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What's happening this month in Children's Ministry
This is a monthly resource to help parents make the most of all that our Children’s Ministry has to offer your family. We have broken it down into four sections to give you everything from big picture inspiration to a detailed overview of what we’re teaching in our Children’s environments. Sign up at the bottom of your screen to receive the Parent Newsletter email each month!
The Big Picture
Don’t Lose Your Marbles
As a parent, it’s easy to feel like you’re losing your marbles. Whether you’re chasing down a rampaging toddler or scrambling to get your elementary kids to their next practice, the parenting life can be hectic, to say the least. Someone once said when you’re a parent, the days are long but the years are short.
That’s why we started using jars of marbles a few years ago to help remind our parents of what really matters most.
At our Parent Dedication events, we show our parents a jar packed with 936 marbles. This represents the number of weeks most of us have with our kids from the time they’re born to the day they turn 18 and move on to the next phase of life.
That first jar looks nice and full, but when we show our parents other jars, representing our child’s growth, the room grows quiet. By the time a child turns 6, parents have 624 marbles left. By the time they’re 9, only 468 weeks to go. When they turn 12, there are only 312 weeks left.
We don’t do this exercise to depress our parents but to remind all of us that we have a limited amount of time to invest in our kids.
In his book Losing Your Marbles, Playing for Keeps, family ministry expert Reggie Joiner writes, “When you see how much time you have left, you tend to do more with the time you have now.”
That doesn’t mean you have to make the most of every possible second (no one can), or that every day in your home is going to be a spiritual mountain-top moment (most won’t be). It just reminds us that we need to watch for opportunities to show our kids who God is and who they are because He loves them. It also reminds us that our example matters, and even though it won’t be a perfect one, our kids need to see us taking Jesus seriously if we want to pass on a faith that lasts.
See, here’s the good news. If we point our kids towards Jesus, we aren’t losing our marbles at all. We’re investing them. As our jar of marbles empties out, our kids’ jars fill up. We’re not losing any time. We pouring it into our kids. And that’s really our job, to radically invest in the next generation so we can launch them from our homes someday overflowing with the love and wisdom of God.
As a way to encourage you on your journey this month, we are giving away three free copies of the short parenting book Don’t Miss It: Parent Like Every Week Counts. Just email us at email@example.com by noon on Wednesday, October 10th to enter for a chance to win a free book. You can put “free book” in the subject line.
A Joyful Noise
If your kids are like mine, they don’t sit around quietly. You can hear them even when they aren’t in the same room. I find myself saying “use your inside voice” more often than I care to admit. Yes, kids are noisy, but one thing we can do as parents is help our kids make a joyful noise.
Each weekend in our Children’s environments we encourage kids to worship with us by singing praises to God. After church, you may have heard your child humming a song you didn’t recognize or maybe they were singing a line that you know probably wasn’t quite right.
With our worship playlists, you can join your child in making a joyful noise in the car and at home. Worshipping together as a family can be fun and done on the go. Just download our preschool or elementary playlists and shout praises to Him together.
When your child sees you sing to God, it will encourage them to do the same. The best part is, there are no auditions! It doesn’t matter which notes or keys you sing, to our Heavenly Father, it’s all a joyful noise.
Welcome to the Artrageous Art Studio! Join us this month as we explore some of the first stories in the Bible using ART! God created everything, and people are His most special creation. No matter what problems we face, God’s love is forever! See you in the studio!
Did you know the book of Psalms is different than all the other books in the Bible? The book of Psalms is filled with poems, songs, and prayers to God. Join us as we discover how the Psalms can help us express our feelings to God.
Everyone wants a place to belong. Here at Southland, we believe that life happens best in community. In Children’s Ministry, that place is a small group. That’s why we provide a small group experience for every child from three years old through 5th grade.
In fact, we have 203 small groups that meet across Southland campuses every Sunday morning with dedicated Small Group Leaders working hard to connect with your kids.
So what does that look like? From the time you drop your child off at the door, Small Group Leaders take advantage of unstructured play time to help each child feel welcomed and loved. Most kids can’t wait to tell us about their week, which gives us a great opportunity to connect.
From there, Small Group Leaders sit with their group during large group worship and teaching but really get the chance to dig in with kids during their Small Group Time. Each group gets 15-20 minutes after Large Group Time to do a fun activity that’s designed to help them apply each Sunday’s lesson to their everyday lives. This is also another chance for leaders to get to know their kids and talk about what matters.
If you want to help your child connect in a small group, here are three things you can do this week:
1. Commit to bringing your child to a consistent service. The more frequently kids show up at the same time and the same place, the better chance they will have to make friends and get to know their leader.
2. Introduce yourself to your child’s Small Group Leader during drop off or pick up. If you’re unsure who your child’s leader is, ask a staff member or coach. Those are the leaders in the black Big Picture Show shirts.
3. Consider serving as a Small Group Leader yourself. We have hundreds of amazing leaders serving every week in Children’s Ministry, but we are constantly growing and are always looking for folks who love Jesus and love kids to add to our team. If you’d like more information about serving, check out our volunteer page or talk to your campus Children’s Pastor to learn more.
We want to help your child find a place to belong in the Big Picture Show. If you have any questions about our Children’s Ministry small groups or need help getting connected, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.