Community Life Church at Cherrybrook shows what it’s like to actively follow Jesus with ‘head, heart and hands’ and it’s particularly evident in the children’s ministry. The children are encouraged to be involved in ministry and provided with opportunities to minister in ways that grow their faith.
Louise Eccleston, Children’s Pastor at the church explains. ‘A big way that young people are involved in Community Life Church is by serving as leaders in the Children’s Ministry. It has become so popular with the younger teens that we have a very high ratio of leaders to children. The young leaders are encouraged to run a small group, which we call “Care Group” with another leader. In these groups they discuss some of the lessons with the children but a key factor is also building relationships, praying together and encouraging the kids in their journey with God. This gives the young leaders opportunity to review and think about their own faith, trusting God to work through them to teach the children.’
Twice a year Community Life Church runs a five-week interest group program on Sunday mornings for children called MyZone, which is advertised in the community. In Term 3 last year the theme for MyZone was ‘Give Back’ where children were involved in making things to give away. Different groups had children making soap, making toys, making hampers, making cards, sewing pencil cases and doing various acts of service (washing cars, etc). This gave the children a chance to live out their faith and make a difference to others by showing God’s love in a practical way.
Community Life Church has a drama team consisting of adults, teens and children. The team sometimes has a spot in a service to illustrate a point in the sermon or to get people thinking about an issue. The team is also used at bigger events such as Christmas Carols and Easter services. For Easter, families from the church were videoed reading scripture to form a segment for the beginning of the Good Friday service.
There is also a children’s dance group that performs at special services throughout the year, but it’s not just about performance: it’s ministry. The children are taught to worship God through dance and encouraged to lead others into worship as well.
And then there are the ‘Family Life’ nights, which happen once a term. Louise explains.
‘At these, the aim is that families connect together and do activities that have a spiritual significance. The idea is that families learn and discuss things together. Next term we will have someone from TEAR coming to lead our families through a simulation game that will be engaging to both the children and the adults.’
Good on you Louise and Community Life Church!