What's happening this quarter
in Children's Ministry
This is a quarterly 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 quarter!
The Big Picture
Pumpkin Patch Parenting
True confession. My family has a pumpkin addiction. About this time of year our porch begins to overflow with pumpkins of every shape, size, and color. It starts with a few mini-pumpkins at Kroger, then a visit to a pumpkin patch, then pumpkins from the farmer’s market or a school party or a roadside stand. Before we know it, we are up to our necks in orange.
That’s because it’s harvest season, and during harvest season, it’s easy to find the fruit, but what most us rarely consider is all the hard work it took to get it into our hands. We never think about tilling the soil, planting, watering, nurturing, and protecting the vines day-after-day. We don’t have to worry about insects, plant disease and early frosts that could threaten the crop. No, we just get to enjoy the fruit. The fruit is the fun part.
When it comes to parenting, however, most of us are in the planting season. We’re in the hard part. We’re sweating our way through the tough business of raising kids to follow Jesus. Whether we’re dealing with discipline issues, friend drama, bullying, anxiety, school struggles or any of a million other parenting challenges, it can be easy to get discouraged and lose heart.
Like farming, parenting is a long-term game, and if we’re going to weather the planting season, we have to keep our eyes on the end goal: seeing our kids grow into mature followers of Jesus who love God, love the Bible, and love others.
As the apostle John once wrote, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 1:4 NIV). John was talking about his spiritual children here, but the same applies for any parent who loves God and wants the best for their kids.
Here are a few things that will help to keep the end in mind as we plod through the planting season:
Approach every parenting challenge with a kingdom perspective. Ask the question, “How does God want to use this situation to help me and my child grow in our faith?” None of us like to see our kids go through hard stuff, but these are often the very circumstances God uses to grow us and them.
Get in community with other parents who love Jesus. We all need other Christ followers to pray for us and encourage us during the hard times. It also helps to hear from other parents who have been through the same struggles.
Celebrate fruit where you see it. Just like us, our kids won’t become like Jesus overnight, but it’s important to recognize where God is at work in their lives. Make sure you tell them where you see them growing, and journal about it yourself so on those frustrating days of parenting, you can look back and remember how far God has brought them and you.
As a Children’s Ministry we are entering into a planting season ourselves. Over the next year we are going to be retooling our family resources to provide you with even more encouragement and helpful resources. As we do that, we are only going to be releasing this parent newsletter quarterly for the next year to give us some space to create even better tools for your family.
We will send out the next parent newsletter January 1st, but be on the lookout for an email about a special Christmas resource coming around Thanksgiving.
To encourage you during this planting season of parenting, we’re giving away a copy of The Pumpkin Patch Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs, a fun picture book for preschool and early elementary kids. It’s a great book to read with your children to remind them of how God wants them to grow and be transformed by Him. If you’d like to register to win a free a copy, email email@example.com and put “Pumpkin Patch” in the subject line by Oct 11th.
If you’re like me, you love listening to great worship music. Here are some awesome resources to get you worshipping with your kids. Whether you are in the car or just at home relaxing these songs will get you all worshiping together. For elementary age kids check out these songs on apple music. For your preschoolers these songs will have them dancing in your living room.
Preschoolers will finish out the year learning that God is always good. Because He is good we will practice saying thank You to Him and explore fun ways to celebrate all that He has given us.
We are wrapping up 2020 by diving into truth, thankfulness and hope. When we understand that we can fully trust God then we begin to see all that good things that He has given us. God’s greatest gift to us is Jesus. Because of Jesus, sin no longer separates us from God.
Southland Roots Run Deep
If you have ever had the privilege of attending a service in Danville, you might have met Shannon Colwick. Shannon is the Children’s Pastor at our Danville Campus. She has been there the last ten years helping our families know and love Jesus more.
Q. Where are you from?
A. I’m from Kentucky but all kinds of different places. We moved quite a bit when I was younger.
Q. When did you first hear about Southland?
A. Funny story: I interned with Southland when I was in college at Cincinnati Bible College. It was amazing, I loved it. But also, my parents have roots at Southland. They met at Southland, my dad was saved at Southland. Wayne Smith married my parents.
Q. When did you start working at Southland?
A. I’m in my tenth year. I was hired as the Children’s Pastor for Danville. I started in July 2010. My boys were in fourth grade . Now they are in college.
Q. Tell me about your family?
A. I have two boys. I’m a single mom. I have been for about ten years. One is at Ozark Chirstian College and the other is at Centre College. They are six months apart and both adopted. They are the most amazing young men ever.
Q. How long have you been in Children’s Ministry?
A. I’ve been in Children's Ministry since I left Bible college. I took a few years off and worked as a preschool teacher in Louisville. I knew after that I was supposed to get back in ministry. I enjoyed teaching kids but I would rather teach them about Jesus.
Q. What have you learned from doing Children’s Ministry?
A. So many things, but probably the thing that sticks out to me is: ministry is all about relationships. That starts with our leaders - having coffee with them, praying with them. You have to build a team that way. When they are taken care, they can in turn do the same for our kids.
Q. What are you excited about at Danville?
A. I’m excited how God brought our families closer together during quarantine. Now it’s our opportunity to help them stay that way. Our whole goal all long was to partner with parents to help them lead kids the way that God wants us to go.