Children’s ministry takes various forms depending on where you are in the world. Oh, what fun it is to have 10, 20, or even thousands of happy, noisy children demanding your attention. Children are normally full of life, some of my children get sparkles in their eyes when they are excited about something…which is something that grown-ups tend to lose. How do you harness that energy to reach the parents with the glorious message of the Gospel of Jesus?
This has been a question here at my home church. Due to the coronavirus, our children’s ministries have been shut down and there has been some relief expressed that we are no longer as busy. Frankly, I had been growing weary in doing children’s ministry. Then I met Ohene Kumi, a Heralds of Hope ministry partner from Ghana, West Africa. There is no doubt that this godly man is an expert in reaching the family through children’s ministry. Ohene explained to me how Torch Ministries reaches school children throughout Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Liberia with the teachings of Jesus. The children are then encouraged to tell their friends, their siblings, and their parents. Papers are sent home, which are read by other family members. Finally, at the end of the course, the children are awarded their own Bible! I was amazed when Ohene told me that at least 10 churches had sprung up due to this unique outreach.
Often, I think that I need to tell elaborate stories to capture the audience’s attention, but many times I need to keep it simple, repeat, and review.– Tony High
Throughout the week I got to watch Ohene as he interacted with three young men. He quickly connected with them and told them three simple short stories and then had them repeat each story back to him. Ohene encouraged them to customize the stories so they were their own…which was quite amusing. He then told them that they “must” tell three other people. A few days later we were together again, and he repeated the stories with the boys. And yes, they remembered the stories.
Often, I think that I need to tell elaborate stories to capture the audience’s attention, but many times I need to keep it simple, repeat, and review. Did it work? Before Ohene left town, the mother of two of the boys ask to meet Ohene. She really wanted to meet this man who left a big impression on her sons. Ohene, you have really been an encouragement to preach the Gospel to everyone I meet. I can now understand how Torch Ministries has such a broad impact in western Africa, God has placed you there and given you a great gift to reach your country.
– Tony High