Category Archives: First Look

Where Should Your Child be on Sunday Morning?

imagesThe answer is simple…where the rest of the kids their age are going.  It is easy to give in and allow your child to go to worship with you or talk you out of going to church all together.  At my church, Holland’s United Methodist Church, our children’s Sunday School is during the contemporary, 9:45 AM service.  Some kids like the cool music and the laid back format of that style of worship, but being cool doesn’t equate to fostering an #AuthenticFaith.  The messages delivered during that service are intended for adults.  Children, especially those who are elementary aged and younger, have not achieved a level of maturity to where the sermons, songs, and fellowship will progress their journey.

We know that more than 50% of high school grads abandon their faith after high school.  The absolutely, no-doubt-about-it method to improving those odds with your child is to make sure they are in the right room with the right people on Sunday mornings.  At Holland’s that is our flagship children’s Sunday school programs during the 9:45 service.  Three to five years old children should be with our loving pre-school ambassadors and our K – 5 grade kiddos are with Mr. Jim and the amazingly cool and fun children’s ministry ambassadors (I like to call them education ninjas…cuz they are that good).

Does this mean they should never attend worship?  Of course they should.  We certainly don’t want a church full of college aged kids who have never worshiped before.  However, their Christian education and basic worship practices will be taught in Sunday School as well.  Maybe go to an earlier or later service from time to time so they can experience a pastor led worship.  Maybe encourage your Sunday School leader to take the kiddos to “Big People” church once a quarter or so.

Now go #NJS the heck out of the day.  :)

Jim

 

What is Orange?

Orange is the robust, #AuthenticFaith building, mega-awesome curriculum from the reThink Group in Atlanta.  They developed a program that revolves around a partnership with parents.  Your church leaders will see your child about 40 hours per year, while you see them about 3,000 hours.  Soooooo, it’s pretty obvious, right?  In order to be effective in our leadership,  parents MUST be plugged into our teachings…every week.  Starting in preschool all the way through high school, Orange provides the information, tools, and fun to make that happen.  Our job is to lead them and you through that.

indexThe First Look curriculum works to incite wonder by helping preschoolers embrace a God who is bigger than their imagination.  Here we introduce Bible stories, ask key questions and work to memorize a new verse every month.  Before they leave First Look, the kiddos will know that God Made Me, God Loves Me, and Jesus Wants to be My Friend Forever.

indexStarting in kindergarten and ending in 5th grade, 252 Basics aims to provoke discovery and invites kids to a new understanding of how to grow in a relationship with Jesus.  It is here that we believe the story of God reveals the character of God.  Bible stories and principles anchor this curriculum to help kids discover Jesus and reflect his character to the world around them.  Each month we feature a Life App where our lessons show children that what they are learning applies to their everyday lives.  Before they leave, 252 Basics, the kiddos will know that I Need to Make Wise Choices, I Can Trust God No Matter What, and I Should Treat Others the Way I want to be Treated.

indexAs they enter middle school, their world changes very rapidly.  XP3 attempts to maintain a consistent message through those tough years by fueling a passion for Christ in the heart of a teenager.  This is the time to lead our young people from spectators to participants.  The content and conversations elevate to a deeper sense of purpose while helping youth leaders grow their influence with students, leaders and parents.  Upon graduation, we expect our kiddos to know they are Created to Pursue an Authentic Relationship with Their Creator, Belong to Jesus Christ and Define Who They are by What He Says, and Exist Every Day to Demonstrate God’s Love to a Broken World.

Our effort isn’t about one person, or about you…it’s about what we can do together.  Each phase of Orange encourages communication and tools for parents called a Parent Cue.  You can currently find them by hard copy, e-mail, social media, and SOON text.  We are still developing that process so much more to come!

Thanks for your interest in our children’s and youth ministries.  If you have further questions about 5th grade and below, e-mail Jim Ellis at jim@hollandsumc.org.  For questions about middle and high school programs, e-mail Susan Wright at susan@hollandsumc.org.

Orange also provides a curriculum for Marriedpeople.  Coming soon to a Holland’s United Methodist Church near you!