FAMILIES 

Parents, carers, kids and youth

We want to see our families growing to maturity in Christ together and these households being places with Jesus at the centre. We look to actively support our parents, carers, teenagers, kids and tots to help make that happen.

Tap these five boxes to find out more.

Our vision for families

We, as a church, want to see our families growing to maturity in Christ together and these households being places with Jesus at the centre. We look to actively support our parents, teenagers, kids and tots to help make that happen.

Having children is an amazing blessing from God and we believe that one of a parent’s highest callings is to train their children to be like and live like Jesus Christ.
Malachi 2:15 tells us that one of the main purposes of Christian marriage is to produce godly children and Psalm 127:4 presents children as arrows in a warrior’s hands. Therefore, we believe that God calls all those who he has blessed with children to actively take up this role of discipleship with the intention of sending out those children as arrows of light into a dark world (both while they are under their parents’ care and afterwards).

Therefore, at Churchcentral South, we want to train, resource and motivate parents to disciple their children.

To do this, we will:
1) Provide training on parenting
2) Provide training on how to help your children engage in the church community (including in CCS services)
3) Provide a weekly kidz and totz programme which will feature:
- A weekly kidz and totz session as part of our Sunday morning service
- A series of discipleship activities that can be integrated into parents’ own discipleship of their children

The calling to disciple our children is a wonderful privilege but it is not easy. Some of you parents will be flying in this already but I’m sure that all of us would agree that we could do with some help in this area. Please talk to any of the church leaders or Kidz/Totz team leaders to find out more, but to get you started, here are some tips, ideas and pointers.

KIDS' BIBLE STAR CHART

The Bible is a fantastic gift from God. It is a gift to enjoy for all of us, and, for parents, it is a gift to pass on to our children.

In Psalm 119:11, the psalmist writes that he has hidden God’s word in his heart that he might not sin against him. One of the best ways to do this is to memorize Bible passages. Kids tend to be much better at this than adults and what you memorize as a kid often lodges in your mind forever. Therefore, through our Kidz work, we will be offering all sorts of incentives to memorize the Bible and providing help with this in our Kidz work sessions.

We have chosen a bank of memory passages that we will focus on in the Sunday morning sessions and whenever any child can recite a given passage from memory to one of the Kidz team, they will get a sticker on a chart.

We know that, for some children, this will be easier than for others and therefore we will ensure that this doesn’t develop into an unhealthy competition and that the emphasis will be on any, even small, step forward rather than on putting particular kids on a pedestal.

Look at it like this: in most primary schools, they would run a similar system for learning your times tables. This can have its hazards (over competitiveness, disappointment unhelpful comparisons, etc) but it’s an accepted practice because everyone understands that it’s important. Learning your times tables is important, no question, but so is hiding God’s words in our hearts. Therefore, we want to make this a priority for our children.

Here is the list of Bible passages we’re going to focus on. There will be stickers for each passage and grand prizes for any children who can memorize all 10 passages before they move on from Kidz work.

family discipleship tips

Make Jesus a normal part of family life

The key question for every parent who wants to disciple their children is surely ‘how can I make Jesus a normal part of our family life?’ To make this happen, it does take planning, thought and care, however, it’s often largely about involving Jesus in things that you’re already doing, rather than doing loads of new things.

Jesus is not an extra activity or a series of how tos, he’s our (and our children’s) friend and our God and He wants to be involved in our lives and to cause us to flourish. Some of these ideas may work for you, others might not and there may be other ideas you have that would be even better. That’s great! (Just make sure you share your good ideas with the other parents in the church!)

Here are some ideas:

At the beginning of the day:
Pray for the day ahead: what would you like God to help you with today? How would you like God to help one of your friends/teachers today?
This could be right when they wake up. Could be over breakfast. Could be on the way to school.

Mealtimes:
Thank God for the meal beforehand and use the end of the meal to open up conversations about Jesus if appropriate.
If there is time at the end of the meal, listen to/watch a podcast/youtube video about Christian stuff. Ask your kids what they thought. Pray about it.

At the end of the day:
Read a Bible story and pray before bed. Prayer can involve worship (singing a song), thanking Jesus for what has happened that day and asking for his peace about anything that is worrying you. If you have time, you could go through a memory passage.

It’s good to get into a rhythm, so this becomes a regular routine (Bible story/worship song/thanks/prayer), but don’t beat yourself up. Bedtimes can be crazy. Why not aim to do at least two of these things a night?

