To have a successful kids prayer ministry, it’s vital to understand the purpose of the ministry and how it can impact the child, the family, the church, and the world.
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6 KJV).
The Purpose of a Kids Prayer Ministry
Before starting a kids prayer ministry you need to have a good understanding of why it’s important.
God told us,“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
Just as we show our children how to tie their shoes, ride a bike, or speak with manners and then make them practice it until they are proficient at it, we must also train our children to pray.
The word “train” is defined as: “ to teach a particular skill or type of behavior through practice and instruction over a period of time.”
The role of a teacher in kids prayer
- is to train a child to pray, not to just tell them to, show them, or teach the concept. When we train, we are activelygetting them to do the praying themselves
- To teach kingdom praying that are biblically based. Kids must learn to pray for more than just their boo-boos or their wants. We are told in God’s Word, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God…We do this by training them to pray for nations, governments, orphans of the world, war situations, natural disasters, leaders, famines, and much more. We do not neglect praying for their needs, however, we do not make that the only focus when training them to pray.
The most important thing in kids prayer however, isn’t even in praying kingdom prayers, building faith, or powerfully praying miracles into existence… the most important thing in teaching kids to pray is training them to develop a personal relationship with God.Prayer isn’t just about lists, and getting our wishes granted, or healings or miracles, it’s also about getting to know God in a deep way and experiencing for ourselves who He is in our lives.
How to Start a Kids Prayer Ministry
Pray and learn yourself.
- If you are going to start a kids prayer ministry then first look at yourself and review if you are praying personally. It will be hard for you to train children in prayer if you are not sensitive to the voice and leading of the Lord.
- (Please review John Maxwell’s “Law of the Lid” concept). Commit to prayer. If you do not already pray consistently, then commit to start praying that way. Good teachers first learn and then they keep striving to learn more as they teach and train. Don’t ever assume that you know everything. Ask God to teach you His ways and methods; seek His wisdom, no matter how old you are or how long you’ve been a Christian or teacher.
Pray to see if it’s God will for you to start one. Sometimes we see a need and automatically want to fill it. Pray if starting this group is God’s will for YOU, and if it’s not, then pray that God will burden the right person with the desire.
Take it to your pastor. Without your pastor’s approval you cannot have a ministry in the local church. Explain to him your desire to have a kids prayer ministry and how it will benefit the church and him as the pastor.
Pray about it again.
- Pray it into existence; do not plan it into existence.
- Pray for God to identity prayer helpers/leaders.
- Pray for pray-ers. Pray for wisdom and direction.
- Kids prayer is not a matter of just teaching a lesson and going home – it’s a full-fledge mentorship program that requires time, planning and more time spent with these kids actively training them to pray.
Few things to consider when thinking of leaders/helpers:
- Always have at least two adults present.This provides protection or in the event anything derogatory is said from a child about a teacher or another student.
- Consider running background checks on any helper involved. In some churches, this is required of any person involved in children’s ministry, especially for insurance purposes. Although the church in general knows that people can be forgiven by God for wrong things they have done in the past, court systems and parents of children are not as forgiving.
- When choosing leaders have people that complement each other. For example, consider who is good at administration, creativity, planning, etc. Don’t try to do everything yourself. Let your staff do what they are good at and work together as a team.
Come up with a training plan. Write down the ideas for meetings, lessons, and events that God gives you or that you see listed in any of this material. There are basic fundamentals listed in the 7 Essentials of Kids Prayerthat should be taught in any kids prayer ministry. Pray about what God would have you teach the kids and then find resources or create them to use in your teaching time. You may wish to come up with monthly themes or projects to help guide your plan. Tap into what the church is doing.
Evaluate your ministry.Occasionally we need to sit back and look at what we are doing and see how successful it is. No one does everything perfect every time. There is always room to grow, to adjust, to fix, to change, and then to reevaluate again. If you truly are burdened with your ministry then you will be willing to change whatever you need to change to make it better, even if it means stopping a “cool” program or method you are using, or if it means you need to pray more or spend more time preparing.
So how do we evaluate? Here are some suggestions:
- Video tape or record yourself and your kids ministry or kids prayer time. Watch it later.
- how do the the children react?
- Are they bored?
- Are they participating?
- Do they understand what you are talking about?
- Have someone who has never been in your prayer time join you and do the same things as above. Get their opinion on what they thought and felt. Some of them may not understand your program so you may need to explain it before they come in the class.
- Review who is staying involved. Ask the children their opinion and what they like and dislike about your prayer session.
Promote it. Once you have approval from your pastor, start promoting your ministry in your church and community. You won’t have great success if you can’t get the parents to buy into the vision and bring their kids. Promote it before it starts, when it starts, and routinely after it’s started. Let people know what you are doing and how the kids are progressing. Keep your church and children excited! Share your praise reports and always look for ways to integrate kids prayer into other ministries if possible.
Possible methods of promotion include but are not limited to:
- Church bulletin.
- Have your kids pray in church for others during pray request times.
- Have your kids help lead prayer before service.
- Have your kids pray during various church ministry meetings.
- Use video clips, photos and media to promote what you are doing.
- Update your church website with your news and meetings.
Contact us for more resources on how to start and run your own kids prayer ministry.
Kids & Youth Prayer Coordinator