By Keith Lee, Associate Pastor
We offer up a big shout out to all the volunteers who signed up for being part of NLI teams. From the responses we have so far, a high percentage of NLI participants are parents and leaders in youth and children’s ministry. One of the reasons why I am enthusiastic about children’s ministry is that many parents commit to faithful church participation to encourage their children’s spiritual formation. As a parent I know that it takes a whole church community to raise a child spiritually in the Lord. I offer two points to consider for NLI teams.
Young families appreciate the multi-generational ministry environment at Trinity where different age groups from toddlers to retirees thrive and grow spiritually.
This is a framework for young families to find their place in our community. Some churches are a one generation church which means only one age group (e.g. the elderly or just young adults) congregates. I find that young families want to be in a faith community where they find all age groups in which they experience the energy of children, creativity of youth, passion of young adults, growth of young families, stability of older families, and wisdom and experience of older members. A faith community that strives to be multi-generational is attractive to young families due to diversified characteristics that each age group contributes to the life of the whole. As we are observing now, Trinity is a great multi-generational church and is primed to receive many young families.
I ask that NLI teams understand this vital advantage of Trinity and seek ways to develop and sustain this advantage.
Young families desire relevant and meaningful programs and ministries that teach Christian values, help form significant relationships with one another, and assist in outreach programs to the community.
Trinity offers a full array of programs for children: Sunday School for children, Trinity Trebles, and Vacation Bible School. In addition Children’s Ministry sponsors fun-filled events like Trunk or Treat, Bounceback Sunday, Community Movie Night, Easter Egg Hunt and Advent Workshop. Some of my fondest memories at Trinity come from Children’s Ministry events. Most of these programs and ministries are organized and run by Trinity volunteers. I am very proud and grateful to our lay volunteers and leaders for such outstanding children’s offering of spiritual resources at Trinity.
One new idea that we’re implementing with the help of Trinity Men’s Group is “Casual Sundays.” This idea was suggested by parents because it’s tough to get little ones dressed and ready for church. On Casual Sundays, we have a less formal atmosphere and the Men’s Group holds a picnic. We’ll have one on June 17 to celebrate the end of spring semester. Please invite a neighbor on this Sunday.
For NLI, I recommend tweaking existing programs or developing new ones that encourage families to develop relationships with one another so that a new family who just moved into the area can find not just an array of children’s programs but a faith community that cares for one another.