In an article from U.S. News and World Report, “children’s services” was on a short list of industries which are condusive to making millionaires out of those who run such industries (http://www.usnews.com/articles/business/small-business-entrepreneurs/2008/10/07/how-to-make-a-million.html). I work in a field called “children’s ministry,” where the goal is to reach kids with the message of God found in the Bible. And though making millions is not quite the goal in children’s ministry, this article has some interesting insight.
They claim that the reason people can be so successful running “children’s services” (such as specialized education, arts, and programs for young people) is because parents (even in tough economic times) are willing to part with a lot of money just so their children can have the best opportunities for success in life.
Here is the insight: if parents dump tons of money into their children for the sake of making sure their kids have a “better life,” then that says a lot about the importance of children’s ministry in churches and communities. People pay for the things they value. Apparently, parents highly value the prosperity of their children. Those of us in children’s ministry should be aware of that and not be shy about what we do. We have the opportunity to serve kids and families in ways that reach beyond the good things promoted by the local tumbling franchise and the Montesorri schools. Parents care. They will serve, they will donate, they will participate. We are not babysitters, we are not daycare. We get to offer the message of God’s love, forgiveness, and grace to children (who Jesus says are the inheritors of the Kingdom of heaven).