We only have a small number of kids in our community, ranging in age from newborns to upper primary, but they are deeply valued by us, and we try hard to make them feel welcome and included in our meetings, and to provide as much of a program as we can for them.
For babies and preschoolers, we have a big room adjoining our main auditorium that parents are welcome to use for feeding little ones or for letting them run around. There is an audio-visual link to the main meeting, so you can keep up with what is happening there.
For primary aged children, we have a monthly cycle to try to provide for their needs within the limitations of our volunteer resources.
On the first Sunday of each month we have a kids’ church lesson in another room within the building, run by two of our volunteers (all our volunteers have working with children checks, have signed a code of conduct, and fully support our safe church policy - see our safe church statement for details).
On the third Sunday of each month, the kids work with two volunteers to prepare morning tea for the whole community. This may sound a bit close to child labour, but is something that we introduced because of how much our kids love preparing and eating food.
On the other weeks of the month we set up a kids’ table in the main auditorium with games, toys, paper and pencils for them to use. Everyone in the community knows and accepts (and enjoys the fact) that these will be noisier weeks. We definitely don’t want parents to spend the whole meeting feeling anxious about the noise their kids may be making.
Obviously, if the community and the number of children in it continues to grow, we will revisit this cycle and work towards providing a weekly program for our kids. And the same will be true if and when we have any high school aged youth.
If you have any questions about the above, or want to know a little bit more about our people and our program please feel free to email me directly on firstname.lastname@example.org and our safety officer Jackie Martin at email@example.com
Rod Begbie (co-pastor FNCC)