Big Enough Club: Help Your Children In Their Move to “Big Church”
Helping Children transition to inter-generational Worship
Many churches provide care and specialized worship and discipleship experiences for their preschoolers during the churches corporate worship times up to a certain age. At that time, the children transition to what many refer to as “big church.” For many of them, this may be a difficult transition and there is so many “strange” things in that setting. Laura Clontz, children’s ministry director at Friendly Avenue Baptist Church in Greensboro, NC, created a wonderful way to help kids make the move in a very healthy way. Today, I share this with you to spark your imagination on how you can help your young worshippers make the transition smoothly.
By Laura Clontz
Children’s Ministry Director, Friendly Avenue Baptist Church, Greensboro, NC
On Sunday, we had our Fall Kick-Off, which included our Promotion Sunday. At Friendly Avenue, starting in kindergarten, we have all grade-schoolers attend our main worship service with their families. In order to celebrate this milestone in a big way, this year, we launched our first annual Big Enough Club! What is the Big Enough Club, you ask? It is the special club you get to be a part of once you are finally Big Enough to join us in our Worship Service each week! During Sunday School, we invited all of our new kindergartners and their parents to join us for a donut breakfast, a special, interactive presentation explaining all of the elements of a worship service and all of the special things that are in our sanctuary–like the sound booth, the ability to live stream, and even how we use the screens. As adults, we often take the church environment for granted, but for the majority of our kindergartners, they not only didn’t know all of the people, they also didn’t know what everything was or how it was used. All of our staff participated by sharing what they typically do during a given service. For us, we made the decision to follow a typical order of service, so that it would make sense when they saw a service live. Each staff member was tasked to do 3 things: 1) Introduce themselves, 2) Tell what they do and why and 3) Make it as fun and interactive as possible.
Since the staff would be introducing themselves, we had all of the kindergartners come forward and introduce themselves (what 5-year-old doesn’t like getting to talk in the microphone?!). Staff members talked about the welcome, worship, music, the instruments on stage, the sound booth, screens, prayer, sermon, invitation, baptism, greeters and ushers, livestreaming, etc. The kindergartners became familiar with every aspect of the service and their surroundings.
As their parents watched, our staff took our kindergartners up and down the stage, around the piano, to the soundboard, even to the livestream room, so that they could get a firsthand look at how everything works. They were even taught the chorus to one of the songs that would be sung in the worship service so they could participate! We had a great time letting our kindergartners explore, learn and ask all kinds of questions so that they would be ready to worship.
To end our time of celebrating, we had the kids make their own busy bags. Typically we provide a younger and older kids sermon note page, but to help our new Big Enough Club members transition, we provided a special drawstring bag to hold their Bible and a few quiet activities. We included things like crayons, pencils, erasers, pipe cleaners, mini spiral notebooks, a coloring book, and more! Our goal is never to keep kids quiet, because it’s the voices of our children that remind us that the church is alive. But, we did want to equip our parents and FABC Kids to navigate this transition as smoothly as possible. Starting kindergarten means BIG changes, at school, home and church and we couldn’t be more excited for our FABC Kids, because we know that they are destined for great things!
This letter was sent to all the kids to invite them to this special celebration: