January. Maybe it’s a fresh start, new beginning, clean slate or just another month and day. I tend to lean toward just another day, but this year is different. I feel a stirring in my soul I just can’t keep quiet about. Our church is blessed. We have incredible people who gather weekly to seek Jesus. Over the past year, the children’s ministry has seen enormous growth and kids keep coming week after week.
From the beginning our Kids Leadership Team has always wanted to keep our Elementary and Preschool groups separate on Sunday mornings, but the phenomenal growth we’ve experienced in just our four year history has more than demanded it. In our first few years we were limited with space options and unable to have these groups meet in separate rooms, and to add to the challenge, more kids kept attending week after week which required us to come up with creative solutions. This summer we were finally able to separate these groups and minister more effectively. I recently reviewed our volunteer list for both Spring Branch and Cypress locations and noticed how many vacancies we have across each age group. With the increased growth we realized this year in the number of kids, we unfortunately did not see a similar increase in our volunteers, or even a steady number.
This got me thinking… with the overall growth we’ve seen at Bayou City and so many wonderful ministries, most people are unaware of the amazing ministry the children of our church receive and the amount of resources it requires to provide it. Our lead pastor and staff have never shied away from promoting our kids ministry, believing in us or asking for volunteers, but we have to do more than that. We need our church to understand, embrace and fill in the gap. We need 2016 to be different if we want to continue to provide an excellent, safe and effective kids ministry.
Each week almost 400 kids, spanning Babies through Sixth grade, gather across both locations. The Littles Ministry welcomes babies through two-year olds into a loving and safe room with only a few key teachers and volunteers. Mrs. Janice brilliantly leads our Spring Branch Littles Ministry and Mrs. Susan acts as her counterpart at Cypress. I have never met two women that excel in ‘baby whispering’ as much as these two. I have also seen Mrs. Janice compassionately minister to a first time mom like no other, and Mrs. Susan sweetly and gently calm a first time Littles’ guest. These women are like valuable gold and consistently pour out God’s truth to the tiniest of children in our care.
The Preschoolers span from 3 to 6 years old and each week are welcomed directly into a small group with an activity that preps the Bible story they are about to hear from a large group leader. In addition, the preschoolers get to worship in song, learn a ‘remember verse’, create a project to reinforce the Bible story and have a tasty snack. Not to sound biased, but this group has to be the sweetest and cutest group we have and my own child isn’t even in this age group! Watching their eyes light up as they sing a song and dance with Ms. Joy and learn God’s Word leaves me speechless every time.
The Elementary group is where you see all the energy as kids gather in a very similar situation to the Preschoolers but on a more age appropriate level. I love seeing these children implement what they just learned from God’s Word as they work together to make a project or act out a Bible story – this is where I believe Community starts in our church.
So many wonderful volunteers faithfully serve these groups and pour out countless hours to help children know Jesus. In order to adequately and safely minister to our kids the way we feel God has called us, more than 100 volunteers are required every Sunday across both locations – many of which volunteer week after week. Although there are over 2,000 people attending our church services, there will always be room for you to serve in the Kids ministry with an opportunity to make a key difference. There is no better place to serve than “to the least of these” and sow seeds of eternal impact.
Would you consider helping make a mark in our Kids ministry this year? On Sunday, January 24 in Cypress and on Sunday, January 31 in Spring Branch, we are hosting a New Volunteer Day. We invite anyone interested in volunteering in our Kids ministry, whether you have previous experience or not, to join us at 8:30 am for our policy training and then take a walk with us over to our 9:15am Kids’ service to see what it’s like to be a kid at Bayou City Fellowship. We will have a fun rally, a word from our pastors, and breakfast tacos to celebrate what God is doing in our Kids ministry. Please sign up here as just a few hundred volunteers can make a huge difference.
Thank you Bayou City Fellowship for being a place that makes room for the next generation.