Before and after church services:
Pray with your children about our church gatherings and talk with them about their experience of them.
On the journey to church, pray as a family for the service and for the people who’ll be there. On the journey home, ask them about how it went.

Look to pass on an expectation and enthusiasm for the church and the gatherings of the church family. If you are positive with your kids about church gatherings, your children are likely to be. If you are regularly critical, you’ll pass that on instead!

Anytime:
Look for every opportunity to naturally involve Jesus in your family life
Pray/worship on car journeys. Whenever anyone is ill, has an accident or is worried about something, pray for them. Test them on their Bible memory passages.

Train them to do it themselves:
As your children get older, encourage them to pray/read the Bible on their own, using the patterns you have taught them.

For example, when your child becomes a confident reader, buy them their own Bible and set them attainable reading targets, regularly asking them how it’s going and giving space for them to ask questions about things they don’t understand.

Some tips and ideas:
Don’t be the main pray-er. Encourage them to pray.

Once they have got used to praying, encourage them to be specific in the things they are thankful for or want God’s help with.

Once they have learnt to thank/ask for specific things, encourage them not to thank/ask for the same thing every time. Taking a moment or two just to think of some things is handy, as part of the challenge here is for your children to simply remember what they’ve been doing!

Our most recommended Bible reading resource for younger children is The Jesus Bible Storybook.  However, keep it fresh. See if you can get three or four children’s picture Bibles and go through them one after another (then start again)

To encourage children to start reading the Bible themselves, there are lots of Bibles specifically for pre-teens. One good option is this NLT Hands-On Bible.

If you have any questions about any of this, or want to share challenges you’re experiencing or exciting stories about how discipling your kids is going, please contact Jonny at the office.

Sunday mornings

We love having the kids included in our Sunday church meeting and so we start all together.

Block One: 10.30am-11am

During the first 30 minutes, there's music and prayer and the children can sing, dance and join in.
There's often a moment addressed directly to the children to help parents and carers engage them in the service. There are resources available in the room to help with this.

What if my kids make a noise or a mess during this time?
Urm...not 'if', but 'when'! Of course they will! God loves children (mess, noise and all!) It's all part of the fun!
Any eyes that turn your way will be of understanding and encouragement, nothing else. We're in this thing together.
If you feel uncomfortable personally, of course you can easily pop out the entrance area. People are in and out of our meetings all the time - you'll be fine.

What about my child’s additional needs?
We want to be an inclusive church and work hard to put this value into practice.
Our Kids and Totz team receive training in this, and as a church we'll do everything we can to help make this not just tolerable for your family, but a place where you thrive.

Block Two: 11.05-11.50am

At 11am there's a break in the meeting, where parents and carers can take their children to one of three age-specific groups.

CRECHE

0-2s

We provide a fully equipped Crèche space  for babies which runs in the Totz room, where you can relax and play with your children.

Children up to 2.5 years old need to have a parent or carer with them in the Creche.

For those who would rather keep their children in the wider gathering, of course that is very much allowed!
TOTZCENTRAL

2-3s

Totzcentral is for 2 and 3 year olds. Each Sunday includes singing, craft activities, games, praying together, reading a Bible story – or maybe acting it out.

From 2.5 years, Totz can be left with our dedicated Totz team. Until then, we ask that a parent, carer or responsible adult stays.
KIDZCENTRAL

4-11s

Kidzcentral is the place to be for 4 – 11 year olds on a Sunday morning!

The Kidzcentral programme is designed to help parents disciple their children by providing an action packed session each week. We explore Bible stories, worship God, play games, pray together and have lots of fun, so that children enjoy being part of the church and grow in their own relationships with Jesus.

youth

11-18s

All four of our church communities share a youth group called emerge.

At emerge, we want to grow a family of young people who know, enjoy and respond to God. We think young people have loads of potential and stacks to contribute to church. On Sunday mornings, that's why our young people stay in for the whole morning, learning to participate, worship, hear teaching and serve alongside the rest of the church.

We gather together as the emerge family on  Friday evenings at Central House. Come along and enjoy the Games Room and the Emerge Lounge, or grab a drink at Café Emerge. Then head into one of two age groups to learn more about Jesus.

Contact Nate for more information.

Safeguarding information.

Churchcentral is committed to the safeguarding of children. As a church we have adopted suitable guidelines and procedures to ensure that all children who may come to Churchcentral or Churchcentral events are kept safe. As part of this we have a safeguarding policy that is regularly reviewed and updated. This can be read here. We also have an appointed Designated Safeguarding Lead; Chris Yeo.  You can contact him at the office.