If you wonder why the homeschool blog posts have been a little lacking on Layered Soul, I have been pouring a lot of my energy into the new junior church format at my church. I never dreamed I would use my homeschooling skills outside of the homeschool community, but the past 3 months I have been able to serve the children of my covenant community.
Guest Post from IRL friend, Kristen McGinnis
Thirty kids, special needs, no budget, small church…What do these all have in common? Trinity Church of Smyrna‘s new junior church.
Junior church is a time after praise and worship where the children age 4 years to 10 years come down stairs during the church service. Since our church meets in a local school we have to address some interesting challenges.
(The following video was presented to the congregation last Sunday. For copyright, basic background music was added from iMovie for Youtube. Originally the video had the song, King of Glory by Chris Tomlin.)
When trying to come up with a way to serve our kids who learn differently and who have more complex needs, we have come up with an exciting way to bring the bible alive to the whole children’s ministry. Using (affiliate link) The Gospel Story Bible: Discovering Jesus in the Old and New Testaments, 4 adults create workshops around the same lesson.
Junior Church Format:
- Workshops can include any gift members have passion about that they implement God’s word through.
- Music, arts and crafts, drama, teaching, food, games just to name a few.
- Ten minutes in length, repeated 4 times.
- At Trinity we have been using drama, food, games, and music.
The children come down and together hear the basic lesson.
After the kids hear the lesson we break them up into four groups where they will do a kinesthetic activity, songs, murals, and snacks based on the lesson.
We are able to team up our special needs friends with more mature typical students. As teachers, we are also able to give individualized attention to kids needing more help, due to the workshop having 6-8 kids rather than the thirty.
At the end of the rotation the four groups return back to home base, where a quick review of the centers take place. The kids are able to share what they learned at each station.
Recruiting volunteers has been a lot easier because helpers have to prepare just one aspect of the lesson and repeat it four times. This is our 11 th Sunday using the new model, and the feedback has been encouraging.
We are hoping this model will allow us to serve with open hearts and open arms any family The Lord should send our way.