We BELIEVE our kids ministry (Uptown) is important because:
• Jesus made it a priority and therefore we should too
Matthew 18: 3-5: Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me.”
• It has become a primary need among parents today
Many homes have both parents working, dysfunctional parenting, and social media and digital entertainment having an increasing influence on shaping values. Parents are desperate to do the best for their kids. In a highly competitive world however, they often feel they are messing up, and so we believe the Church needs to partner with parents and families.
• The older a person gets, the more resistant they become to receiving the gospel
We need to communicate the Good News about Jesus and God to our kids from a young age whilst they are highly responsive to the truth.
We DON’T do the traditional models of ministering to kids!
As a local church we guard against slipping into these practices:
a. We are a family and so kids must sit in the adult meeting!
b. School is all about accumulation of knowledge, discipline, one-way communication, boredom, forced attendance, standing in line! Kids don’t want that again on a Sunday.
c. We just occupy the kids with paper and crayon, and no imagination. Kids begin to feel like they are just a nuisance or begin to get up to nonsense.
d. We just do crowd control, one team member to 20+ kids. Everyone else thinks the kids team is amazing but never, ever want to get involved. The kids team begin to survive and not thrive.
e. We divide and conquer the kids into lots of tiny similar aged groups. You then need tons of team members and everyone has to re-invent the wheel.
Our kids ministry model is SIMPLE:
Make Jesus irresistible to children by expecting God’s presence, have loads of energy, have memorable facilities and have a model that is sustainable.
Our model includes:
a. Engaging parents at sign-in and sign-out and with take home media
b. Volunteers who specialize in admin, hosting, storytelling, worship, small-groups, leading meetings, sound, lighting, back up logistics, media…
c. Leading of small groups
d. Worship and storytelling in big groups
e. Facilitating of ministry in small and big groups
f. Kids hearing a message that is age-appropriate
g. Kids having an experience of church that is relevant, fun, expectant and life-changing
h. A culture of invitation where kids want to invite their friends
i. A culture where the kids team know the kids by name and develop meaningful relationships
j. A partnering with parents by getting them to be involved in discipling of their children and living out their faith at home
Values that are VERY important in our kids ministry:
• Jesus centered (constantly presenting the Gospel)
• Holy Spirit present
• Excellence in presentation
• A ratio of kids to team members 8:1 (or close to)
• Partnering (communicating, supporting, resourcing) with parents
• Experts being used in their field and operating in their gifting
• Communication in a way and style that kids understand
• Healthy respect for one another and our rules of engagement
Our kids ministry is FRUITFUL when:
i. are happy and secure when they sign their children in
ii. partner with the messages and curriculum mid-week
iii. they speak to their friends about it
iv. they volunteer on ministry teams
v. they bring their children and friends regularly because they love it
i. are getting saved
ii. are bringing friends
iii. ask their parents not to miss church
iv. are growing in faith and spiritual maturity
v. are actively participating and sharing in meetings
vi. look up to and respect their leaders
i. are noticed, welcomed, celebrated and followed-up
ii. return a second and third time
i. enjoy the ministry with the kids
ii. invite their friends to help with the ministry
iii. are growing in their faith