Attend any of the four Sunday worship services at Resurrection West, from the early 8am to the evening 5pm, and you’ll see kids. They’re everywhere! Nursery-aged, preschool and elementary children – all are represented each and every week. Some arrive in the arms of a parent, some shuffle in still a little groggy from sleep and clutching their favorite stuffed animal, and others barge through the doors at impressive speeds, dragging their grown-ups along behind them. All show up knowing their KiDSCOR rooms and KiDSCOR people are just steps away, genuinely excited to see them.
Children and families have always been a top priority for West. Our goal is to create safe spaces for all children where they’ll find belonging, friendship, and acceptance just as they are. We strive to lay a spiritual foundation where kids can safely begin their journey in knowing and showing the great love God has for them and all people. We work to partner with parents, who have far greater influence over their children than that of the church. And each week we set out to equip and empower the army of volunteers who give time and energy to helping kids know they matter. In doing this we anchor everything to the gospel of Jesus, teaching biblical truths in fun ways and at an age-appropriate relevance. There’s a lot going on in the Bible, so we try to help kids make sense of it by revealing 3 basic truths for each age-group.
Nursery and Early Childhood (birth-5 years)
- God made me
- God loves me
- Jesus wants to be my friend forever
Elementary Grades (K-5th)
- I can trust God no matter what
- I need to make the wise choice
- I should treat others the way I want to be
In embracing these truths, imagine the impact on the lives of kids and those around them! And even more, if kids saw parents, caregivers and other adults cheering them on the whole way!
So how does this flesh out?
If children are a priority, families are even more so. If children are influenced by the church in the 1 hour they may be with us each week, how much greater is the home influence simply due to the greater time spent there? To reach the child is to reach the family. Families come in all shapes, sizes and kinds. Blended, adoptive, foster, single-parent, traditional, those with special needs, those with caregivers as parents, and there are still more. Though the differences are many, what stands the same is that all families are valuable and dearly loved by God. No family is perfect nor has there ever been a perfect family.
As a parent myself and working in a field that looks largely at all things children and family, I think it’s safe to say all parents/caregivers want to be better parents. All of us need support and community, a way to connect with other parents. All of us need help with childcare now and then. All of us want our children to become their best selves – strong, kind, compassionate and faithful. This can all seem an overwhelming load, and even more so if we try and package it all to happen in a neat 1 hour worship time on a Sunday morning. As a church, it’s our mission to reach families where they are. This is why the Phase 3 building plan has been so exciting. With the expansions of parking, sanctuary seating and the addition of a community center, the ability to reach more families through a greater variety of times and experiences becomes a reality. Here are just a few of the ways through which we hope to reach more families and children:
- Parenting classes and seminars
- Respite care events for those with special needs and their siblings (Family Night Out)
- Respite care events for children in foster care
- Mission work/service projects
- Crew 45 events for our 4th and 5th grade preteens
- Bible Exploration events
- Preschool playdates
- Multi-generational game nights
- Father/daughter and mother/son events
- Vacation Bible Camp
- Easter Egg Hunt activities
- Christmas concerts and events
- Family lunches
- Volunteer trainings and appreciations
- Fun and games
As we strive to engage kids, partner with parents and equip volunteers, it’s no doubt we’re moving in a direction we’re very excited about. Thank you for continuing to pray for and support the mission to reach all families, no matter their size or kind. We are called to love, first and foremost. That is how God’s Spirit will move! So let’s join together and seek out the best ways we might leverage what we have to love and serve many, that all may be drawn to the irresistible love of Jesus.
— Christie Walker