.

Children’s Ministry Keeps Jesus at the Forefront

Young boy learning to read the bible

Ask yourself, what is the purpose of your children’s church? The answer to this question should be God. It’s about empowering the youngest minds to find a way to welcome God into their hearts, minds, and lives. It's about equipping kids with the tools they need to live a Godly life.

Ensure the church leaders at your ministry remember why they are there. Keep prayer at the forefront, even though your students would prefer coloring sheets and fun games. Ministry is a means through which kids can discover a natural and unfaltering bond with Jesus. 

But, as most churches only have a few hours with the kids each week, ensuring the prominence of genuine teachings of God isn’t always easy. Things like object lessons help to make His presence common sense, but the impact of these will only go so far on their own.

Children’s Ministry Prioritizes Family Involvement

Family playing board games

The family must be involved in the process. Make your teachings even more powerful by encouraging families to replicate them at home. But, some churches struggle with finding the right balance between kids ministry, family ministry, and family church. Deuteronomy 6:5-7 says

“Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

Parents and families are uniquely positioned to leave that imprint on their children, but not all will know how to do so. That’s why family ministry must work alongside parents, encouraging them to show their kids the path to God every day of the week, not just on Sundays.

Children’s Ministry: How Think Orange Can Help

Take the weight off your shoulders by choosing a premium quality children’s church curriculum that’s already designed for you. Think Orange is the leader of the game when it comes to merging children’s church with family life. They know that the impact of parents is far greater than the church alone, so why not do it together?

Signing up for the Think Orange experience will give you fine-tuned curricula designed by child development experts for kids of different ages. Then, reminders on the app urge parents to get involved at a deeper level than ever before, spurring essential conversations.

Take your Sunday school to the next level – make it a children’s ministry.

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