[Joylane Bartron 2:00pm Friday afternoon 9/14/07]
Joylane spoke about the who, what, and how of children’s ministry at CHBC.
Who: The Parents of the congregation. The children’s ministry exists to support and encourage parents who have the biblical responsibility to disciple their children. Ephesians 5 discusses that parents, especially fathers, are to bring up children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. This kind of responsibility also resides on the shoulders of the congregation and it is also in CHBC's church covenant to come together as a body to, "help bring children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." The preaching ministry is the foundation of the curriculum for the children’s ministry of the church. They have two deacons and a curriculum team of three women.
What: 2 sections.
(1) Childcare ministry. This is a ministry to parents to provide Christ centered care to children from birth to two years old.
(2) Children’s classes are for ages 2yrs – 18yrs . Praise Factory Junior is aimed at teaching the basic concepts of the curriculum (pre-school aged children). Praise Factory is for kindergarten through 4th grade. This curriculum consists of 100 concepts of theology to be taught in a 5 year span of time. This is not a program! If the support for it from the congregation and the parents would disappear the children’s ministry, as it exists, would disappear. They do it to encourage parents with the volunteer and joyful serving of the congregation, but also because the congregation loves their children and they want to see the kids come to faith in Jesus Christ.
How: This is the philosophy of the ministry. The 9 Marks of a healthy church also apply to the children’s ministry. This is a topical curriculum of systematic theology for Children! Expositional teaching (preaching), theology is for Praise Factory and Praise Factory Jr. on Sunday mornings. Sunday evenings are more of an application of the concepts from the morning lesson. Biblical theology is more than reciting verses with children. It is giving biblical literacy and helping children learn how it fits into the history of redemption (the good news of the gospel). This is how they teach the concept...that it is God who changes hearts. This helps the children to avoid a misunderstanding of what the gospel is. Further, a biblical understanding of conversion helps children know that conversion is when a heart is changed by God in an understanding of the gospel through faith and repentance, not by human intuition . We shouldn’t look at how we can get them to pray a prayer; rather, we should engage them in the long teaching of helping them see what sin is in their life, and how God has changed those who believe. At 9:00am the children’s ministry staff come together for prayer every Sunday morning. The main goal of the Children’s ministry is to aid parents in raising little ones up to be worshipers of God. Also, to seek and pursue their hearts through prayer, understanding them, and communicating in ways they can understand. We must cultivate satisfaction in the Lord alone. We must model worship and ask the children to join us in worship of God so they may worship God long after we are gone. CHBC’s hope in children ministry is that the kids might be faithful stewards of the gospel after we are gone.