This past week, City Church welcomed three new babies into our church family. Earlier in the spring, we had a similar stretch when three babies were born into the church family during just eight days. While neither of those weeks is normal (if it were, on average we’d be adding about one hundred fifty babies per year!), they are illustrative of the booming demographic within City Church. God is blessing us with children. That means busy nurseries, tired parents, and a growing responsibility to help parents as they disciple their children in Christian faith.
City Church is deeply committed to providing a place where all people (including families with young children) can grow in grace and in service to God. Jesus himself modeled a welcoming attitude towards children that we hope is embodied at City Church: “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:13). Our goal with children’s ministry at City Church (really with all our ministry at City Church) is to present the good news of Jesus so strikingly that He becomes our one, overriding hope and our greatest love.
To that end, we are looking to hire an additional staff member to help lead and serve our Children's Ministry. When we first hired our Children's Ministry Director, Jennifer Murphy, four years ago, City Church was a lot smaller and we had a lot fewer children. It was conceivable then for one part-time staff member to oversee the ministry. Since then we have added many kids, our children’s programming has multiplied, and the task of running it all has grown more complex. Because we remain committed to faithfully discipling the children at City Church and reaching out to children and families within our community, we need additional Children's Ministry staff. City Church needs at least 50-60 hours of work per week in our children’s ministry, and Jennifer simply can’t (and doesn’t want to) do it all.
We have a job description (PDF) for the new position and we have organized a search team (led by elders Mack Hendrix and David Blanchard) to identify a new director/pastor. We’re hopeful that this team will be able to work quickly to find a new member of our staff team by the end of this Fall. If you have any questions about the process or any ideas of a person who would be a great fit, please let them know.
In the mean-time we will continue to offer safe and grace-centered children’s ministry at City Church: nurseries for kids 0-3 during our worship service, Children’s Worship for kids 4-2nd grade, a City Kids class for kids in 3rd-6th grades after worship, and regular youth group meetings for middle and high school students. Additionally, our 7th Annual Harvest Party—scheduled for Saturday, October 3rd—is favorite event for my kids. We also are beginning to plan for our 3rd Annual Christmas Pageant and Sing-Along on December 5th. To maintain all of this ministry at a high level we will be calling on our faithful volunteers and some temporary, part-time workers to fill in the gaps.
There is, of course, the risk in writing specifically about babies and families that single young professionals and young marrieds and older empty-nesters would feel like they are not important or a priority. That, of course, is not true. What we’re seeing is the diversity of the Body of Christ and the gift that variety is to a church. When Paul writes about the various parts of the Body in 1 Corinthians 12 he says, “God has so composed the body…that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.” Our children’s ministry—like every other dimension of ministry at City Church—is how we care for one another.