In 2020, Children’s Ministry turns 25. To celebrate this milestone, the Adventist Church launched a talent contest for boys and girls around the world aged 5-12. Following the theme “Jesus is my best friend,” they will be able to show their gifts in the categories of art, poetry, and media production.
The 20 winners of the world competition will have their work published in a commemorative digital book. Another selection will highlight the 20 best classifieds in South America. These works will compose an honor roll, which will be released in a live celebration of Children’s Ministry on October 9.
According to the director of the department in South America, Glaucia Korkischko, there are many achievements to be celebrated, especially the discipleship of parents and children, which has been an emphasis of the Ministry in recent years. In addition, it highlights the quality of the materials, tools, and projects that have emerged, which are reflected in the spiritual development of the little ones, and bring them closer to Jesus. Finally, Korkischko thanks and congratulates “all the teachers and leaders who have dedicated their lives to the most beautiful mission: to guide children into eternity.”
In 1995, the Children’s Ministry was made official as a department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. However, long before that, the little ones already had special attention by the denomination. In 1863, the first series of children's lessons were written. From the following year, these lessons began to be published in the editions of The Youth's Instructor, designed to address important issues for the spiritual development of youth.
In 1890, Our Little Friend magazine incorporated lessons from the Sabbath School for Kindergarten and Primary Schools. Years later, in 1957, the church started publishing content for Cradle Roll and Kindergarten, while Primary students gained their own publication, Primary Treasure. Since then, these materials have been expanding around the world, and others have appeared regularly, created both by the Sabbath School department at the church’s world headquarters and by teachers in children's classes in various countries.
At the 1985 General Conference session in New Orleans, United States, the Church Ministries Department was created. Formed by the areas of Sabbath School, Stewardship and Development, Youth, and Marriage and Family Service, it included support for work on behalf of the little ones. But in 1987, Children’s Ministry gained its own space in the department. With the support of publishers Review and Herald and Pacific Press Publishing Association, the ministry started to produce quarterly Sabbath School guides for children from Kindergarten, Primary, and Youth, to a children's edition of the mission class. It also formulated a training program for the leaders of these classes.
Finally, at the 1995 General Conference session in Utrecht, the Netherlands, Children’s Ministry emerged as an autonomous department of the church. In 2000, a new children's curriculum was formulated, with the collaboration of people from all over the world: Gracelink. Still in force today, this curriculum emphasizes four main aspects of the Christian faith: grace, worship, community, and service. 1995 was also the year Children’s Ministry started its activities in South America.