Last Sunday evening we had a Town Hall Meeting for student and kidmin. Ministry leaders from LCBC along with our team were here to get to know one another and to answer questions. Unfortunately not all the questions could be answered in the time we had available so I asked Brad and Ang to compile all the questions and answer them. This document will also be available for the next few weekends in the foyer. Please make plans to get on one of the bus trips! We also have two more town hall meetings planned. One will be focused on adult ministries and one on worship and arts. If you have any questions about either of those two areas please come and ask them!
Frequently Asked Questions about KidMin and Student Ministries
With the elders at both ebc and LCBC recommending an adoption of our church into the LCBC family, people have dozens of questions and we want to do our best to inform you of the exciting possibilities ahead. Here, KidMin Director Angela Oliver and I are providing answers to questions asked at the Student Min/KidMin Town Hall meeting January 24. If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask any of the staff. Healthy dialogue is a great thing and we would love to provide as much information as we can.
- Brad Travelpiece, ebc Director of Student Ministries
How does LCBC’s kidMinistry work?
LCBC’s kidMinistry experience, kidVenture Island, is designed for children ages six weeks through 4th grade to have fun, feel safe, learn about Jesus, and connect with peers and leaders. Beginning at age two, kids participate in Large Group Gatherings where they sing, dance, and listen to age appropriate Bible lessons. The huge win is that they then connect in small kidLife Groups with other boys or girls their age and caring leaders so they can apply the Bible Story to their everyday life. LCBC believes that every child needs a place to belong and someone who believes in them, and Life Groups are the best way to provide this.
Why aren’t 5th graders in kidMinistry?
LCBC believes the best way to meet the needs and interests of 5th graders is to include them with other preteens in Student Ministries. Fifth graders would be a part of the Middle School environment JCrew (fifth through eighth grade), which we hope to offer during each of our three weekend gatherings. Through dynamic teaching and Life Groups, we can create a place that is hugely beneficial for both 5th graders and 8th graders.
I have heard that LCBC’s kidMinistry only teaches about salvation a few times a year. Is this true?
This is a misconception that we looked into thoroughly. Their leaders explained that LCBC makes it a priority to teach kids every week about knowing Jesus and having a relationship with Him. In addition to that, in order to better prepare parents to disciple their kids, LCBC holds “Salvation Weekends”. Multiple times a year, parents are encouraged to attend with their child as the Salvation message is emphasized as the central point of the lesson, with additional resources distributed to parents of children who decided to make Jesus their forever friend. So their kidMinistry is always encouraging kids to come to know Jesus, and multiple times a year that becomes the entire focus of the gathering.
How can Kindergarteners through 4th graders all learn from the same lesson?
In kidVenture Island, Kindergarteners through 4th graders share the same Large Group time, which includes worship, activities, and the Bible Story. LCBC is very intentional about crafting that lesson to be simple enough for a Kindergartener but engaging enough for a 4th grader. It is within their kidLife Groups where questions and activities are tailored to their appropriate age, and the concept of the lesson gets applied to the context of their lives. These groups, broken up by grade and gender, are where the most growth happens.
What if children/students don’t always attend the same gathering each weekend?
While LCBC encourages families to make it a priority to get your child to the same gathering each weekend so that they can build relationship with the same Life Group leader week after week, your kids will not have a problem feeling accepted and growing in another group if you attend another gathering.
Do kids and students have opportunities to serve at LCBC?
Absolutely, as early as Kindergarten, kids are encouraged to use their gifts to serve others. Whether as a part of the kidWorship team, a helper in Oyster Bay (LCBC’s environment for 2-year-olds), or a technology operator, there are plenty of ways for them to put their faith in action and make a difference.
What will happen to events such as Kidz JAM and VBS?
LCBC is intentional about investing resources, time, and energy into making the weekend gatherings great first and foremost. The kidMinistry leaders, however, have told Ang they love how the Kidz JAM program makes inroads into the community and are interested in evaluating if that is something LCBC could adopt. VBS is not necessarily off the table either, but LCBC looks to give kids the same high-energy experience they love at VBS every weekend rather than once a year.
We’ve been told that ebc has the best KidMin, and at the Town Hall meeting, David Ashcraft said he believes that LCBC has the best KidMin in the country. Which is it?
Scott has certainly painted our KidMin with a broad brush as the best in the world, and our KidMin has been one of the stronger ministries of our church for the last several years. However, partnered with LCBC, we would have an opportunity to adopt a program that is even more effective in reaching a larger number of families over a wider area and helping each child come to know Jesus better. LCBC has learned from leading churches across the country, and they have developed a program that is not only effective, but also sustainable. Ang would be part of a team that could support her and provide resources for her as she in turn equips leaders to mentor and care for kids week after week.
