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  • Josh Anderson

Kids Ministry Volunteers Gather Together to Dream and Plan

Kids Ministry volunteers spent time talking through how serving is an act of spiritual formation. Doing so guides our hearts and minds into three distinct directions: We move closer in relationship with God, each other, and those around us.

Next Generation Director Ethan Hardin shares the heart behind Kids Ministry.

Recently theHeart hosted a workshop for those interested in volunteering with Kids Ministry on Sundays. People from ages 12 to 60-plus gathered together to learn about the new curriculum and be reminded of why serving and supporting families is important. The group of new and repeat volunteers enjoyed breakfast and a time of devotion together.

Ethan Hardin, Next Generations Director, designed the meet-up to be geared toward relationship.

“We believe this monthly act of attentive service is a simple way to draw us closer to God and one another," Ethan explained. "Living out this rhythm, we build up the next generation and the church as a whole.”

As for Kids Ministry, one of the things we wanted to specifically focus on was our teamwork. When volunteers are less available, or teams contract for whatever reason, there is a reasonable urge to put more weight on fewer volunteers. However, we wanted to recapture a sense of "team-pairs".

One of the hallmarks of Kids Ministry at theHeart is that we aim to volunteer in pairs–partners who are dedicated to serving together once a month. We believe this commitment to building meaningful relationships can be enriching and spiritually formative.

David Domermuth, has been volunteering in Kids Ministry at theHeart for three years. His reason for serving is simple: “It’s a calling. And when you’re called, you do.”

Kids Ministry is organized into five teams: Creation, Teaching, Play, Nursery, and Check-In. Each group took time to study Bible passages with each other and discuss how they could best be presented to children. This was done through a focus on “Up, In, and Out” relationships described by Ethan.

“It’s helpful to picture spiritual formation like a set of three directions: moving closer in relationship with God, each other, and those around us," Ethan explained.

UP: We make ourselves attentive to God

For the teams that teach the kids through Teaching, Creation, and Play, this is done largely in study. We spend time in a Bible passage, seeing God's heart in it, then share that with kids. For the teams that serve families at the Check-In table and the littles in the Nursery, this is done in the prayer as we ready ourselves to encounter the needs of others.

IN: We make ourselves attentive to our teammateWhether through the mutual lesson-planning needed with the teaching teams, or the life-sharing done at the Check-In table, we want to invest ourselves with our teammates. We grow together when we serve together.

OUT: We serve the kids and the families of this faith communityTeaching, caring, and helping are all essential acts of service that build up a vibrant church body.

The individual teams talked through their respective areas of focus. They dreamed, planned, discussed, and built each other up. Ethan and the volunteers left encouraged.

"It was good to gather together, remember why we do this, and celebrate," Ethan said. "God wants to draw us close to him and each other."

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