Providence Kids exists to partner with parents in sharing the goal of discipleship between church and home. Our kid’s ministry is intended to help parents make disciples of the next generation by having other gospel voices and by creating gospel community in kids’ lives. We want to show them that they are to listen to God’s word by teaching them what the Bible shows. And we also want to show from an early age that followers of Jesus are to love God’s people (the church) by modeling for them that they need Christian community in their lives and that the Christian life is not one to be lived in isolation, but surrounded by others.
So because we want our kids’ classes, groups, and programming to be about more than knowledge accumulation, we refrain from using the traditional label of “Sunday School.” We believe this is the essence of what Jesus calls disciples to be – not merely learners, but imitators, image-bearers, and followers of Jesus. We don’t merely want to partner with parents in helping kids know the truth about Jesus (although that is true!), but we want to partner with parents in helping kids walk with and follow Jesus by walking in God’s ways.
We see in Psalm 86:11 that we want to be taught God’s ways so that we may walk in God’s truth. We see in Colossians 1:9-10 that we are to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will so that we may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. In other words, we see this intricate connection between knowing God and following God. Therefore, we don’t want our teaching of the Bible to kids on Sunday morning to be simply described as an information and education time because our ultimate goal isn’t information about God, but formation to the ways of God and transformation to the heart of God.
The third part of our family discipleship pathway, we talk about three areas of transformation: Head, Heart, and Hands. We want to transform our kids by instructing their minds, inspiring their hearts, and influencing their wills. We don’t want to stop our disciple-making of our kids at their minds, but we want it to expand and stretch out to every other facet of their lives.
The last part of our family discipleship pathway, we seek to call our kids to respond to truth by thinking about 6 Big Truths that we see in the Bible:
- Rejoice in God’s greatness
- Trust in God’s Son
- Listen to God’s Word
- Walk in God’s Ways
- Love God’s People
- Pursue God’s Mission
We haven’t made disciples simply by having kids know and listen to God’s Word, but by turning that knowledge into worship (Rejoice in God’s Greatness), obedience (Walk in God’s Ways), service (Love God’s People) and mission (Pursue God’s Mission).
And just as with anything in Providence Kids, we can’t accomplish the totality of these things on our own as a church, but only in partnership with the church and home sharing this holistic goal of discipleship. Our goal of making fully formed maturing and multiplying disciples of the next generation only happens as we teach, instruct, imitate, love, and pursue these things in partnership together.