Student Min Questions
How does LCBC approach Student Ministry?
The Student Ministries of LCBC is focused on creating fully devoted followers of Christ. Everything they do is designed to help students feel welcome and accepted exactly as they are while being challenged by Jesus to live differently. This happens in fun, dynamic, high-energy experiences which include games, relevant teaching, and Life Group discussions with peers and a supportive leader. The Life Group leaders are the heroes of the ministry, as students open up and learn from them what it means to follow Jesus in their day-to-day lives.
Why doesn’t LCBC offer any experiences specifically for High School students during weekend gatherings?
Studies show 73 to 78 percent of students across the country involved in a youth group leave their faith after graduation. In order to change this trend, LCBC removed their weekend high school gatherings so students would merge into the larger church community. High school students get in the main gatherings, are encouraged to serve, and connect with peers at Circl3, their mid-week experience. This helps students connect to the church as a whole, not just the youth group, which they will leave behind someday. After making this change, LCBC found that they had reversed the statistic – 80 percent of their students were engaging their faith after graduation rather than ditching it.
What night of the week would High School meet?
All of the current LCBC campuses host Circl3 on Wednesday nights from 7:30-9:00 pm (doors open at 7:00). This is late enough for most people involved in sports practices to still join us and even bring teammates. And while no night of the week will work for everyone, they have found Wednesday to be a great chance to reconnect with students in the middle of the week. We would also evaluate whether that night is best for our group.
What would happen to Middle School FUSE?
LCBC has a strong desire to do a few things very well rather than doing many things at a lesser quality. So rather than holding two unique Middle School gatherings and having some students go to one and some to another, leaders focus their attention on only the weekend gathering, JCrew, so they can make it as great as they can and encourage all of their 5th through 8th graders to join them there. I hope to have a JCrew gathering at each of our weekend gatherings, and I believe that any student who has enjoyed FUSE would love JCrew.
How would the teaching be handled for Student Ministries?
A large part of the teaching provided in our gatherings would be done via video, created by a team of Student Ministries leaders across the campuses so that the best age-appropriate material is presented. During the times when I would be teaching live, the main points and direction of the lesson are provided to me, while I have freedom to add stories and my own spin on things to make it my own. With less time required to prepare for teaching, I am free to invest more time in the students and leaders here in Berwick.
Would our students have opportunities to attend Impact or other retreats and events?
The LCBC team creates retreats for students every year. They have Fall Retreat for High Schoolers, Avalanche for 7th and 8th graders, and Blizzard for 5th and 6th graders, with one weekend of Blizzard being for boys, another weekend for girls. In the past they have not attended events such as Impact, but High School Pastor John Wilkinson said they are not closed off to new ideas in this regard.
Does LCBC offer missions trips for their students?
There are anywhere between 15 and 20 Summer Serving Experiences available each year for high schoolers, all broken into four different tiers to help ensure students are prepared for whatever trip they go on. The deadline for registration has passed for 2015 trips, but our students and leaders could join trips starting in the summer of 2016.
Isn’t it true that we’re already a successful church? Why are we considering giving that up?
Yes, God has been tremendously gracious to ebc, and on our own we can continue to do well, but we believe together we can do better, especially in reaching more of the region. Our attempts at making sites have been less successful than we had hoped, but with LCBC’s resources and expertise we could plant vibrant church sites throughout this area.
Why would our name be LCBC Columbia Montour?
LCBC typically names their sites after the area where their site is located, and we want to make a statement with our name that we are trying to reach this whole area, not just Berwick.
When would the fourth gathering be added?
We don’t have a concrete answer for this yet, however, one strong possibility is launching a second Saturday night gathering this fall so that we can make Saturday a more viable option. This also makes it easier for volunteers to “sit one, serve one,” meaning they could attend one gathering that night, and serve during the other gathering.
What does it take to be a Life Group Leader with kidMinistries or Student Ministries?
First, you’ve got to love Jesus! There is an application process to ensure that we are putting the best people with our kids and students. In kidMinistries, even older kids can help lead groups of younger kids when paired with an adult. Anyone in 11th grade or older could qualify as a JCrew leader, and anyone 23 or older can lead in Circl3.
What happens to our elders if ebc is adopted by LCBC?
While there would eventually be an opportunity to become a part of the LCBC elder board through their normal process, our elders would, for the forseeable future, step into other serving roles within the church as we all join together in our mission to reach lost souls for Christ. The LCBC elder board has eight members, each serving a four-year term, but it is not a representative board so none of our elders would automatically have a seat as an LCBC elder.
What happens to our staff if ebc is adopted by LCBC?
All of our staff members have been offered and accepted positions with LCBC. While some roles would change, the possibilities ahead are exciting. While some roles would change, we are excited about the possibilities of what God could do through our family for His Glory in the years ahead.