An Update on Children and Family Ministry

Fall is upon us, and with the turning of the seasons come many opportunities for fresh starts. Your children may be entering school, some for the first time, others into a new grade, with new teachers, new classes, and new friends. Others of us have little ones too young for school, but the excitement of introducing them to apples, scarecrows, and pumpkins is enough to have us reaching for their sweaters. Many of us are teachers ourselves, and that means gearing up for another type of fresh start. Others of us, perpetually attached to the schedules of our youth, still see the fall as a time to refresh and start anew. Wherever you may land, it is my wish that your fall is a time for family, reflection, and renewal. The Children and Family Ministry of Iron Works Church is undergoing its own renewal and refreshment. Read on to learn more about what is happening over the coming months.

Fall is upon us, and with the turning of the seasons come many opportunities for fresh starts. Your children may be entering school, some for the first time, others into a new grade, with new teachers, new classes, and new friends. Others of us have little ones too young for school, but the excitement of introducing them to apples, scarecrows, and pumpkins is enough to have us reaching for their sweaters. Many of us are teachers ourselves, and that means gearing up for another type of fresh start. Others of us, perpetually attached to the schedules of our youth, still see the fall as a time to refresh and start anew. Wherever you may land, it is my wish that your fall is a time for family, reflection, and renewal.

The Children and Family Ministry of Iron Works Church is undergoing its own renewal and refreshment. Read on to learn more about what is happening over the coming months.


Changes to TotWorks

Our TotWorks class is changing! Starting mid-September, toddlers will be introduced to our new program focusing on three main ideas about God (God made me, God loves me, God is with me) taught in a developmentally appropriate way. The children will be able to freely explore Bible stories and elements of the worship service in addition to supervised play. This class allows for a gentle, grace-filled introduction to the classroom.

Digital Curricula

All of our classes will now utilize a digital library of curricula and resources. This not only keeps our ministry fresh and digitally literate, but also enables our volunteers to prepare in advance at their own pace. All volunteers will have access to the digital library for their age group.

Weekly Parent Resources

Starting in October, parents will have access to a weekly resource that will provide tips and ideas for continuing the lessons their children encounter on Sundays. These resources will be available on the website and the new Iron Works app.

Sunday Sermon Sheets

There will be a new sermon sheet available on Sundays for children who remain in the service. It includes opportunities for further conversation with your child after the service ends.

Life in the Forge Resources

Keep an eye open for parent resources and reviews that will launch mid-fall. They will be shared on the Life in the Forge blog page under the “Resources” tab starting in October.

Continuing Formation

Throughout the year we will be offering a variety of opportunities for parents to delve deeper into their roles as spiritual shepherds in their homes. Watch for announcements regarding these events later in the year.

Renewing our Heart for Families

As a ministry we seek to serve families by providing programs for children on Sundays and also by empowering, supporting, and equipping families throughout the week. With this in mind, we have renewed our core values for our family ministry:

SUBSTANCE

You won’t find self-help books or quick fixes here. What you will find is a community of believers in Christian teaching, rich in all its fullness and depth, seeking to do their best in a broken world.  Daily, we confront the ups and downs of child-rearing and the exhaustion of the 9-to-5 while juggling family commitments, the quest to find time for intimacy and connection with our spouse, and the pressures of to-do lists. Sometimes we can barely hear, never mind answer, Scripture’s call to disciple our children, to serve our spouse, to treasure our family. Other times we hear it—oh, how we hear it—and making the time to heed that call fights its way to the top of the pile.

COMMUNITY

We strive to be a community of parents, of husbands and wives, of men and women, who do not find time as if it were lost, but make time, because we care enough to carve it from the heavy stone of obligations, commitments, and work. We aim to be intentional in how we use our time, prioritizing the things that matter for eternity, the things of the heart, the things of the soul.

FAMILY

We value and recognize the gift of family and its importance in raising our tiniest disciples to know, love, and grow in Christ. We embrace not only the fullness and richness of marriage as a gift from God but also the challenges of bringing together two imperfect people.

THE GOSPEL

We seek to live out the Gospel while avoiding the legalism that creates shame, the liberalism that expects little of us, the moralism that prioritizes obedience before faith, and the pragmatism that focuses on what feels good and easy about following Christ.

WELCOMING & ENGAGED

We throw open our doors to welcome all families, regardless of where they are in their faith walk, of how strong their biblical knowledge is, or even of what their lifestyles look like. We engage with our community with servants’ hearts, seeking to spread the love of Christ while remaining culturally engaged. We run toward the challenges parents face in an increasingly secular world and walk beside them to navigate through the bad to find the good.

You and your little, or big, ones are welcome here.
 

Fresh Focus for Children’s Ministry

Our Mission: Spiritual formation that creates lifetime faith.

The Children’s Ministry team, both staff and volunteers, are dedicated to the children of Iron Works. Everything we do as a ministry comes back to our Compass Elements, the core values that perpetually guide our work toward Christ. We have used these elements to guide the planning, preparation, and service that have gone into the relaunch of our children’s ministry this fall.

The Gospel: Can our kids articulate the Gospel?

The Big Story: Do our kids know the Bible story?

Apologetics: Can our kids defend their faith?

Theology: Do our kids know what they believe?

Relationship with God: Do our kids want to love God with all their hearts, minds, and strength?

Life of Faith: Are our children engaging with their church community, and do they see the value and importance of adopting and living out faith practices such as prayer and worship?