What Our Next Generation Ministries Need

In the parable of the mustard seed, Jesus asks two questions that have huge ramifications for our approach to next gen ministry. In Luke 13:18 Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? How can I illustrate it?” The answers to these questions define our role as preschool, children’s, and student ministry leaders. They teach us that the next generation needs seed planters and Kingdom illustrators.

Seed Planters

When describing the Kingdom of God, I kind of expected Jesus to deliver some powerful and lofty words. Yet Jesus describes the Kingdom of God by saying, “It is like a tiny mustard seed that a man planted in a garden…(Luke 13:19)”. The first principle is this: We’re called to be seed planters. The problem is that seed-planting results take time to show up.

We’d much rather build programs then plant seeds. However, when we plant the seeds of the kingdom of God in the lives of the next generation…those seeds can grow into mighty trees of faith.

Kingdom Illustrators

The answer to Jesus’ other question gives us our second principle: we are called to be Kingdom illustrators. Illustrators bring words to life by painting pictures that engage us in the story. To become Kingdom illustrators we need to do the same through our ministries to the next generation. Here’s how we bring the truths written in Scripture to life for the children and students at our church.

Large group worship experience—Our large group programming is designed to engage the next generation through video, lights, sound, engaging worship, and creative storytelling to make a lasting impression on their lives. Each week our preschoolers, children, and students have the opportunity to express their love for who God is and praise God for all he has done.

Small group environments—After the large group, we take part in small group environments that are designed to help our children and students apply God’s word to their lives. We reinforce the Bible story through application based conversations and meaningful connections with their friends and adult leaders.

We plant the seeds—and God makes them grow for a lifetime. We illustrate the Kingdom by painting the picture of Scripture on the canvas of the next generations lives.


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4 responses to “What Our Next Generation Ministries Need”

  1. Diane Leonard Avatar
    Diane Leonard

    Great illustration of how we who love children can effect the lives without pushing ours ways down their thoats. Kids hate being told what to do and they rebell. Planting seeds and watering (praying) and waiting (live the scripture to our best ability) brings beauty.

  2. Trevor Lee (@trevormclee) Avatar
    Trevor Lee (@trevormclee)

    Eric, like Diane said…”great illustration”! This is a wonderful post that truly drives home two vital elements of our calling in ministry. I would argue that as Christians, we all have this call to plant seeds and illustrate the Kingdome. Small groups are a key aspect to generate relationships with others and earn the right to speak (or illustrate) the truths of the Kingdom into the lives of the people God has brought to our doorstep. Thanks Eric! Great site too… I’m a first time visitor.

    1. eric echols Avatar
      eric echols

      Trevor, glad you liked the post. I totally agree…planting seeds and illustrating the Kingdom of God is the call to all Christ followers.

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