By Marie Morache, former Children’s Church Coordinator
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.” -Matthew 19:14a
For the past seven months I have had the privilege of being the Children’s Church Coordinator. I coordinate the team that works with the 2 and 3 year olds for the 10:45 service.
When I first started the position last fall, I prayed a lot about what God had for the children at this service and the team of teachers. The 10:45 service is not as highly attended and this is definitely true within Children’s Church as well.
As I prayed, I had a sense God wanted the focus to be on community. The team of teachers met last fall for our first quarterly potluck. In addition to building relationships among ourselves, we talked about the year and committed to our vision: A vibrant community of believers who are passionately sharing the love of Christ with our young children. We defined what that meant and how we could live that out, being intentional with relationships for 10:45 Children’s Church:
Rooted in God’s love – praying for class time, the kids, and the 10:45 community
Team of volunteers – gathering for quarterly potlucks
Youth Helpers – giving our youth helpers ownership and areas of responsibility each class time
2 and 3 year olds – engaging with each child every class
Children’s Church families – knowing each child and family by name and making points of connection with them
God was asking us to focus on quality of relationships within this community of children and families.
A month ago we met as a team for another potluck. Our team was bursting with excitement as we got to share how we have seen God at work in and among the kids and their families. I started by sharing what an amazing team of teachers and youth helpers God has brought together. Our teachers have a lot of care and passion for the kids that come to Children’s Church every week. They embrace every child and get to know who they are, while looking for ways to share God’s love with them. Our youth helpers are stellar. We have a group of dedicated middle schoolers who have faithfully served all year. They jump right in, finding out what each child is interested in playing with and engage with them in that activity. They have shown leadership ability in offering to lead a portion of the class time and are willing to serve and help the teachers in any way possible. Everyone on the team was sharing how parents are staying up to 10 minutes after class time getting to know the teachers and sharing about life together. It has been beautiful to see teachers and parents enjoying this little community.
We have also seen the relationship among the kids really develop this year. Two and three year olds often play side by side in parallel play, but a few of the teachers were mentioning how well the kids interact with each other, play together, share toys with one another and have little conversations with each other during snack time. The kids are engaged with the Bible story and will often share their own prayer request or song they want to sing. It is a gift to see how God is working in the hearts, minds and relationships of our young children.
And a few of our teachers have heard memorable quotes by the kids, “that’s my teacher” said by one of the children who saw her in the hall and “why does everyone know my name” by a child who was surprised the teachers were remembering her by name.
And as a bonus, we have seen the numbers in Children’s Church increasing. It is now becoming more common to have five or more children in class, when it was more common to see less than five previously.
It has been an incredible blessing to have a front row seat to God’s movement in and through Children’s Church this year. He is bringing these disciples to Himself and working through our teachers and youth helpers to show His love to them.