• facebook
  • instagram
  • twitter
  • mail

Healthy Years

I started at Trinity Church in Lubbock, TX exactly two years ago today.   What a change that was for my family and I!   We ve adjusted moderately well to not having trees in our yard, and the dust storms are beginning to grown on us.   The growth we ve seen in the Children s ministry here at Trinity has been phenomenal over the past two years, and the future is sure to be exciting.   As I was reflecting over my 2 year anniversary, I pulled out my answers to some questions that Trinity asked me to answer during the arduous interview process.   One of the questions was, In your opinion, what are the characteristics of a healthy children s ministry?

What a great question, and one that I struggle with often.   Health is such an evolving word, with health meaning different things to different kids at different stages of life.   Here is how I answered it back then, and with maybe a few minor variations it s still true for me today.

The characteristics of a healthy children s ministry include (in no particular order):

  • Children that have learned the responsibility to serve those around them. Helping children see themselves as a one very important part in a much larger story than they can see with their own eyes.   This is a challenge, because it’ challenges the Adam within all of us.   Thinking of others first isn t a natural thing, and must be reinforced.
  • An environment that is accepting of everyone, and makes everyone feel welcome. Much easier to accept kids than to accept their entire families.   True acceptance of children can only happen when entire families are welcomed and involved in the process of Spiritual growth.
  • Leaders who are inspired to teach and lead. Leaders that know they are God s vessels of service.   Ministry to children will inevitably become ministry to leaders.   It is my desire to see growth in everyone involved in Children s Ministry, and this growth will be deliberately pursued.
  • Children who have an understanding of their important place in God s kingdom. Children looking for ways to actively demonstrate their place in God s Kingdome before everyone. (Parents, teachers, friends, etc )
  • Changed lives and families in the overall church population. Change lives are the currency that we measure success by!   If lives aren t being changed, then changes must be made.   More specifically I desire to see children be the catalyst to change for entire families to come to Christ.

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.

1 Comment

  1. sam Luce · May 3, 2009

    Cliff your a good man. Your church is blessed to have a “little pastor” with such a massive heart. I pray God grows and stretches you even more this year.