Editor’s Note: This report comes from the Children’s Disciples Blueprint Implementation Team. It was written by 2020 Vision Facilitation Team member Anne Keo, and captures much of the energy that has been building around these initiatives. These are exciting times for First Baptist Church!
Throughout the church-wide 2020 Vision process, Bill Wilson reminded the facilitation team and the congregation of the idea, “find what you do really well and pour jet fuel on it.” The church’s vision to develop a Children’s Discipleship Blueprint embodies this mantra. So many comments from the congregational gatherings reinforced our strong Children’s Ministry and programs. Members reiterated their love and appreciation for seeing children and families attending and participating in worship services and other aspects of church life. A love for children and their faith development has deep, strong roots within our church.
As part of the Children’s Discipleship Blueprint Implementation Team process, our team leader, Whitney Wallin had each member share a favorite aspect of our current Children’s Ministry. Each member’s favorite was met with nods and affirmation. It was evident we each had more than one favorite. Some of the favorites we shared were:
- 1st graders receiving their very own Bible as a gift from the congregation to our beginning readers.
- The passionate, dedicated, and gifted teachers who commit so much of themselves to developing the faith foundations of our youngest congregants.
- Our yearly Vacation Bible School filled with children from our own church, our preschool, our neighborhood and children bused in from communities where they wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to attend VBS.
- The well planned, developmentally appropriate children’s church during the 11:00 service where children learn about the worship process of our church and delve into lectionary scripture.
- The children’s sermon during the service that gathers our precious children around the feet of their pastor, where they hear a truth filled, easy to understand lesson (admittedly that helps most of the adults understand the scripture and sermon on a deeper level as well) as the congregation beams with pride and delight.
- Candi Brown, our multi-talented, compassionate, knowledgeable and hard working Children’s Minister who is always working to bring the gospel to our children and bring our children to the gospel.
Our team, made up of parents, grandparents, schoolteachers, and Sunday School leaders, has a strong ministry foundation to build upon. Richmond’s First Baptist Church does children’s ministry really well. With the discernment of the congregation and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we are pouring jet fuel on our children’s ministry to build the foundation of knowledge, experience, and action our children need to come to know Christ and develop a strong personal relationship with our Lord and Savior. We want our children to have strong biblical knowledge. We want our children to begin understanding the spiritual practices of Christlikeness. We want to provide our children with worship training experiences. We want our children to experience “church” in different places with different people. We want our children to be an integral part of our missional church, serving others in love. Proverbs 22:6 tells us “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” As we work to fulfill our shared vision, and especially this part of it, the love of Christ and for Christ is bound to grow in the hearts of the children of Richmond’s First Baptist Church.
Anne Keo, 2020Vision Liaison
Children’s Discipleship Blueprint