Defend Prayer and Religious Liberty: Your Signature Makes an Impact!

Awana Leader Urges Churches to Invest in Children's Ministries

Amanda Casanova | Contributor | Friday, September 23, 2022
Awana Leader Urges Churches to Invest in Children's Ministries

Awana Leader Urges Churches to Invest in Children's Ministries

Churches need to invest in discipleship-oriented children's ministries, or else they could be "standing on a burning platform," said Matt Markins, head of the child discipleship organization Awana.

Referring to a Barna Group study, Marlins said most children develop their worldview by age 13, and it is "largely fixed," The Christian Post reports.

"If we're looking at age 18 as the deadline, we're actually looking at the wrong deadline," Markins said. "It's not 18, it's 13, because the Barna Group said worldview formation is set by then. Churches really need to be investing in children, because it's what we're doing with the 8-year-olds that is forming what's going to become the 13-year-olds."

He said developing a worldview must start when people are children because it's not a "youth group conversation."

"The Church looks to the canary in the coal mine as the high school dropout rate [when] students walk away from the Church after high school. But the purpose of the canary in the coal mine isn't the moment the canary falls over, it's what deadly gas led to that and where did it come from?" Markins told CP.

Markins' comments come just ahead of Awana's Child Discipleship Forum slated from Sept. 22-23 in Nashville, Tennessee. About 500 people are expected to attend the two-day event. Transformation Church Pastor Derwin Gray, apologist and academic Rebecca McLaughlin, Barna Group CEO David Kinnaman, Grove City College professor Carl Trueman and theologian Ray Ortlund are expected to attend.

Markins also referred to how children who said they have at least one adult at their church besides their parents who "knows them, loves them, and cares for them" as being more willing to engage in the Bible, serve in the church and feel like they belong to the church.

"There's no comparison between the children who have another adult engaging with them compared to the children who don't," he added.

"So, what's the point to pastors and leaders? If you cultivate a culture at your church where kids are known, loved, and cared for by other loving, caring adults who are engaging with them, you're going to ... develop children who become teenagers, students, and young adults who have lasting faith."

Photo courtesy: ©GettyImages/jacoblund

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.