Lakewood’s Philosophy of Children’s Ministry:
“Building Up Disciples for Life”
Children engage when they are safe and connected – safe emotionally, morally, spiritually, relationally and physically. We accomplish this when we embrace and present the presence of a big God through Godly, loving teachers who are called to serve our kids.
Children need to feel emotionally secure. This means that we will treat them with respect, not raising our voices or being unfair and inconsistent in our classroom management. We use the “Assertive Discipline” model for responding to our kids in an emotionally healthy way.
- Children need to be morally secure. This means that we require an application for all volunteers that includes background checks, references, and a demonstration of a heart to serve children. We also have specific expectations of all of our volunteers outlined in our Children’s Ministry Handbook, Child Protection Policy and Child Abuse Prevention Policy.
- Children need to be spiritually secure. This means that they will be shepherded by loving teachers, not managed. Our volunteers must believe in the transformational power of the Word of God and teaching it to our kids. Additionally, our volunteers must be spiritually vibrant and growing themselves. We take this responsibility very seriously.
- Children need to be relationally secure. This means that our volunteers believe in our kids. They initiate praise and encouragement both inside and outside of the classroom. They advocate for them to be respected by and to respect their peers.
- Children need to be physically secure. This means that we don’t allow aggressive or abusive physical behavior to be directed toward any child. All of our volunteers are trained to recognize and report child abuse. We also create a secure setting by monitoring classrooms/doors/hallways, providing a secure check-in / check-out system, conducting safety inspections, and limit access to our children’s classroom spaces.
We believe that there are four primary “trusts” that must be taught, experienced and owned by our kids.
- I can trust in Jesus for my salvation.
- I can trust in the Word of God to make wise choices for all of my decisions.
- I can trust God no matter what because he has a perfect plan for my life.
- I can treat others with the same love and care that I receive from God.
We think children who own these “trusts’ will humbly submit to God’s authority and begin to consistently demonstrate the following signs of biblical maturity:
- They have an “others first” attitude
- They are sensitive to the needs of the world around them
- They help other people get what they need
- They have self control with their thoughts, words, and actions
- They accept responsibility for their thoughts, words and actions
- They are open to the teaching, rebuke, correction and training provided by God’s Word
- They submit to and respect authority outside of themselves
- They develop delayed gratification
We’ve carefully selected biblical curriculum that directly speaks to these traits and is consistent with our philosophy of building up disciples for life. We’ve also looked at our programming structure to make sure that we are using our time with our children wisely.
- The “Reign Forest” is Sunday AM preschool and nursery.
- The “Land of Promise” is Sunday AM K-5th grade.
- The “Kid’s Club” is Wednesday PM preschool and K-5th.
- VBS takes place mid June.