The Joys of a Children's Outreach Pastor
Lisa Means, the Children's Outreach Pastor at Bethel Church, shares a bit about what it's like to run this powerful ministry that impacts the children of Redding, California.
I accepted the position as the Children’s Outreach Pastor gladly and have been excited to learn about all the ins and outs of what it takes to successfully run a Children’s outreach ministry. With no two days looking the same, I literally learn something new every day. I have the privilege to train, empower, and equip Bethel Students to go out and impact the children of our city. During our weekly training I answer any questions the students have and give them tools, lessons, snacks (for the kids!), and then launch them out to their site to do the program they have prepared for the kids that week.
Each week I have the opportunity to visit a different site to see how they are doing and give feedback. During the week, I also coordinate with School Site Facilitators at the elementary schools and coordinate with dance, drama and worship teams that go out to a different site each week.
One of my greatest joys is reading all the testimonies from the programs each week. At the end of the program every week, the team fills out a form online to let me know what happened at their site. Reading these almost always brings tears to my eyes and I find myself saying, “This is why we do what we do!”
Here is one testimony: “One girl told us that she has had a reading disability for 9 months and that from last week on she has noticed her ability to read has improved!”
Anther one of our street sites wrote, “We have children from two families that literally hate each other. Between the parents there is some intense neighborhood mobbing and as a result the kids have a hard time together. Last week however they had so much breakthrough in their relationship because Holy Spirit manifested in so much love. At the end of our program this week the older boy gave the younger one his hoodie to wear because he was cold and he even sat there with his arm around the younger boys shoulder.”
I love that just because these kids aren’t in church every week, doesn’t mean we have to water down our lessons, or try to cover up that we are talking about God. The kids love it! And they are actually experiencing God for themselves. The same God that talks to the kids in Kids Church is talking to the kids on the streets and in the public schools! And because we are going to the same sites year after year we can build off of what the kids have already learned in pervious years.
Each year, we always start with the "4 Most Important Things" - a series that Seth wrote. That way if there are new kids or it’s a new site, they will be learning that:
1. God is in a good mood,
2. Jesus blood paid for everything,
3. I am important
4. Nothing is impossible!