What Is There for Kids and Teens?
We love our kids and teens at Godspeed, and there is plenty going on.
Children's Sunday School, for kids from Pre-K through 5th grade, meets on Sunday mornings before the worship service, 10:30-11:20am. This is the heart of the kids ministry at Godspeed. They learn about Jesus and the Gospel, and have a lot of fun! Learn more about Children's Sunday School here.
Kidspace happens during the sermon and prayer parts of the worship service. Kids in 5th grade and younger are invited upstairs for games, crafts, and other activities. This is designed as a supplement to Children's Sunday School, where the main content of the teaching happens.
Youth Sunday School, for 6th-12th graders, also meets before the worship service, from 10:30-11:20am. This fall we are talking about whether it really makes sense to believe in Jesus and trust what the Gospels tell us about him. Learn more about Youth Sunday School here.
Summer OFF is an inner-city parks ministry for children that Godspeed runs during the summer. Youth leaders play a big role—leading crafts and playing games, painting faces and sharing the gospel. You can learn more about Summer OFF at the website of the Philip Center, one of our partner ministries.
Special Events with WECC: About every other month, our friends at West End Community Church host a special event for youth, bringing a variety of speakers to talk about topics relevant to high students. The next event is called "What's Next: Work and Finding Joy in What You Do", and it will be on November 26. Stay tuned on the Events page for other upcoming events.
Perspectives on Children and Youth Ministry
To have a life-long influence on the lives of children and youth is a fantastic opportunity! Godspeed is committed to making disciples, including young people, both within and also beyond the scope of the church. In their developmental years, young people are teachable and respond with energy in forming a foundation to sustain them for the rest of their lives.
The Bible speaks extensively about the joys and hard work of discipling the generations that follow us. It matters to God not only that we make disciples of Jesus, but also how we go about doing it. The thoughts below explain our perspective on discipling the young people God has placed in our care. Our aim is for everyone at Godspeed to be engaged in the high calling of making disciples. We want to link our hands and hearts to support one another in this privileged task.
1. Parents, equipped and supported by the church, are called by God to raise their children. We do not believe that the church is solely, or even primarily, responsible for the spiritual health of the children. In Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Moses addresses the parents of Israel with these words:
"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates."
However, we believe that the church is designed by God to equip, support, and encourage parents as they raise and disciple their children. Paul is doing that very thing when he tells the Ephesian fathers, “Do not exasperate your children, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
2. We expect the young people of Godspeed to progress in spiritual strength, biblical knowledge and usefulness in God’s service. Rather than simply providing activities and random teaching throughout their years with us, we will do all we can to lead them through age-appropriate learning and experiences that build on the previous years. The details of this principle are reflected in our plans for each group, as explained below.
3. We seek to balance age-related classes and activities with family-integrated and multi-generational worship and programs. Godspeed intends to integrate families into many of our activities, including the worship service, prayer meetings, outreach activities, service opportunities and much more.
In the same way, we support the teaching of the Bible at home and expect parents to actively lead their children toward spiritual maturity. On the other hand, we recognize that individual family members may be at different stages of spiritual growth. Therefore teaching children in age-appropriate classes helps them receive teaching they may not be able to receive elsewhere. Additionally, as a church that values family-oriented and church-oriented courtship/dating, we want to provide healthy group activities for young men and women who are considering marriage.
4. Both safety and fun are important. We want each parent and child in Godspeed to know that we value safety. Whether it’s on Sunday morning, by the pool or on a short-term missions project, Godspeed seeks to ensure a safe environment for the children involved. That said, we also value fun! We believe that children should be able to learn attentively when that’s appropriate, but we also know that while having fun, children can learn about themselves, about God and about one another.
The mission for our children is an extension of the mission for our church: “To go and make disciples of Jesus… by teaching children and equipping parents.” We do this by offering short courses on parenting for different stages of life, and through the preaching of the Word on Sunday mornings. Keep an eye out for courses like Growing Kids God’s Way, Shepherding a Child’s Heart, Age of Opportunity or Parenting Today’s Adolescent.
A Discipleship Cooperative
We intend for Godspeed to be like a co-op—a group of people committed to helping our kids grow. Promoting growth requires effort on everyone’s part, beginning at home and extending to service in the church. Our goal is to lead our kids into adulthood so that they can pick up the baton of kingdom building for the next generation. God’s plan to reach the world tomorrow depends on them, and His plan to use them tomorrow depends on us today!