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Children's Ministry on Purpose
Many children’s ministries are a flurry of activity, run by dedicated volunteers and staff who put in long hours and work hard for the good of the children and parents they serve. Yet despite good intentions, many children’s ministries today are not effective. They lack purpose and intentionality.
A twenty-five year veteran of children’s ministry in the local church, pastor Steve Adams has ministered to families in multiple churches, from tiny church plants to his present position at Saddleback Church. In this book, Steve applies the revolutionary insights of the Purpose Driven Church to children’s ministry and leads readers on a journey of discovery, showing them how to develop an intentional ministry process that moves children toward spiritual health while building a healthy ministry environment for those who work with kids. You will learn how to ask and answer five simple but powerful questions:
- Why are we on this journey?
- Where are you and where are you going?
- Who are we trying to reach?
- How will we move our children towards spiritual health?
- What are the essential elements necessary for the journey?
There is no single key to a successful children’s ministry, nor is there only one way that works for everyone. But there is a proven process you can follow and Steve shows how children’s ministries all over the world are reaching their God-given potential by discovering their biblical purpose, avoiding the traps of frustration and burnout.
About the Author
Steve Adams serves as the children’s pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA. For 25 years, Steve has mentored children’s ministry leaders all over the world and currently leads a dynamic staff who serves seven California campuses and three international campuses. Steve authentically communicates his passion for children’s ministry through his blog and podcast “More Than Puppets.” He lives in Orange County with his wife, Stephanie, and their two sons, Tyler and Matt.
For more than twenty years I’ve had the privilege of learning to lead children’s ministry directly from Steve Adams. This book is not theoretical ideas. These are principles and practices I have seen Steve implement over many years of real-life, daily leadership in the local church. I am excited for you to have access to the wisdom and experience that has mentored me for so long. This is an important resource for all of us who are passionate about leading kids and families. Applying what is taught here will lead to stronger, healthier ministries. -- Randy Isola, Children’s Pastor, Christ Community Church, St. Charles, IL
Children’s Ministry on Purpose is a book that is not just a theory or a concept on “how to”; instead we hear the heart of Steve Adams as he poses questions for us to explore. Steve is by far one of the leading children’s pastors of our time, and the wisdom gained by reading this book impacts me personally, which in turn flows into my ministry. This book’s layout makes thinking about your journey an easy one as you explore your world and ministry to be more purposeful, strategic, and all God intended it to be. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have! -- Andy Kirk, ACCkids National Director, Australian Christian Churches
Having been the children’s pastor for the last twenty-four years at Fellowship Church, I understand the extreme importance of being purposeful in everything I do to accomplish God’s plan in the lives of the children He has given to me. However, I have found that being purposeful in children’s ministry is more difficult today than ever before. In this age of quick fixes and instant impact, we’ve become accustomed to wanting to see the fruits of our labors immediately. Unfortunately, when working with kids, this just does not happen. When we don’t see immediate results, we begin to lose focus on our end goal and wonder, “Am I really making a difference?” But this doesn’t have to happen to you! Take the principles found in this book to heart and you will soon find the rejuvenation and confidence in knowing that, by developing and maintaining a long-term purpose within your ministry, you will be making a difference. -- Mike Johnson, Global Children’s Pastor, Fellowship Church, TX
Since I first heard Steve Adams share the way children’s leaders should have a strategy about being intentional and balanced, my life and ministry have never been the same. His teachings can be customized to your own church and country. This book shares his love and passion for children’s souls and will guide you as a leader and help you radically change your children’s ministry. After reading this book, you will join this huge army of God’s soldiers, as Steve says, that will change the children’s landscape of eternity. -- Soranlly Campos León, Children’s Ministry Pastor, Comunidad Cristiana Lirio de los Valles, Alajuela, Costa Rica
Pastor Steve has been a mentor of mine for over a decade. He is a brilliant leader and knows how to pull the best out of people. Children’s Ministry on Purpose takes all of his years of learning and distributes it into a book that will help children’s leaders everywhere. Through his unique approach, Steve strategically leads you through a process of developing the right systems for the structure that is appropriate for your setting. It does not matter if you are full time, part time, or volunteer, this book will help you decide why you do children’s ministry, define the appropriate structures, walk through how to build those structures, and determine who to get in place to make it happen! Whether you have well-defined processes and structures or if you are just starting to build them, Children’s Ministry on Purpose will help you evaluate how you are raising a spiritually healthy generation. Together, as we continue to refine our strategies, we will become more effective in our efforts to “shape the landscape of eternity.” -- Michael Grove, Children’s Pastor, Calvary Church of Naperville, IL
It is not uncommon in the church world for people to stress the importance of ministry to children. However, in most churches this is the area where the highest percentage of leaders have the least amount of training and support to make it happen. In Children’s Ministry on Purpose, Steve Adams provides some of the most foundational and practical insights to help create a structure where both spiritual and numeric growth happen while at the same time helping leaders feel more confident to fulfill their commitment to the parents, church, and children. This is by far the best book your children’s leader will ever read if they want to laser focus their ministry to become everything God wants it to be. -- Mark Entzminger, Senior Director of Children’s Ministries, General Council of the Assemblies of God
I have worked with Steve Adams at Saddleback Church for a long time. I have often said that I have never met anybody with a better understanding of leadership and local church ministry than Steve, and that is why I am so excited about Children’s Ministry on Purpose! This book is, without question, the best children’s ministry book I have ever read, but it is much more than that. In Children’s Ministry on Purpose, you will learn from an incredibly deep well of children’s ministry, leadership, and church experience. There are lots of children’s ministry books and all sorts of strategies and paradigms designed to help you do what you do a little better, but I am a believer in the strategy outlined in these pages. My own children are the byproduct of Steve’s leadership and the children’s ministry here at Saddleback. Also, this strategy is blatantly biblical in every area. And . . . it works! Each week, the children’s ministry at Saddleback ministers to thousands of children, and churches all over the world have adapted the purpose-driven strategy in their own children’s ministry with tremendous fruitfulness. Simply put, the proof is in the pudding . . . and no children’s ministry is complete without a little pudding! I am so glad you purchased this book, and soon you will be too! -- Kurt Johnston, Pastor to Students, Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, CA
Finally! A book that shares the foundational principles of developing and sustaining a healthy children’s ministry. Children’s Ministry on Purpose is a practical and transferable tool for a church of any size, anywhere. Steve’s authenticity is woven into each chapter of this book, and you will be encouraged by his heart for serving God by serving children and children’s leaders! -- Cynthia Petty, Children’s Minister, Saddleback Church
The first time I heard Steve speak was at a conference where he laid out in a wonderfully concise way, the building blocks of an effective children’s ministry. He knows what he’s talking about when he talks about church and ministry. Doing tasks without purpose or intentionality is a major source of frustration and limitation in ministry. I have no doubt that this book will change the way you approach ministry to kids and provide you with a framework for “maximizing your opportunities.” Read this book and discover purpose for your ministry. -- David Wakerley, Hillsong Kids Pastor and Creative Director