“Why wouldn’t parents be jealous to model for their children the tremendous value that they put on joyful reverence in the presence of Almighty God? Of course it’s over their head! It’s supposed to be over their head. They’re beginners. The English language is over their head as soon as they come out of the womb…Long before children understand fully what is going on in worship, in what is sung and what is said, they’re absorbing tremendous amounts of what is valuable…Children hear and remember remarkable things.”
READY OR NOT, HERE THEY COME! Tips and Tricks for Enjoying the Parking Deck Worship Service Together
For more information on the benefits of children attending a worship service with you, please refer to this article from The Gospel Coalition.
DO TRY THIS AT HOME!
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Our Passage “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10 (ESV) Our Mission The goal of the Redeemer Kids ministry is to provide a safe environment in which to encourage children, ages infants through 6th grade, to know and follow Jesus Christ by teaching them the gospel message within a full Biblical context and offering them guided opportunities in which to celebrate the gospel within our church family and declare it through service to their peers, neighbors, community and the world. In addition to teaching children to live gospel-centered lives, the Redeemer Kids ministry seeks to support families in their commitment to raise their children in the knowledge and fear of the Lord by offering practical support and encouragement for applying Redeemer’s core values and beliefs to their families.
Registration When you arrive at Redeemer, please come to our check-in desk located at the rear of the building in the basement. Parking is available behind the church and offers convenient access to our Redeemer Kids area. Upon arrival, you will fill out an enrollment form. Each child will receive a nametag in addition to a security tag, which must be presented by a parent or authorized caregiver at pick-up. Children must wear a nametag in order to be admitted to class. Please note that we serve a snack of goldfish to all classes, so make sure to mention any allergies or dietary restrictions when you register. CLASSES Nursery In our nursery, which includes an infants, toddlers (walking-24 months) and 2s & 3s class (2 years-young 4’s), we strive to care for our little ones and teach them simple Biblical truths: the Bible is God’s Word, God made them, and God loves them. Our 2s & 3s class also offers a simplified version of a lesson from the Lifeway’s Gospel Project so that preschoolers begin to learn many Bible stories and that all of these stories point back to God’s plan to redeem us through Jesus. All of our Nursery classes are staffed with both paid professionals and volunteers from within the church. Children ages 1 year and up are offered a snack of Cheerios. Ages preK-5th grade and up Our children ages 4 and up begin their time together in the main worship service. We believe it is important for our children to learn our hymns and songs, hear the liturgy, and experience being a part of the congregation.
- Before the sermon begins, children are dismissed from the worship service. Our teachers lead the children to their classroom where they will be taught a Bible lesson, have a fun activity and a chance to play, and will be provided a snack.
- You are welcome to arrive a few minutes early to the service in order to walk your child to his/her room and meet the teachers.
- Our current curriculum is The Gospel Project by Lifeway.
- My child has allergies. What should I do? In our classrooms, we serve 2 different snacks on Sundays: cheerios (infants, walkers and 2s/3s classes) and goldfish (preK through 5th grade), and, occasionally, fruit snack gummies (2s/3s through 5th grade). At longer non-Sunday events, we may serve age-appropriate meals or snacks such as pizza, apple sauce pouches, pretzels, popcorn, or animal crackers. Please alert the leaders at our front desk about your child’s allergies so that they can list that information on your child’s nametag. Additionally, for young children, please alert the teacher in their classroom at drop-off each week.
- Can my child sit with me during the service instead of going to Redeemer Kids? Absolutely. While our worship services are not targeted for family-wide participation, our leaders welcome children of all ages to attend. Even if children cannot understand everything, they may understand enough for it to be beneficial, and we encourage families worshiping together. Redeemer Kids Worship Guides are available at the entry to the sanctuary. Children can use these guides to take notes about ideas that stand out to them in the service. Please note that all children ages pre-K (4 years by August 31st) through 4th grade attend the first portion of the worship service each week with their families.
- What is Child Dedication? At Redeemer Community Church, we practice child dedication and believer’s baptism. Members of the church may have their child dedicated, but it is not mandatory. There are not age requirements or even suggestions. We have dedicated newborns and children over a year old. Child dedication is not something that is specifically commanded in the Bible, but the idea is biblical. The Israelites would bring their eight day old children to the priest for blessing, in 1 Samuel 1, Hannah brought her child Samuel to the priest Eli to dedicate him to the Lord. Mary and Joseph followed this same practice and after Jesus was circumcised, they brought him to the temple to present him to the Lord. Child dedication is an act of worship, thanksgiving, trust, and commitment. It is a time when parents in our church commit before their covenant church family that they will raise up their child in the fear and knowledge of the Lord. And since the church has entered into a covenant relationship with them through membership, the congregation has committed itself to help raise this child as well. Baby dedication is not an infant baptism or christening. While there are many ways that one can dedicate children to the Lord, we have chosen to do this in our church is by taking time to pray for and ask God’s blessing upon our children. The visible symbol of this blessing is the anointing of the child with oil and ash. The oil is representative of joy and the Holy Spirit. The ash is representative of repentance and humility. Together, these two things are what we desire for our children – to be joyfully filled with the Holy Spirit and to walk before God in humilty with a heart of repentance. Interested in dedicating your child? We provide opportunities for dedication several times a year. If interested, please contact Kristen Williams at Kristen@rccbirmingham.org
- At what age can I drop off my baby in the nursery? Please wait until your infant has received his or her 2-month vaccinations before dropping him or her off in the nursery.
- What happens once my child leaves 6th grade? After completing 6th grade, our children are promoted to the Youth Group, led by Connor Coskery. The Youth Group has a Sunday night gathering throughout the school year at 5:30, following the 4:00 service.
- What sort of qualifications must class volunteers have? Prior to becoming a children’s ministry volunteer, candidates meet with the Children’s Director, Children’s Deacon or Volunteer Coordinator. Following that meeting they are invited to observe a classroom and fill out a background check form and CA/N form. Volunteers are not allowed to lead or assist in the classrooms until this background check is submitted and approved. The exception to this policy occurs in the 2-3 year old class, in which a rotation of Home Group members from our congregation who volunteer only once or twice a year assist a screened and trained lead teacher.
- May children take Communion? Communion is served on the final Sunday of each month at the end of the worship service. Baptized believing children are invited to partake in communion, but will need to be picked up from class by their parents during communion time if they are checked into Redeemer Kids. Club 56 class does not meet on communion weeks so that those students are present to partake in communion when they are ready.
- What is your sick policy? Children must be symptom-free from the following without medication for 24 hours before entering the classroom:
- Fever of 100 or higher — there is a thermometer at the front desk
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Conjunctivitis (pink eye or other eye infection)
- Nasal drainage that is green or yellow
- Excessive coughing
- Sore throat
- Open sores
- Cold If a child develops any of these symptoms while in class, the parent will be texted to pick up the child. If a parent cannot be reached via text message, the child will stay outside of the class with the supervisor or greeter.
- What does the Redeemer Kids ministry offer for children with special needs? Redeemer Kids is committed to caring for children with special needs while also taking into account the needs of all children present. Please inform a staff person that your child has special needs and discuss with the class teachers and coordinators any special instructions for caring for your child. Please attend class with your child for several weeks in order to become acquainted with the classroom environment. During this time, please help the staff and volunteers understand any routines and practices that will help your child get the most out of Redeemer Kids. We welcome suggestions for how we can best serve your family.