The mission of the Children’s Ministry at Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church is to encourage, engage and equip children, and their families, to be alive in Christ and in the world.
What would our kids’ faith look like if Children’s Ministry were about instilling virtues? What would happen if we let go of our preconceived notions about faith and looked at God through our kids’ eyes? In Mark 10, Jesus says, “In order to enter the kingdom of heaven, you have to become like a child.” Kids are not somehow less able to encounter God because they are developmentally younger. In fact, Jesus says quite the opposite; it’s up to us grown-ups to become more like kids.
It is our belief that everyone in our congregation is a children’s minister. Children’s Ministry is the responsibility of all of us. And that ministry starts by asking, “Where is God in this situation, and how would a child experience God here?” We invite you to participate in Children’s Ministry in three distinct ways:
Sunday Morning: Worship is the central act of the community, and there are a variety of ways children are invited to worship here, including The Garden, our worship experience for kids from three months old to 4th grade. Our youngest ones are invited to worship in our unique Preschool Ministry. There are also Intergenerational Worship opportunities to explore throughout the year.
Programs for Children & Families: We want your family to experience the fullness of life in our community, and we have a number of programs to engage, encourage, and equip you along the way. Kids Rock is our Wednesday afterschool general enrichment program for elementary schoolers, while our Children’s Choirs specifically train kids to be leaders in worship. Our annual Vacation Bible Camp helps you to kick off your summer right, while Sowers keeps your family engaged in Mission and Spiritual Formation all year long. And if your child has special needs, our Special Needs Ministry is designed to support your child in all of these programs and more.
Children’s Ministry Resources: What happens at home is more important than what happens at school or at church, so we want to support you as you grow in faith as a family. Our Family Faith at Home blog updates every Sunday with a new devotional utilizing a short, simple pattern designed to get your family engaged in faith formation every week. The Fantastic Project centers the virtues of kindness, justice, and mercy, as we help kids engage with tough systemic issues like racism, inequality, and injustice. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve created a number of specific resources for this upside-down time, including our Family Formation At Home booklets, Virtual Vacation Bible Camp, and Parent Resources.
Children’s Ministry isn’t about having the right answers, and it isn’t about teaching kids to have adult-like faith. It’s about building a bridge between families and the church. It’s about empowering parents to take the lead role in raising their kids in the faith. It’s about recognizing that what happens at home is more important than what happens in the classroom.
It’s about becoming a congregation of children’s ministers. You are a children’s minister.