On Sunday, CTK Cambridge gathered after worship for an art show to celebrate what the children learned in Children’s Worship over the past year. Children ages four through second grade explored The Story of Worship, identifying and explaining big words like Invocation, Confession, Absolution, and learning how each element supports our worship. Each part of the order of service was a three-week unit, culminating with an “art week” where the children worked collaboratively on projects depicting the theme as a creative expression of worship. You can see the complete collection of art projects here.
“The goal is to draw our kids into worship with us, rather than waiting until they are old enough to ‘sit still and pay attention’,” said Lara Kastelein, who worked with Dana Russell and Leann Barczi to develop the curriculum.
“One of the most exciting ways we have seen the Holy Spirit work is to see the adults in the congregation be more connected to the kids in a variety of ways—by leading music, teaching classes, helping with art, and enjoying the final projects around the church,” said Leann Barczi. “The kids have been more integrated into the life of the church through the content we discuss, as well as through their art work hanging for others to enjoy. The art provides a service to the church and the three-week units have provided opportunities for deeper relationships with teachers.”
In conversations with parents, excellent curriculum and enthusiastic teachers are the components they appreciate most. The children have learned a lot and are able to immediately apply it in the worship service. Some of the most-adored teachers do not have children of their own but willingly come downstairs to serve the children.
Longtime CTKer Andy Stuntz and his wife Emily taught a unit this year. When asked why he is enthusiastic about serving in children’s ministry, Andy offered these thoughts: “Every time I stand up at a baptism and commit to assisting parents in the Christian nurture of their children, I am reminded that the church is a family—both theologically and practically. I don’t have children of my own, but I get to be an uncle (of sorts) to the kids in the church. I’ve enjoyed children’s education since working as a camp counselor in high school, so the primary way I live that out is by helping with Children’s Worship."
“The new Children’s Worship curriculum makes it easy to bring each lesson back to the gospel, the same way every sermon ends at the communion table. The kids are a good reminder for me that we need to hear the gospel every day—no matter how many times they’ve heard and sung and prayed about God’s grace, kids instinctively think that the ‘right answer’ to our sin and God’s justice is to try harder and behave better. When I teach about how God emptied himself so that hopeless sinners like us could be filled, the lessons preach to me as well.”
This year, CTK Cambridge children will study I Believe: The Apostles Creed, which includes 13 three-week units exploring the vital truths found in this concise summary of the gospel. CTKer Amy Pardo wrote a song that the children will sing each week, making it easier for them to remember the words of the creed. You may listen to it here.
One of the priorities of CTK’s Children’s Ministries is to offer curriculum rooted in Scripture that shows children the “big picture” of the Gospel and encourages, instructs and equips them from a very young age. Each congregation offers education curriculum specifically geared to their children.
If you would like to be involved in the children’s ministry in your congregation, please contact your children’s ministry coordinator or congregation pastor.