June 6, 2013

I read a post at ChurchLeaders.com recently about the four things we should count as church leaders.  You can read it here.  For “adult” church and church plants, measurable things  like attendance, giving, leadership development, and discipleship are important.  In children’s ministry they may also be key in certain evaluations. (Attendance is certainly important when asking for a budget increase, for example.)  But I think for the long-term there are other outcomes that we should be looking at.

Recently, I spoke about Joy as being a key desired outcome.  Today, let’s look at an equally nebulous, yet equally important outcome:

IMAGINATION – Beyond Daydreams

I love the “tagline” for General Electric. GE- imagination at work.  Boy, that sure is better than”Flip a switch-thanks to us.” Another possibility could have been, “If you think copper pennies are great, you should see our wire!”   Or they could have gone with, “Is your toast burnt?  You’re welcome.”

Yes, I think “Imagination At Work” is better.

I read with fascination, the Mercedes Benz  Facebook page:  “After filing over 80,000 patents—more than any automaker in the world—it’s clear we pride ourselves on having the industry’s biggest imagination. The day we invented the automobile we vowed never to stop reinventing it, and we kept that promise with a century of industry firsts….”

This has got to be my favorite quote of the year, “having the industry’s biggest imagination.”  It was written by one nameless, faceless copywriter, no doubt, but expressing the sentiment of the folks at Mercedes Benz. And it describes perfectly what we should strive for in our ministry to children; empowering imagination.

If we are not empowering kids to use their imagination, we are not letting them operate with the tools their Creator has given them.

Help the children in your ministry imagine the size of the ark.  Imagine Goliath.  Imagine the Nephilim.  Imagine how many fish could be seen from the pathway across the Red Sea, how many stars Abraham saw, or how many loaves and fishes it took to feed five thousand families.  Imagine what it would be like to see for the first time; to enter a town for the first time without someone yelling “Unclean!” to watch from the inside as graves clothes were removed from your face.

We simply cannot teach the story of Redemption without inviting kids to imagine along with us.  We must do whatever we can to unleash their creativity, their minds, their imagination, and let them get a glimpse of the mind of Christ.  (I Corinthians 2:16)

Winston Churchill said, “The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.”  Imagine, if you will the Kingdoms of the mind, if we have the mind of Christ.   If we do our part to cultivate the imagination of our children, both they and we will receive a big opportunity.

Successful children’s ministries ought to be the most imaginative places in their community.  And that should include everyone from the children in attendance to the storyteller to the guys on the sound board.  After all God is the inventor of imagination. We must do everything we can to cause the imaginations of our children and teams  to stretch and grow, using tradition methods (when they work), incorporating music, art, storytelling, games, skits, small groups, large groups, games, contests and competitions, prayer, and reading.  Everything designed for that next step of faith, and anything (that is not sinful) at our disposal to introduce kids to the Original Imagineer.

If we do that, our ministries and our impact will be bigger than our imagination.


What are the best tools you have discovered to spark the imagination?

What is the most imaginative part of your ministry?  

Which area of ministry needs an imaginative kick-start?


If this post inspires, informs or encourages you, it would bless me if you shared it.



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