Delighting In God Children's Ministry
We believe that the most biblical way to enhance a child's passion to find joy in life is to guide them to the One who gave them life (Acts 17:25). The God of the universe-who never began-must be the central figure in our pursuit of joy; "…for from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen" (Romans 11:36). This God still speaks to His people today. The words of His testimony come to His people through one source, the Bible.
We believe the Bible to be the only source by which men can know God. The Bible testifies of the beginning, when God made the heavens and the earth out of nothing (Psalm 102:25; Colossians 1:16-17). Furthermore, it perfectly details all we need to know about the working hand of God amongst His creation. God is the central figure of the Bible. The words written in this Book focus on God, not the men created in His image. God alone is the One who can satisfy the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4) and bring us into a relationship with Him.
We believe that if we seek to build up man rather than God as the primary focus, we will be acting outside of what the Scripture teaches. Man-centered relationships are always going to falter due to the inability of man's nature; while God-centered relationships will always succeed to His glory since He is the initiator of them. Our chief desire is to make God supreme in the eyes of your child; not to mislead them into thinking of man as the central being of the universe.
We are overjoyed with the privilege of joining you as we seek to guide your child to the only fountain that will satisfy them. Our desire is to help create a passion in your child for the fullness of joy that can only be obtained as we bask in the presence of God.
Teaching Children the God of the Bible:
Seven Passions We Seek to Build Into the Lives of Children
1. God's chief passion is to do everything to His glory.
All things exist and function for one final end: the glory of God (Isaiah 48:11).
Isaiah 43:7 tells us that God created for His glory.
1 Corinthians 10:31 expresses the truth that even in the most mundane things of life, we are to do "all things for the glory of God."
2. God has given us passion both for our benefit and for His glory.
We were created to glorify God (Isaiah 43:6-7).
One who delights in something will continue to return to the source rather than seeking out something new. God becomes the desire of our hearts and the benefit of our desire is an eternal delight in God. "Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:4).
3. A passion for the presence of God.
True joy can only be attained in the presence and enjoyment of God. "In Your presence is fullness of joy, and at your right hand are pleasures forevermore" (Psalm 16:11).
4. The desire to live in utter dependence upon God.
Seeing God as the Treasure (Matthew 13:44).
Discovering our need of God (Philippians 4:19).
Discovering our dependence upon God (Psalm 73:25-26).
5. A hunger for learning the Bible's singular message concerning God's passion for His glory.
In order to know and discover God, we must look solely to the Scriptures (Psalm 119:9-11).
To grow in our enjoyment of God, we must look to the Scriptures (John 17:17).
6. Pray with passion to the God of the Bible.
Genuine joy in God will naturally overflow with praise. Such cries are pleasing to the Lord, for "…the prayer of the upright is His delight" (Proverbs 15:8).
God is not needy of the prayers of men. He is not a reactionary God, who is restricted to our prayers prior to His working amongst His creation. Prayer is intended for our benefit, which will increase our enjoyment as we cry out to the Lord (Psalm 86:5-7).
7. Be filled with the passion of seeing God made supreme in the lives of their friends.
To be moved with a biblical compassion, where in Christ is the focus of our childrens' conversations with their friends.
"I do not hide Your righteousness in my heart; I speak of Your faithfulness and salvation. I do not conceal Your love and Your truth from the great assembly"
(Psalm 40:10; Psalm 96:3-4)
Philosophy and Distinctives
Milk to Meat:
We believe children are quite capable of both pursuing and grasping the deep truths of God at a very young age. This is the time in their lives when such truths should be deposited. The Bible is the fountain from which they will begin to construct the foundational truths by which they will live. All matters of any importance flow from the Scriptures. It is our prayer that they will embrace life more fully, living in a manner that testifies to 1 Corinthians 10:31: "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."
The Bible teaches that the parent is the dominant educator of their child. We embrace this truth and seek to make the very best use of the time allotted to us. Our hope is to provide a curriculum that will enable the church to assist parents in equipping each child with their God-given role. Each week your child will leave his or her class with what we call a "take home sheet." This "take home sheet" is in essence, a review of the subject matter discussed during class, along with a weekly memory verse. We desire that these take home materials will provide fruitful interaction between the parents and their children.
Much children's curricula is a repetition of Bible stories. As the children grow older, only the means by which the story is told changes. Our desire is to utilize a building block approach by which children will be exposed to new truths each year. We believe this format will constitute a broader and more insightful understanding of the God of the Bible (See "Children's Ministry Curriculum Overview" for details).
We bless God that He has equipped our local Body with a diverse array of teachers. We believe that these gifts have been granted to individuals in order that God's people may be strengthened for His glory. Each class has a coordinator and several teachers. We encourage teachers to maintain their involvement even when they may not be the primary teacher for the week. In doing this, we are able to provide children with a variety of teaching styles, as well as numerous examples of adults who are seeking to live out the faith before them.
The Purpose of Children's Ministry:
"He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which He commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget His deeds but would keep His commands."
The focus of the curriculum is intentionally God-centered, as opposed to the moralistic tendency of most church-oriented children's curriculum. An example of this distinction would be the case of the feeding of the 5,000. Most children's curriculum will emphasize the point of the incident being that the little boy shared his lunch, and so all children should be willing to share. In fact, that is not the point of the incident at all, but rather that our God is all-powerful and is faithful in His provision. Thus, rather than presenting man as the center of the universe, God rightly occupies that role. The question asked of each Scripture is not, "How does this meet our need?" but rather, "What does this teach us about our God?" Our needs will be met and our lives changed when we are brought to worship this great God!
The time allotment for the studies each week will be 75 minutes (9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.). The structure will resemble the following:
Worship Time: 5 - 10 minutes (the purpose of the worship time is not mindless fun, but leading children to see the greatness of God and the requirement to worship Him in His greatness.)
Large Group Lesson Presentation: 30 minutes (Main Teacher)
Small Group Application Time: (groups of approximately 5 children with an adult group leader): 30 minutes.
Workbooks: Each child will receive a workbook that will be utilized by them each week. These workbooks will be primarily used during the small group application time at the end of the lesson.