10 Big Reasons Why In-Person Children's Ministry is More Effective than Online Children's Ministry

Let me start off by saying I believe using technology to reach kids and parents is something the church should be doing.  

This has especially been true during the current pandemic.  Kids (with parental approval) have been able to tune in and stay in touch with their friends, teachers and pastors. 

It has been amazing watching churches around the world step up to the challenge and provide great online services and events.

I'm all for getting the Word of God out by any means necessary.  The Bible is God's Word whether it is on a TV screen or on a page in a printed Bible.

Technology has opened the doors for us to witness and share the love of God with people all over the world.  People we would have never been able to reach with out the cutting-edge technology God has placed in our hands.  

That being said...I still believe there is nothing as effective as in-person ministry.  Here are 10 big reasons why. 

1. God makes it clear that He wants us to gather.  

Hebrews 10:25 says this...

"And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near."

There is something about being with other believers.  It strengthens you spiritually and encourages your heart.  It helps you realize that you are not alone.  There are other kids and families around you that love Jesus too. 

 2. Jesus has promised to be in our midst when we gather to worship Him.  

Matthew 18:20 says this...

"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there among them."

During this pandemic, many churches have been limited on how many people could come to the church for worship services. For some it has been as low as 10 people who are allowed to gather.  The good news is that Jesus said even if just 2 or 3 gather, He is with them.

3. Kids can be prayed over and hear their name called out to God.  There is something special about a person calling out a child's name in prayer. It really makes an impact.  There is power in prayer...especially if it's in-person and a child is being prayed for.

4.  Kids can make friends with other children who are passionate about following Jesus.  One of the most important decisions a child makes is who they choose to be their friend.  Friends are a big influence in a child's life.  That's why you want to make sure their friends are kids who love Jesus.  Church is a great place to find those kind of friends.  Are the kids at church perfect?  No.  Do all of them love Jesus?  No. We've all heard the jokes and stories about the pastor's and deacons' kids.  But there are many who do love Jesus and can be a great influence in your child's life.

5. Kids can be part of a small group. Small groups.  So, so, so, so important.  The larger a church gets, the smaller it must become through getting kids to participate in a small group. 

6. Kids are missed when they aren't there and follow up can be done.  When kids are part of a small group, (and by small I mean 6-8 people) they are missed when they are not there.  Follow-up phone calls can be made.  Miss you cards can be sent.   

7. Kids can have a caring adult small group leader who can help guide them towards God's pathway and plans.  First and foremost this is the job of the parents.  But I have found that God also sends other people into kids' lives to reinforce what the parents are saying.  And many times that person is a small group leader.

8. Kids can worship with other kids.  Yes, you can worship at home.  Yes, you can worship by video with songs on a screen.  But there is nothing better than worshiping with other people who are in the same room and are worshiping with everything they have. 

9. It gives them the opportunity to use the gifts and talents God has given them for God's Kingdom.  Kids can serve in many capacities at church.  This is important because we know that kids who serve are more likely to serve God for a lifetime.  There is something about serving that ignites a fire in your soul  and gets you focused on what God is focused on.

10.  Kids can learn what the Word of God says.  Yes, kids should learn the teachings of the Bible everywhere they go.  At home in their room.  In the car on the way to school.  During family devotions.at breakfast.  Church is also a key place where kids can learn from God's Word.  Teachers can bring lessons that challenge kids to follow God.  Small group leaders can help them understand key passages in the Bible. 

I have talked with many churches that are going to continue offering kids' online services after the pandemic has subsided.  I think that is a good idea.  But I also think we must be remember the power of face to face, in-person ministry and how God uses it.  My prayer is that the kids who have been pulled out due to circumstances, will return and fully engage with the ministry leaders.  

Your turn.  What do you think?  

Do you think online services should continue for kids after the pandemic has subsided?  If so, will it deter families from coming to church (physical location)?

What are some positives for worshiping online from home?

What are some disadvantages for worshiping online from home?

How can we use online services to share the Gospel with unchurched families?

Which do you prefer?  Online or in-person?  Explain why that is your answer.