The Most Rewarding Ministry Program I Have Ever Started

CIA 2001

I was looking through some old photos this weekend and came across the picture above.  It’s a shot from thirteen years ago that features our 2001 C.I.A. team.  C.I.A. stands for “Christians In Action.”  C.I.A. is our Summer Discipleship/Leadership Program for 4th & 5th graders.  As I looked at it, I realized that two of the eight members of that team are on our Pastoral Staff here at First NLR.

C.I.A. has been one of the most effective programs I have ever started in my 23 years of Kids Ministry!  We just celebrated our 15th graduating class.  The graduates of CIA go on to be some of the TOP leaders in the Youth Ministry. In fact, we have THREE pastors on our staff currently who are graduates of our CIA program.  We also just launched a full-time Missionary to East Africa who was a graduate of our very FIRST C.I.A. class at my current church.

“So, what does the C.I.A. program consist of?”  It’s a hand-chosen team of 4th & 5th graders who have shown an aptitude for leadership.  There is a stringent application process.  They meet every Thursday for 6 weeks during the Summer.   They commit to spending time with God in prayer and Bible study EVERY DAY for the six weeks.  They fast something each week (candy, desserts, cokes, video games, secular music, etc.)  On the Thursday meeting days, they pray for one hour, study/memorize God’s Word for one hour (tested on 2 memorized scriptures per week), learn a leadership lesson from one of our pastoral staff, and then spend the afternoon doing “ministry projects.”  These projects vary from working with the homeless, stuffing the church bulletins, cleaning the church vehicles, visiting and praying with shut-ins and Nursing Homes, etc.

It is a powerful ministry experience and leadership training! It has been THE most strategic and beneficial ministry I have ever started in Children’s Ministry.

What about you?  Do you have a Discipleship Ministry like C.I.A.?  Are you raising up the next generation of leaders?  Share some of your ideas in the comments section!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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8 thoughts on “The Most Rewarding Ministry Program I Have Ever Started

  1. If conducted correctly, Royal Rangers does all of those things you listed, but for every boy. Many pastors, missionaries, and leaders of our fellowship and local communities were Royal Rangers as boys. Anyone who thinks it is just a camping program is misinformed. Rangers is a place to mentor future men, instruct in leadership, and provide a doorway to adventure.

  2. This is awesome! what a legacy! I truly love this idea. I have been praying through asking God to help me develop a true discipleship plan to give to parents to help them disciple their children but also a way that we as a church can partner with them to raise up the next generation of leaders! This is great!!

  3. I like this and have been looking at doing something like this! This is real discipleship at its best! What is the date range recommended here? Time frame for day? You said 8 is this the number you shot for each year? Did you document this in a curriculum?

  4. This sounds amazing! Would love to see the application and a break down of the day? What were the specific leadership skills you worked on?

  5. I have done a group in both churches I’ve work in. Kids in leadership is such a valuable tool for a children’s pastor. We meet every Monday, year round! They are taught everything from sound, media, worship, drama. We also do leadership/spiritual growth. The depth in a students life that I have seen from starting this group has been awesome!!

  6. Many thanks sir,
    We have started program like this been praying to be connected with others as to gain more ideas in doing the work.We are very proud of you and encourage more to continue with the children in our communities,
    Thanks so much we want to become part of you.