The DEC Kids program is undergoing some exciting changes this Fall!
The staff and elders have been prayerfully considering how to best minister to young families and their children. As we examined what scripture has to say about ministering to families/children, we noticed a few things:
The Bible gives us freedom in how we minister to families
Discipling children is not optional – there are clear references to teaching the next generation (Deut 6:1-9 and Psalm 78:1-8)
Parents have authority and the primary responsibility to disciple their children (Eph 6:1-4).
With that in mind, we decided to make a change. Instead of going straight to Sunday School when they arrive, children will worship with their families for the first part of the service, and then be dismissed to Kids’ Church.
Why the change? Was there something wrong with our Sunday School program? Well, no…the team has an amazing heart for the Lord and for children, and kids were getting to know God, scripture and each other. But having the kids separated from adults all the time left little opportunity for children to be around parents or other adults who model prayer and worship. We’ve all seen times, for better or worse, when kids learn more through what we do (modeling) than what we say. Remember that time Johnny commented on someone’s driving, because he’s heard you do it? Or the time Susie said, “I need some alone time!” to her sister, because you’ve said the same thing to her? When our girls were younger, they would sometimes sit down next to me during my quiet time in the morning, and imitate me reading the Bible/journaling. I never taught them to – it’s just how kids naturally learn.
You may be wondering why we don’t just dismiss the kids to Sunday school…why change to Kids’ Church? What is Kids’ Church, anyway? Kids’ Church is a mixture of whole group teaching and small group activities. Kids in grades 1-5 will hear the same message (similar to how adults hear the same sermon). Before the message, they gather in small groups of 8-10 kids to do some introductory activities. Then they join together to hear the Bible story and learn a key passage or memory verse. Following the large group time, they go back to their small groups for more activities that reinforce what they learned in the large group. (Click HERE to learn more about the curriculum we’re currently using – The Gospel Project for Kids).
This model isn’t necessarily better than the Sunday school model – they both have their pros and cons. But here are some of the reasons we decided to make the change:
a common lesson & experience for grades 1-5 can foster a greater sense of community;
families with kids in multiple grades can more easily follow-up at home, with all kids focusing on the same topic;
one topic for grades 1-5 makes prep and volunteer support easier;
and there will be more opportunity for kids' team to work together, share the load, and support each other
Parents may drop off their Nursery, PreK and Kindergarten children before service begins in the same rooms as before:
Nursery – Upstairs near main entrance
PreK – Rm 8, downstairs
Kindergarten – Rm 9, downstairs
Kids’ Church will be held in the Function Hall and adjacent classrooms. We hope to begin by September 24th.That start date will be dependent upon volunteers.
If you have any questions, or would like to get involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org / 868-1027 x203. We’re looking forward to a great year with you and your kids!