Throughout the entire fabric of our children’s ministry, God’s Word is supreme. We ask children to open their Bibles, bookmark their Bibles, and memorize Scripture. The first small group question is always the affirmation and elevation of God’s Word as true. In fact, we don’t begin creating one moment of ministry without digesting verse by verse, word by word every part of Scripture to tell the story of the week.
For two year olds through Grade 5, we spotlight the same story and same focus every week for every word. This tried and true method has proven effective in teaching and exhorting within the lives of thousands of children from diverse and eclectic demographic backgrounds.
If you are looking for songs that teach the days of Creation or the Ten Commandments, you won’t find that here. For grade school, our worship is chosen from Vertical Church Band and adapted for preschool. We believe worship is lifting high the name of Jesus. Our system invites children to worship and draws their hearts upwards as Jesus’ name is lifted high every weekend.
When we use skits, they are used to show the antithesis of God, asking questions like “Aren’t you glad God isn’t like this?” It can be a little uncomfortable for adults, but extremely effective for children and encourages everyone to ask “Who is God?” Producing dramas and skits for weekend ministry has consumed many hours every week of your time – we have done all that for you in a predictable, repeatable platform.
By combining education with entertainment allows us to deliver a clear bold message while keeping children engaged. Educating children through the entertaining value of the timeless tool of storytelling connects kids to the Word of God – the rest of the work we leave up to the Holy Spirit. Months later, your children will be able to tell you the details of a story.
Some people call it the application, others call it the purpose of the week. We call it the One Nail. There are several specific applications to any part of Scripture but we choose vertical—who God is. Just one. And nail it every week. By focusing vertically on who God is, the Holy Spirit will do His convicting work in each child’s heart.
Children will hear the same story five to nine times each weekend. Told in different ways, using different tools, engaging all of their senses, children receive not only the intellectual value of Scripture but the application as well.
God cares how children feel and God has feelings too. Both are important when going for the heart. Modeling and offering tools for children to process their feelings as part of their spiritual growth creates fertile soil for the Holy Spirit to do His work.
After years of writing and using small group questions, we finally asked ourselves “Are children really answering in their hearts?” It’s the heart that matters—not just how many questions you get right. We engage a whole child approach to small group that creates in fact authentic heart change, modeling good healthy spiritual conversations. We believe this ushers a child into their teenage years and then into adulthood comfortable with accountability.
Because we volunteer on the weekends, just like you, we know the effort it takes to deliver a weekend service. Our team created the Press Play File where you “press play and engage” into a great large group time. If your tech system works, this will work too. The large group video walks a host through the “show” allowing them to engage rather than worry about what to do, when to do it, and how long it should take. Our curriculum requires ten minute of volunteer prep before the service begins. Our Ministry Experience Tool is written like a script where you can use your own words or use our words. After 60 days, you will love it as much as we do. Everything you need for weekend ministry for one month is on one USB.
About 98% of the time, we are a “fluff-free” zone. Our activities are sensory based, designed to accelerate a child into the application of the weekend—the One Nail. Rarely do we provide an activity just for fun. And, when we do, it was because the nail was so sacred and serious, we just couldn’t keep it humorous or playful.
Here’s one of the best kept secrets of our curriculum: It changes you. Because our curriculum is saturated in the living Word of God, it changed us as we designed it—every word, every week. Our curriculum continues to change our volunteers here in Chicago. And, we promise, because your volunteers love the Lord Jesus Christ, it will change them too.