Our Children’s Ministry is based on the scriptural view of the inherent value of children and the responsibility of parents to teach them the precepts of God. (Psalm 127, Deuteronomy 6, Matthew 19)
The primary responsibility for teaching children resides within the family but is shared with the church when the body of Christ meets together. Those who minister to the children at the local church stand in “loco parentis” but do not usurp the authority of the family. Our model is to have parents and teachers work together to provide a strong Christian foundation for children.
This begins with the Nursery/Toddler ministry which provides nurturing childcare along with biblical instruction. For the infants we can truly say that they “shall not all sleep but they shall all be changed”. Our toddlers are provided with a stimulating environment and a “circle time” when the word of God is taught and followed up with crafts and seatwork. The facilities for this area would be improved with the addition of dedicated space for sleeping infants.
Our Junior Kindergarten through Grade Six program is called Big Tree Kids. We want our children to receive the Word of God so that they are, in fact, like the tree in Psalm 1 which is rooted and grounded in God’s Word for a lifetime. The program involves the children in worship, prayer, drama, small and large group activities, consistent Bible Study and an opportunity to share in the worship services of the church on special occasions. Class sizes are small in order to maintain a personal relationship between teacher and student. In response to the observations made by BTK workers in a recent survey, we will be implementing some changes which we believe will make the ministry to the children we serve more effective. These include: 1.) Prayer time for workers before the worship service 2.) Increased use of technology in large group time 3.) Utilizing more drama/interactive activities during large group time.
As well, we will continue to evaluate the curriculum we use to ensure that it provides the highest quality pedagogical principles as well as a strong foundation in biblical truth.
Junior High (Gr.7and 8) students provide a unique challenge. Studies show that this is the age when children from Christian families begin a slow process of separation from the church and faith. It is essential, then, that the church provides opportunity for relevant instruction and integration of faith in the life context for this group. Currently, our Jr. High group alternates between listening to the sermon and leaving for a teaching/discussion session with its leaders. This program is aimed at conserving young people in the church by intentionally teaching them how to benefit from the larger worship service, while also providing them with more specific, age appropriate biblical instruction. At the end of June, we will evaluate this program and make any necessary changes for the start up in September.