Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Our Values

The goal of our ministry is to equip every child and family to become complete in Christ and love Him for a lifetime. In order to make sure we stick to that goal in all that we do, we have four key values. Any time we are planning a lesson or event, we make sure it fits within those values. They are: 1. teaching the Bible creatively in a child-targeted manner, 2. developing relationships, 3. providing family learning tools, and 4. safety.
Teaching the Bible Creatively in a Child-Targeted Manner
We want children to leave Morning Star each week with a greater understanding of God’s Word and how it relates to their lives. In order to help them gain this understanding, we teach the Bible in such a way that they’ll really hold on to it. A few of the “tools” we use are drama, songs, games or activities. We also understand that each child learns uniquely, so we try to teach to the different learning styles.
Developing Relationships
Community and belonging are important to foster any form of growth. Infants, toddlers, and preschoolers receive large amounts of one-on-one attention, while elementary aged kids get to be in small groups. We want children to leave knowing someone cares about them, and to see a familiar face when they return each week. Our teachers and leaders are modeling what it means to love and serve God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.
Providing Family Learning Tools
We see church as a supplement to what parents are teaching at home. For the most part, we have about 40 hours a year with a child, while the family gets around 3000. Our goal is to make those 40 hours meaningful, and provide parents with tools for teaching their children the rest of the time. This includes weekly take-home sheets with discussion points, and availability on the teacher’s part to answer questions and refer parents to valuable resources.
An effective learning environment is a safe environment. In order to protect the children and our volunteers, no child is to be left alone with an adult and volunteers are required to complete a criminal background check. To ensure that children are not released to the wrong person, parents/guardians of kids first grade and younger must turn in their child’s duplicate nametag in order to pick them up.

Our Mission

The mission of our ministry is to equip every child and family to become complete in Christ and love Him for a lifetime. But how do we see this play out in the way we do ministry? How can we measure whether or not we're achieving our mission?
Through teaching, hosting events and providing resources for both children and families, we hope to provide every opportunity possible for children and their parents to learn more about what it means to be a follower of Christ and to grow through this knowledge.
Children & Families
Reaching the children is obvious when it comes to Children's Ministries. This is done through our Sunday morning program, as well as all outside events. Pulling in the family is where it becomes more complicated. We reach the family (parents and children combined) by providing take home sheets that walk a parent through how to find out what their child learned. Resources are available to help parents understand how spiritual and mental development work with a child's physical development. We also plan events for the parents and kids to learn together.
Complete in Christ
Colossians 1:28 is the verse our mission statement is based off of. Paul says, "We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ." The purpose behind all that we teach and plan is to equip children and families to be developmentally-complete in Christ, which means they will understand and accept salvation. Growth is evident. We see growth in the head through knowledge and understanding. In the heart through a love for the Lord and others. In the hands by giving back to the Lord through time, talent and offerings.
Love Him for a Lifetime
Our mission for Children's Ministries is not restricted to the time of our formal ministry. Our hope is that we'll establish patterns of growth, and then be able to see a life full of fruitfulness in the people we minister to.

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