The weather is getting warmer, and we can feel that spring is in the air. But, colourful blossoms on the trees are not the only signs of a new season that we’re rejoicing in. As a Children’s Ministry Team, we have a spring in our step and we’re joyfully celebrating a number of ‘new blossoms’ that God has provided.
The XChange Centre recently got a fresh coat of paint, and we just love the burst of colour. We will also do some more work on the downstairs area during the rest of the year – soon the walls will be decorated with jungle trees and animals, and the classes filled with some toys and props for all our young Bible Adventure Club explorers to enjoy.
While our ultimate aim isn’t to have the best, most exciting buildings and equipment, we do believe that environments play a vital part in our ministry to children. If everyone on our team is like a gardener who plants gospel seeds in kids’ hearts, our environments help to nurture those seeds to take root. We want to create physical spaces where kids feel welcome, excited, and safe to learn and explore their faith. We also want our environments to reflect just how much we value children. There is still a lot of work to be done in this regard, but we are so grateful for the steps we’ve been able to take towards our vision for our learning environments.
The second area in which we’ve recently seen signs of new life and growth is worship at Kids’ Bible School (Gr0-7). Corporate worship is a key aspect of a disciple’s life, and we want children to love and value worshipping Jesus with other members of his family from an early age. Until now, worship has been challenging due to limited resources, and we learned that lyric videos alone are not the most effective way to lead kids in worship. We are so grateful to God for providing us with a new KBS Worship Team. He has sent a group of energetic, faithful, young people who are on fire for Jesus to help lead the songs and actions. We pray that God will grow this team and continue to use each member as they point kids to the gospel and model how to glorify Jesus.
We also hope all our Spark families have been enjoying the new take on Fire Drills! Fire Drills are a tool that Nicola developed to equip parents for discipling their children. Each Friday, a Fire Drill is handed out with the main points from the lesson and some related activities and questions to go through at home. This term, the Fire Drills have been flipped around: instead of reinforcing the previous lesson, the children take home a Fire Drill related to the following Friday evening. In this way, families can work through the Bible passage and topic during the week, and children can prepare their hearts before the next Spark evening.
Lastly, our routine at KBS (Gr 0-7s) received some ‘spring cleaning’ this term. We now begin the morning with a fun game to break the ice and make everyone feel welcome. The game is related to the lesson, and introduces the children to what they will be learning in an interactive way. After that, the children have their time of teaching and discussion, and this takes up the bulk of our time with the children. We end the morning all together in the hall for praise and worship, and the kids can be collected here at the end of the service.
We have ordered things in this way for a couple of reasons. First, this helps us to love our team better, as they can always have a set time for their lessons. When the teaching time was at the end, lessons would often get cut short if the main service came out early. Our teachers are now able to plan their lessons knowing exactly how much time they will have. Secondly, we found that a game at the start helps children to feel relaxed and ready to learn (They are also more likely to remember the lesson than the fun activity if it’s to the closer end!). Finally, by coming together at the end for worship, the children can respond to what they’ve learned about God and be reminded that they belong to a big, special family.
As we look back on the year so far, we celebrate all that God has done in RUC’s Children’s Ministry, and we excitedly look forward to continued growth and fruitfulness. We pray that we’ll see God’s kingdom grow even more, that young hearts will keep being transformed and that each child will impact the world around them for Jesus’ glory in all seasons of life.