Probably the most convincing argument is the probability of people accepting Jesus Christ as their savior for a lifetime relationship. According to Barna’s research, ministry to children has 5 to 8 times the impact compared to older children or adults. Barna’s research on faith development and discipleship also found that the moral development of children is complete by age 9.
Non-religious oriented research on children’s moral and values development substantiates that the foundation for lifelong values and morals are formed at the earliest years.
Church attendance by children also has a lifelong impact. The majority (61%) of adults who attended church as children still attend regularly, while only 22% of those who were not churchgoers as children attend church today. For parents who were churched as children, 63% take their own children to church. That’s double the proportion among adults who were not churched and now have children of their own (33%).
“The first seven years [of life] constitute the period for laying the foundations of religion. This is the most important period in the whole of a person’s life in determining his later religious attitudes.” (R. S. Lee)
Children’s ministry teaches children about their Savior. It gives them both facts and experiences that help them to follow Jesus. The existence of a children’s ministry helps to validate the importance of children within the church. As a result, children feel welcomed and loved at church.
There are many reasons why children’s Sunday-school is neglected in many modern churches. Many adults do not want to minister to children. It takes far more effort and manpower to run children’s ministry programs than adult ones. Also, children’s ministries often do not produce visible fruit till much later.
It is important to teach children because they learn things far more readily than adults. (Adults are usually too proud to learn and hardened by sin.) Furthermore, what is learned by a child is seldom forgotten (Proverbs 22:6). A child, who is saved early in life, wastes fewer years pursuing the worthless things of this world and has more years to serve God.
What Others Have Said. . . .
“It is vitally important that our children be led to a personal relationship with Christ and instructed in His Word when they are young. If I could relive my life, I would devote my entire ministry to reaching children for God.” (D.L. Moody, American Evangelist)
Charles Hadden Spurgeon hoped that God would revive His church and restore her to her ancient faith by “ …a gracious work among the children.”
“No other form of Christian effort brings such immediate, such large, and such lasting results as work for the conversion of children. It has many advantages over other forms of work. First of all, children are more easily led to Christ than adults. In the second place, they are more likely to stay converted than those apparently converted at a later period of life. They also make better Christians, as they do not have as much to unlearn as those who have grown old in sin. They have more years of service before them. A man converted at sixty is a soul saved plus ten years of service; a child saved at ten is a soul saved plus sixty years of service.” (Dr. R. A. Torrey said this referring to Rev. E. P. Hammond’s children’s crusades)