Kids + Youth
Our children’s ministry has 2 big-picture priorities.
First, we aim to see our children grow up to be adults who remain in the life of the church. We seek to develop in them an informed faith of their own that will lead them to freely remain part of the fellowship of believers once they live apart from their parents. Second, we nurture families so children are growing up in a healthy spiritual home. We believe this is the key to future spiritual well being in children. Our Sunday school and curriculum are meant to reinforce the spiritual education by parents in the home, not to serve in place of it.
The chief way we minister to our children and support families is through our Sunday school program. Children worship with their families in the Sunday morning service, but are dismissed before the sermon for classes with their age group. We use the “Show Me Jesus” curriculum by Great Commission Publications, which provides a comprehensive plan to teach the Bible to children at each age so they grow up hearing the unfolding story of redemption in Christ. At the end of the class, the children return to the worship service for the end of the service.
Children 6 months – 23 months can be dropped off in the nursery at 10:15 am, where nursery staff takes care of the children. After the sermon, parents pick up their children and return to the service with them so they can receive prayer during the Lord’s Supper.
We offer teaching for parents and prayer opportunities during the year. Child care is provided at our Friday morning women’s group to ensure that mothers can participate in weekly fellowship and receive support.
Each year we offer a communicants class for children of parents who feel their child is ready to profess faith and participate in the Lord’s Supper. The class provides instruction and a period of discernment for children and their families.
The youth ministry at Emmanuel seeks to cultivate a deeper, personal faith in Christ, and habits in the spiritual disciplines of bible reading and prayer. Our kids transition out of the children’s program and into our youth group when they enter 7th grade. We partner with parents to help their children become adults with a true knowledge of God and his gospel promises, a confidence of forgiveness in Christ, and a life of faithful service in the local church and the world. We encourage our youth to participate in the life of the broader community at Emmanuel, such as volunteering with adults in outreach activities, serving during Sunday Worship, and attending other Emmanuel events.
The youth program is intentionally varied to cater to different personalities and temperaments. We follow a monthly schedule with a different activity each week. On various Sundays, the youth meet in small groups of 2-4 led by an adult volunteer (modeled after our home fellowship groups), study the bible together in a large group, serve the church by manning the Welcome Table, ushering, and serving communion, and attending a bible class during the sermon (the youth are otherwise present for the whole of the morning service, including the sermon).
We also organize social events outside of Sunday to foster relationships within the church.