CAMDENTON – The energy, variety and flexibility of Vacation Bible School attracts children, and the First Baptist Church of Camdenton has injected their Sunday morning Bible study for children with those traits.
“We were not reaching young families,” Randy Chappell, minister of music, said. “We started looking around for new opportunities and curriculum. We observed how much the kids loved VBS, and we wondered if there was a way to tap into it every week.”
After meetings with Senior Pastor Kirk Baker and other church leadership, the church decided to adopt a Lifeway curriculum, Explore the Bible, and Heather Garton stepped up and became the director of the new ministry.
“We started KidzQuest in September,” Chappell said. “We’ve seen our attendance in the children’s division jump from 12 to 50. Many of the community children attending AWANA during the week, started coming with their families. ”
Since the church has two services on Sunday, they are able to have two teams to work with the children.
“We begin the morning with worship for the kids,” Garton said. “The fifth and sixth graders go to worship with their parents first in the contemporary service and then join us for the small group, games and craft times.”
Garton explained that the LifeWay curriculum comes with a worship pack that incudes suggestions for songs and activities.
“We have a lesson presented by one of the 3-4 storytellers that we have on our teams,” Garton said. “They present the same lesson, but they make it their own by using flannel graphs, pictures or props. The storytellers give the kids an understanding of the Bible in the context of what God is doing in their lives and throughout the world.”
Small group time is still an important part of the Bible study.
“We call these small group leaders, “Guides,” to go along with the adventure theme,” Garton said. “The guides recap the lesson with the children and lead activities to go to a deeper level in Bible study.”
Garton said they also keep the children moving.
“We have different classrooms set up for activities,” she said. “Several ladies take turns organizing crafts and games each Sunday, and then we take the different age groups to these activity stations at different times during the hour.”
Also, according to Garton, the parents appreciate the check-in procedure that the church has set up.
“They know the kids are in a safe, good environment to plug into. We’ve initiated a safety procedure that the parents are comfortable with.”
Chappell believes the module system is the key.
“By using the flexibility of the modules and keeping the children moving,” he said, “we have the energy level which keeps the kids interested. The small groups are important for the same teachers each week to get to know the children individually and build relationships. We want to focus on Christ. We want to grow children to understand how to know Him and to help them develop a dynamic relationship with Him.” ν