The Bible tells us that children are a blessing from God (Psalm 127:3). It should give you great honor to be blessed with a child. Another honor that God gives you is the responsibility to disciple them. It’s easy to make excuses that we never have time to disciple people, yet God gives us the privilege of hands-on disciple-making with our children every day. God tells us that we should “train up a child in the way he should go.” He also tells us “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” (Deuteronomy 6:5-7)
It seems like a lot of pressure, but the good news is you don’t have to do this alone. First, Jesus tells us that as we disciple our children, He is with us. In addition to this, our desire at Olympia City Church is to equip parents to raise their children in the knowledge of the gospel. To assist with this, we provide parents with age-appropriate resources, guides, and in-home materials. We have also compiled a growing list of additional resources that you’ll see below.
Children in City Groups
Since CityGroups are the backbone of our church, we want our children to be active participants just as our adults. While the current cultural trend is to separate parents and children in church and daily activities, it is our desire to nurture life together as families inside our CityGroups as we live on mission. It’s in this context that children get to hear the gospel from many people, especially their parents, and see the implications of it lived out in front of their eyes. Within our CityGroups, our children will have a devotional that connects with what they are learning at home, as well as, at our worship gatherings. For Beginnings (0 – 2 years) and Early Childhood (3 years – PreK) age children, we provide childcare, typically by sharing the responsibility across parents. For Elementary (K – 5th) age children and older, they stay with the adults during the evening, oftentimes having color and activity sheets they can work on.
Children in Gatherings
Church is not a Sunday thing, and therefore we shouldn’t think of equipping and ministry mostly in terms of Sunday programs. We believe the best thing for the discipleship of our children is to center our discipleship efforts through 1) parents who are discipled well, 2) the body of believers who will love them and model Christ to them in their everyday lives (their aunts and uncles in the Lord, so to speak).Olympia City Church feels like family, which is a good thing since it is often said it takes a village to raise a child. We provide age-appropriate resources, guides, and in-home materials to assist parents in discipling their children. During our worship gatherings, children that are 3 years or older often sit with their parents, having activity sheets and crayons to often help with their attention. On occasion, we do have age-specific classes available for our Early Childhood (3 years – PreK) and Elementary (K – 5th) age children. For our Beginnings children (0 – 2 years), we consistently provide childcare at every gathering.