Children and youth
worship, learn, and serve.
At First Baptist Church, we believe that children are at the center of the Kingdom of God! It is a privilege to worship, grow and serve alongside the children in this place. Our Children’s Ministry serves kids, birth through 5th grade. It is our hope that the children will hear God’s voice, see Jesus at work and experience the fun of being part of this faith community.
Jesus welcomed children and encouraged us to welcome them in his name. We believe that the body of Christ in worship is incomplete without the children. The presence of children is essential for both the full congregation and for the children themselves because worship is one of the basic ways in which people of an age learn what it means to be a follower of Jesus.
There are many ways in which children grow in Christ through worship.
- They learn that they belong to Christ and are welcome in his church, where we are all children of God.
- They discover that they are valued as persons by God and by the people of God.
- They hear stories from the Bible read and interpreted, and begin to see worship as one place where God may speak to them.
- They are enriched by the beauty of music and art as expressions of praise and as human responses to God.
- They build a store of the accumulated experiences of Christian community from which they may draw when they are older.
When describing worship with children, Robbie Castleman said, “For parents and their children the church experience can be a seemingly endless hour of whispered commands and coloring books. Or it can be the most intimate moments of sharing an awareness of God’s presence.” Our hope is that you’ll experience the latter so we offer the following…
How First Baptist Welcomes Children in Worship:
- We nurture a culture that welcomes children.
- We invite children (5th grade and younger) to join us up front for Time as Children just before the sermon. This is a time to explore scripture and pray together.
- We expect family noise and movement so we use microphones and do sound checks to accommodate accordingly.
- Our Worshipful Play bags provide engaging and quiet activities for children – pre-readers and readers. You’ll find these bags on a rack by the door into worship.
- Children help make worship happen! Older children are invited to participate in worship tasks – reading, acolyting (light candles) and collecting prayer concern cards. Our kids lead us in worship when the choirs for elementary and preschool children sing!
- Optional nursery care is provided by paid staff during worship for infants through preschoolers.
How Parents can Welcome Children in Worship
Parenting in all contexts is intentional, rewarding, hard work. You’ll find some ideas here for how to engage with your children on Sunday morning – before, during and after worship. Arriving on time to get settled before worship and finding a good place to sit can really make a difference. Checking in with your children throughout worship and inviting them to notice things in the space or to sing along with a hymn makes a difference. Freeing yourself from excessive worry about behavior may allow you to enjoy worshiping together more. And you might try debriefing with your kids about the morning on your way home. The work of worshiping with your children is worth it! Click here for more ideas.
On Sunday mornings, children begin their morning in the worship service. After Time as Children, a time when kids are invited forward to explore scripture and pray together the kids head to church school. During church school the children laugh, act, read, sing, create and play as they grow in faith together. We have three age groups. The 3-year-olds and younger meet in the nursery and our 4-year-olds through 2nd grade class and 3rd through 5th grade class meet in the Children’s Ministry wing.
Godly Play (4-year-olds through 5th grade): Godly Play is a Montessori method that creates time and space for children to meet with God. After the story is told with three-dimensional pieces, the wondering begins. It is a time of inviting the children to ponder the story and to enter into the story. Wondering allows the children to make meaning of what they just heard. We support the children doing theology. After we wonder together we have “Response Time.” Children respond to what they have heard by working with the stories and/or working with quality art materials as they create.
Our Children’s Ministry volunteers are faithful and fun! We run background checks on each of our Children’s Ministry volunteers.
We spend time together celebrating Jesus’ life, death and resurrection and other seasons in our life together. Gatherings are designed to help kids make meaning through their experience – whether that experience involves singing, acting, creating, playing or eating! More information about each event will be available through other forms of church communication as they occur.
- Advent Workshop
- Christmas Choir Musical
- Holy Week Experience
- Easter Egg Hunt
- Children and Youth Sunday
- Vacation Bible School
- Church Picnic
“During those 4:00 AM feeding I gradually figured out one thing. All the theology I’d studied would not help me raise my children. But it might work the other way.Raising children might help me learn something about God. Living with small children was a crash course in all the themes I studied: love, grace, creation, revelation, forgiveness, law, suffering, power.” – Parenting as a Spiritual Journey: Deepening Ordinary & Extraordinary Events into Sacred Occasions by Rabbi Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer
We desire to partner with parents as each parent goes on their spiritual journey, including parenting. First Baptist staff see it as their job to support, equip and encourage parents as they are the primary faith formers in their kids lives. We also nurture a community of parents to support one another.
We have a small group for families with young children (birth-6th grade). This group meets monthly to learn together with friends while the children play. If you’re interested in learning more about this group, please contact Xan Morgan (firstname.lastname@example.org).