(Editor’s Note: The following is from an interview with LifeKids Leadership headed by Angel Yap, the Life Coach of our Children Ministry – LifeKids.)
- What are some exciting or new things that the children can look forward to at LifeKids in 2019?
This year, for the very first time, we are writing our own curriculum, as we want to align our lessons with the themes of the church. It’s only been 3 months but we find our lessons (written independently from adult church) have coincided with the Sunday sermons on more than one occasion. This gives an opportunity for family conversations after Sunday services. How awesome is that!
Also, as the whole church is encouraged to learn the Word this year, we in LifeKids (LK) are also joining in and came up with a project to memorize the Books of the Bible. We believe that memorizing the 66 books of the Bible can be a good stepping stone to help our children to be familiar with, know and love the Bible. We came up with a “Bible Map” to help them to keep track of their progress. Even the teachers are in this project together with them.
Apart from this, class parties are a highlight this year. Last year, we noticed how class parties brought different ones together. This year, the teachers will up their game in planning for class parties with the children.
In Baby Church, fruitful is the word to describe Year 2019. Though we are just entering the second quarter of the year, we are already celebrating new births, full moons, 100 days and not forgetting the monthly birthday celebrations, definitely an amazing start. Lessons in Baby Church are also aligned with the themes of the church. At first, we wondered how impossible it could be with these toddlers, but it is possible through songs, stories, crafts, and even snacks! I could hear Jesus weekly at the Baby Church door calling, “Come, little ones!” (paraphrased from Matthew 19:14).
- What would you personally like to see happen to the children who are coming weekly?
LifeKids’ vision is S.E.E.D – weekly we have our kids remind each other that we are to “Serve – to love God first, Experience – to learn His Word, Excited – to lead others to Jesus, and Discipline – to live right everyday”. Weekly we desire to see our vision being commissioned to our children. This year, we are concentrating towards the double “E” – we hope our children have a genuine understanding of being saved, love God and His Word through our services. Our biggest desire has been to see our children choose to receive Jesus on their own when the time comes during an altar call.
We cannot deny that the world’s influence on our children is growing all the time; so we too need to grow in our way of doing Children Ministry. The old ways are still good but they are not good enough. We need to enlarge our tent. And because we are writing our own curriculum this year we find that we are able to cater and relate better to our children. We desire not to just play it safe by brushing over difficult (but important) topics and just telling our children standard Bible Stories but to tell our children the Big Story of the Bible. We want our children to know that there is a bigger and larger narrative operating, which is the Big Story that joins all these “stories” together! That’s the missing piece. It’s time for our young ones to know the real deal, or else, when they grow up reaching teenage years and adulthood, we’ll lose them because we have not prepared them towards maturity (Ephesians. 4:13-16). Don’t underestimate our young ones, they can and are ready to receive the depth of spirituality. It is us, on the other hand, who create their limitations which undermine them. So, we should break-off that mindset, and start looking at our little ones with the eyes of Christ. Then, we will be able to see how God can magnify Himself through each of them.
- How can we as parents help or participate in helping our children grow spiritually?
Partnering with parents is vital in helping our children grow spiritually. We are very weak on this, and the leadership in LifeKids are also working towards this. We can’t miraculously expect to change a child overnight, but we can gradually grow a child in a godly way when we partner with parents.
Henceforth, Parents, this part is for you.
Our primary aim has always been to equip parents by providing a platform to discuss the Big Story of the Bible, with their own children. This purpose has always been clear in our heads. However, in the last few years it has become more apparent that parents are unable to engage with their children in discussing the Big Story of the Bible. All this while, parents have been sitting back, being thankful that their children were being taught by others. So, how do we exactly urge parents from taking a passive position to an active role?
Our lessons emphasize consistent, continuous learning whereby it is at all times highly encouraged for your child to attend LifeKids weekly. They can attend Church once a month and still know what the lessons are about, but you won’t see growth. They will be always looking from the viewpoint of a “visitor” to LifeKids, and the danger to this is that church attendance eventually becomes just a visit too. And for some, a habit of reaching LifeKids after worship segment is as good as telling them that worship is unimportant.
Hence, we sincerely urge you parents, to partner with us by bringing them early or at least on time. Partner with us by talking to them about what they’ve learnt during the week. Partner with us in supporting our events. Partner with us in helping our kids invite their friends and give a helping hand to even transport their friends to church.
All these years, we thought that just by equipping the children would help them grow in a godly way, but that’s a wrong theology. We understand the struggles of parents not knowing how to tell the Big Story to them, but, Parents, we truly need you. So, let’s partner and work towards this, gradually and surely.
Contributed by LifeKids Leadership