“Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.” Mark 10:13-16
Children are important to Jesus! Children are also important to us at White Oak Christian Church. Did you know the majority of decisions for Jesus are made between the ages of 4 and 14? Research from the Barna Institute tell us that most people die believing what they believed at the age of 13. This is why the spiritual formation of children, at an early age, is so critical. Their eternity depends on it!
At White Oak we want to help parents as they lead their children spiritually and guide their children to become successful adults who are spiritual champions. God created each one of us, children included, for a purpose. The GrowZone, our ministry at both campuses for children birth through fifth grade, exists to teach kids about the radical love of Jesus. It is designed to help children and parents realize the full life that God has for them through faith in Jesus.
Our vision is to help kids, volunteers, and parents discover their identity in Jesus, equipping them to love and to be deployed for mission.
How do we do that?
We disciple kids and help them grow spiritually through excellent Sunday experiences, provided by incredible volunteers, for preschool and elementary children which include fun and exciting worship, teaching, and, for elementary kids, small group experiences. We want kids to connect with their small group leader, connect in community with their peers, and most importantly connect with God. During Summer Camp, the week of June 6, kids will encounter an extremely fun and concentrated time of discipleship. It is one of White Oak’s largest outreaches! Watch for it on our FB pages and website. You won’t want to miss this incredible serving opportunity!
Annually we have so much fun at SuperStart – the largest preteen conference in the nation! This year we heard the most incredible presentation of the gospel message, engaged in exciting worship geared to preteens, and were challenged to be deployed for mission by sharing the gospel message with one person who doesn’t know Jesus.
Parents are helping kids memorize the books of the Bible. Recently we launched the Adopt a Bible Buddy program. Kids “adopted” a stuffed animal to take home and “feed” it every day by reading the book of Luke to them. We want kids to LOVE God’s word!! A guest parent said her “prek child loved his time at White Oak – he’s named his Bible Buddy and is reading every night – so his buddy’s belly gets full on each story from Luke!” Some elementary kids are reading so much that they have asked for more reading plans – they already finished Luke. That’s a challenge to us as adults!
How do we equip parents?
We learn in scripture parents are the primary faith influencer of their children “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 on 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.” Deuteronomy 6:5-9
Wow! That’s a lot of responsibility. Does it feel overwhelming to you? We would love to invite you to invite you to some opportunities to equip you. The Building Blocks Parenting class, quarterly Family FaithShift classes, and inviting guest speakers for parenting seminars are some of the ways we equip parents to be the primary faith influencer of their family. These create a great environment for parents to network with other parents and to have faith talks with their kids!
Communications are sent home weekly and are delivered to parent’s inbox monthly. Included are links for the weekly lessons, culturally relevant parenting ideas, and information about ways to engage in White Oak as a family.
Parenting is hard! We want to provide opportunities for them to be enriched, gain new insights, and learn from people who have “been there”. It takes a village, or in this case, the whole faith community, to come alongside parents as they navigate raising their children to know and love Jesus.
How can you help?
What you do today can change the world around you! Click here if you would like information about being deployed for mission and joining us on this incredible adventure to help kids and parents experience full life in Jesus!
Sharing with you,
Karen Clark Colerain Children's Pastor