In a world that is rapidly changing, so are the needs of our children. No longer do we live in an age where the children are innocent and sheltered from the sin of this world. How is ministering to them different? Bro. Caleb Randol, licensed minister and member of the UPCI Children’s Ministers Association, and his wife, Beth, come from a long line of children’s ministry and Sunday School planning. Both are highly involved in the Investing in Futures conference started by Gary Randol, Caleb’s dad.
Their vision for children is to address the real issues kids face. “We have a deep desire to see children saved,” said Bro. Randol. Recently, he and his wife were invited to an African-American Trinitarian church in St. Louis for a Saturday teaching seminar and to present a Sunday school lesson the next day. While teaching, they asked the children to go to the whiteboard and write down honestly what they were struggling with. “We had teachers in the back crying because they had no idea that their kids were going through suicidal thoughts and drug addictions,” said Bro. Randol. “They were just so focused on the lessons and stories that they never connected with the students.”
No longer are we just dealing with innocent children, but many that have real struggles every day. According to Bro. Randol, simple lessons, stories and snacks alone are not going to suffice; the students need someone to be real and talk about the hard issues. It is not unusual to have children and young teenagers drinking alcohol and smoking, parents split, and living life on their own. We need to know how to minister to them. Bro. and Sis. Randol have seen firsthand how children are different from previous generations, having to deal with much more extensive problems. “Children are becoming upset because they are looking for attention and love, so it’s important to show them that love, then lead them to God,” stated Bro. Randol.
Unlike many other children’s ministers, the Randols have decided to limit the use of puppets or costumes. They use one puppet occasionally but she doesn’t talk, and the costumes are donned for the story but quickly shed when it is time for the serious conversation on steps to salvation. “I know first-hand the possibility of stuff children can go through because at 18 years old I started really getting away from God and got mixed up in many things,” stated Bro. Randol. As the well-known saying goes, “When you save an adult, you save half a life, but when you save a child you save a full life.”
If you are interested in scheduling a teaching seminar, children’s revival, or would like to help fund the Randol’s ministry, please contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.