The following was originally sent out as an email but is added here as a beautiful description of the Kidz of Hope ministry at Hope of Christ:
I wanted to send out an email regarding Kidz of Hope. My desire is two-fold: I want to explain the ministry and then share some needs that are arising.
For those of you that do not know, Kidz of Hope is a relatively new ministry at Hope of Christ. It was started in September 2016. While originally planning what Kidz of Hope would look like, we landed on the concept of using aspects from Backyard Bible Camp and care groups together for our children.
This is our basic setup – for our 4’s & 5’s, the time is divided into two segments: praise time (15 minutes) and Bible lesson time (30 minutes.) For our 1st – 5th graders, the time is divided into three segments: praise time (15 minutes), Bible instruction (15 minutes), and breakout groups (15 minutes.)
We start with our praise time. This is when we all sing together and work on anything that we are memorizing as a group. We are currently working on catechisms together. Last year, we learned the Apostle’s Creed together. Punctuality is important so that this time is not delayed or interrupted.
Following our praise time, we have our group Bible instruction. We made a change in August and our 4’s & 5’s are now separating during this time and having their own Bible instruction time. Our 4’s & 5’s is our largest group currently, and it has been great to be able to provide Bible instruction that is geared to their developmental stage by using the Jesus Storybook curriculum with this group. The 1st-5th graders are still working through the Old Testament in their Bible instruction, using Mighty Acts of God by Starr Meade. We should finish the Old Testament section in time to begin our focus on Advent. It is really awesome to think that in the past year and a half our children have worked through the entire Old Testament. I know that as a child growing up in Sunday School, I did not get that type of intentional, book-by-book instruction, so I love seeing our children getting it. I am currently looking into a new study to begin in January. I am excited about the possibility of working through a book of the Bible together and introducing the concept of Bible study.
After Bible instruction, the 1st-5th graders go to their breakout groups, intended to model a care group type of environment for our children. Our goal is to have two breakout groups – grades 1st-3rd and 4th & 5th – but, depending on how many children are in attendance, we can have either have one or two groups. In the breakout groups, the facilitator uses questions that I provide to further discuss and apply the Bible lesson. During this time, the group also takes prayer requests and prays together. The 4’s & 5’s do not have a separate breakout time from their Bible instruction.
Our vision for Kidz of Hope continues to be: to develop an established, vibrant, and growing children’s ministry for the children of Hope of Christ during the Sunday School time where our children
Our vision for Kidz of Hope continues to be: to develop an established, vibrant, and growing children’s ministry for the children of Hope of Christ during the Sunday School time where our children:
- See Jesus in all of Scripture and grow in their understanding of the Gospel;
- Sing & praise the Lord;
- Memorize God’s Word and helpful catechisms;
- Spend time together in prayer;
- Develop relationships with peers, teens, and adults.
Our goals for Kidz of Hope continue to be that the children of Hope of Christ will:
- Grow in their knowledge of God and in their love for Him.
- Share songs or recitations during the worship service.
- Memorize God’s Word together.
- Participate in discussions, scripture memorization, and prayer time together in a care group like environment during breakout times.
In setting up Kidz of Hope, we made a conscious decision to make it a ministry that would be easy to volunteer for and serve in. Each month, Kidz of Hope needs: a 4’s & 5’s Bible teacher, a 1st-5th Bible teacher, 1 or 2 breakout facilitators, and 1 or 2 teen helpers. The facilitators and teen helpers need to be present during the Bible story time to listen to the lesson. The facilitator then leads the breakout time using the discussion questions that are prepared for you. The Bible teachers will need to have some preparation time during each week to read over the story that will be presented on Sunday.
We need your help.
- May I encourage you as members of Hope of Christ to make Sunday School a priority – a priority to be present and have your children present in Sunday School? From one parent to another, let me challenge you to pray about and evaluate what priority you place on having your children in Sunday School and on being in Sunday School yourselves.
- We need members of Hope of Christ to commit to serving in this vital ministry to our covenant children. Our goal is to only ask for one month of service at a time. I can confidently say that you will be blessed after spending time with our covenant children. I know I am. This is such an important part of the vows that we make when children are baptized and we say we will help our HoC parents raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
- We need you to pray for this ministry and for our Hope of Christ children. First and foremost, please pray that God will be glorified in everything said and done, that Jesus will be proclaimed each week, and that the Holy Spirit to be present each week. Here are some of the many other things that you could pray for:
- Individuals working in KoH each week;
- KoH time is free of distractions;
- Attentiveness of our children;
- Calm and uneventful Sunday a.m. in our homes;
- An eagerness to hear God’s Word.
Thank you for reading this lengthy email regarding this precious ministry.