BY SCOTT SUTHERLAND, PASTOR OF GRACE KIDS - 146TH STREET
Can you believe we have 1,000 children in Grace Kids each weekend? When we tell people this their mouths drop. It still blows us away when we stop to think about it. We often get the question, “What does it take to handle that many children on the weekend?” Well first we would say that we don’t “handle” them. We love and lead them to Jesus. And second, we depend heavily on the community of Grace Church to serve these children with us.
If you serve in Grace Kids, we consider you a leader. And we are so blessed with loving, passionate leaders who are raising up the next generation. However, as our Grace Kids staff approaches each fall we find ourselves in a strange place between excited and burdened. Excited that everyone is back from summer vacations, but burdened with the reality that we often don’t have quite enough leaders and therefore have to turn away a child and their family on occasion.
When our staff sat down last month to plan for what we call the ministry year (August – May), we talked about what our wildly important goal would be. We learned from the Leadership Summit that a wildly important goal lives at the intersection of REALLY IMPORTANT and NOT GOING TO HAPPEN ON ITS OWN. So the question was posed, “If we were to wake up tomorrow morning and Grace Kids functioned as we believe God wants it to, what is the one thing that needed to happen?” We all agreed…
“Never turn away a child and their family”
How do we accomplish this W.I.G.?
Multiply leaders by having what we call ICNU conversations.
An ICNU conversation is simply asking someone to shadow you in Grace Kids. It could be a family member, someone in your small group or a friend.
For example: “I see in you (ICNU) the ability to do what I do in Grace Kids and I believe you would be great. Would you come lead with me?”
Why is this our W.I.G.?
Grace Kids exists to create opportunities to engage children in the story of God, and support families as they disciple their children, and launch them into the mission of God.
If we turn away a child they can’t engage in the story of God, and parents are not able to be fully engaged in the worship service which fuels their ability to make disciples of their children.
There are only 2 reasons we would turn away a child from attending Grace Kids:
We don’t have enough leaders for the number of kids - leader to child ratios
We have reached room capacity.
We can’t do anything about #2. But we CAN do something about #1.
What is the outcome of reaching our W.I.G.?
If Grace Kids is going to function at our optimum level, we must have a fully engaged and committed staff, and fully engaged and committed leaders. Staff and existing leaders having ICNU conversations gives Grace Kids the best opportunity to accomplish our W.I.G. because it focuses on relationships rather than recruiting. And by accomplishing our W.I.G. we are fully able to engage EVERY child in the story of God, and support families as they disciple their children and launch them into the mission of God.
Will you join us?
Here is some evidence of what God is doing in Grace Kids through the faithfulness of our leaders:179 children baptized since September 2015! See the video below for even more!
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