The #1 FAQ
"We love this approach to church!" folks tell us after seeing how we operate in Spaces. So many seem so hungry for something more relational, participatory, and organic!
"But what will you guys be doing for Kids Ministry?" It's the most common question we receive and we totally understand why!
THE BIG IDEA
To make this declaration a reality, we understand that Jesus-centered households, not Jesus-labeled event centers, are the lynchpin. Our activities thus center around building people, not around facilitating impersonal experiences. This carries over into our philosophy of children's ministry where our emphasis is on supporting and equipping the leaders of each home to be the primary disciplers in their children's lives.
"You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise." Deuteronomy 6:7
Interestingly, the first biblical charge to discipleship is directed toward parents in raising their children. Considering the average working parent has approximately 20x more hours spent around their own child than any kid min worker will ever have, doesn't this make great sense? There's simply no scriptural precedent for outsourcing this role to an institutional department!
As an extended family, we also believe the greater L24 community has a shared responsibility to impart value to one another. Many churches describe themselves as being "multi-generational" yet few are intentional about integrating diverse age groups into environments where they can interact with each other. Bluntly stated, demographic segregation (a market-driven strategy) has left the young without wise mentorship and the sage labeled "irrelevant." We will be intentional in our efforts to tear down these dividing walls.
"What does it look like?" (THE SPECIFICS)
It's really straightforward. We didn't Google "Top 10 Kids Ministries" for ideas. We simply embraced what we value and asked "How would a big healthy family do it?" Here's what we got so far:
Inclusion where possible - There is no Holy Spirit Junior. If we accept that, then we must also believe that as our children grow in their relationship with Jesus, they're going to have a lot to contribute to our community. We foresee them participating in our corporate worship and inviting them to share when the Holy Spirit speaks. (Note: There will be occasions where we'll dig deeper into more mature topics and including everyone just won't make sense. In these cases, we'll make sure that our kids are set up to spend some time in their own peer groups.)
A place at the table - Many of our times together will revolve around gathering around the table. (This isn't figurative. We'll literally be eating together...a lot!) So on a very practical level, we'll always have a Kids' Table full of food they like and have fun things for them to do when they can't sit still anymore. When a young person's matured to the point where they're ready to listen and interact with more developed conversation, they'll be invited to the larger table by their own home's leader (Mom, Dad, Grandparents, etc.). The point of this is to include whole households under the same roof, like any healthy extended family would, while also ensuring the quality of conversation (which at times may include raw/real content) is honored.
A message for everyone - In gatherings that emphasize teaching, we'll begin by huddling the kids around the person speaking so that a simplified version can be illustrated in story form while the rest of us listen in. (We think adults will benefit from this too!) Our kids will then break out into another room to engage in ways that make a kinesthetic connection to what they've heard while the grown folks go a bit deeper. At the end of the gathering, both kids and parents will have interacted with the same scriptures in different ways, leaving a wide-open opportunity for the family to continue the discussion in their own home.
Methods will change. Our Values Won't.
We don't suggest we've figured everything out. In many ways, we've embraced the idea that what we're doing is very experimental and that we'll have a lot of "aha moments" along the way. Our methods will be modified over time.
What's described here is meant to highlight the values that identify us. We want to operate as an extended family bringing God's kingdom to our community through healthy households. This translates to a "Kids Ministry" that seeks first to build a consistent support system around each child so that they can grow in a natural and healthy environment.