What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
~The Westminster Confession of Faith, Shorter Catechism
Our desire for the Children’s Ministry here at New Hope Christian Fellowship is to glorify God, and to obey His exhortation to train up the next generation of believers to love, delight in, and worship Him. Specifically, the directive to teach our children about God is given to parents in Deuteronomy 6. We’re told . . .
“. . . the Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
(Deuteronomy 6:4-7 ESV)
New Hope recognizes the authority to teach children rests first and foremost on their parents. The church is responsible to come alongside to reinforce what is already being taught, to ensure doctrine is sound, and to encourage as necessary. Therefore, the Children’s Ministry here at New Hope is not just a ministry to our youngest congregants, but also a ministry to their parents.
Children of all ages are welcome to join our congregation in Sunday morning worship. We believe that children will learn to worship God by first watching their parents worship. By joining the congregation, children learn that they are an essential part of the church, and over time learn how to participate in a way that glorifies God. We understand that this is a training process, one that takes time and intentionality, but nothing else prepares a child for worship better than being immersed in it. More on the training process can be found in later posts.
In addition, classes are provided during the sermon for children ages birth through grade 4. Classes and curriculum are listed below.
Using A Sure Foundation: The Fragrance of the Knowledge of Christ by Sally Michael, our volunteers strive to impart the “fragrance of the knowledge of Christ” to our littlest ones. Rather than teaching a story or lesson, they speak to the children about God and what He has done. This can take the form of praying Scripture over the children, telling the children that God made the horses and chickens as they play together with the plastic farm animals, or reminding the children that “God is kind, so we need to be kind” when playing together. As the children in the Nursery are currently too young to sit through a lesson, we weave the Truth of God into the conversations we have with the children and each other. The atmosphere in the Nursery, as much as possible, is one of peace, calm, and joy.
Curriculum by Sally Michael titled A Sure Foundation: His Praiseworthy Deeds. It builds upon the curriculum used in the Nursery, and continues in the construction of that foundation of a simple, but accurate, understanding of Who God is, based on what He’s revealed of Himself in His Word. Our children learn concepts like God made everything, God is big, and God is good.
3 & 4-year-olds
Curriculum: He Established a Testimony: Old Testament Stories for Young Children by Sally Michael. This chronological curriculum builds on the simple truths the children have been learning about God in earlier classes; rather than teaching the children to focus on man as they work through Scripture, they’re taught to consider what Scripture reveals about God Himself – and this is a skill that will serve them well as they continue to grow.
Curriculum: The ABCs of God: A Study for Children on the Greatness and Worth of God by Jill Nelson. This material uses the alphabet to introduce the children to various attributes of God, and continues to build upon the simple truths about God that the students learned in previous classes. Some of God’s attributes the children learn are that He is Righteous, Unchanging, Wise, Merciful, and Holy.
Curriculum: The Way of the Wise: A Study for Children on Wisdom and Foolishness by Sally Michael. This study focuses on principles from the book of Proverbs and helps children understand how godly wisdom differs from worldly wisdom – and what the consequences and blessings are of following each.
Questions and concerns can be directed at any time to Wendy McMillen, Director of Children’s Education at email@example.com .