For Covenant Presbyterian, Harrisonburg, VA
The ultimate purpose of the Children’s Ministry of Covenant Presbyterian
Church is to glorify God. We believe that He has called us to glorify Him by:
- Assisting parents in the Christian nurture of their children.
- Proclaiming the gospel in word and deed to children in our church and community.
- Equipping the saints for ministry to families and children.
- Communicating and implementing Biblical principles for ministry.We strive to do these things in faith, in obedience to Jesus Christ and the Word of God, and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Several Biblical principles shape the ways in which we go about accomplishing our purpose.
First, we believe that God has chosen the family to be the primary context and means for the Christian nurture of children. God has given to parents the rights and responsibilities of teaching, protecting, guiding and loving their children according to the Scriptures. Our role as the covenant community is to assist, not replace, parents in the process of teaching and training children.
Second, we affirm that the Christian nurture of children happens best when the family has strong relationships and significant involvement in the local church. Reformed theology emphasizes our corporate identity and the importance of the covenant community. We encourage families to make spending time with our Covenant church family a high priority. We are eager to fulfill our responsibilities as the Body of Christ and delighted that our Lord has entrusted us with the privilege of caring for and teaching His children. We recognize that God has given tremendous resources for ministry to the church and we labor to use those resources faithfully and effectively.
Third, we believe that ministry is inherently relational. We teach and train children in the context of relationships. Ministry is much more than
programs, lessons and activities. Ministry is personal. It is investing our very selves into the lives of others. It is living out the truth even as we speak it. Ministering to children means getting to know them so that we can communicate the gospel in meaningful and creative ways. Since building relationships is so important, we ask for a one-year commitment in most of our teaching ministries.
Fourth, we have a team ministry. All Christians have spiritual gifts to be used for the common good. Our church family is blessed with a diversity of gifts, abilities and personalities. No one sort of person is sufficient to accomplish the many things involved in children’s ministry. We need many people from all age groups with a wide variety of interests and talents, all working together, for balanced and effective ministry. We endeavor to staff all of our ministries with teams which work together to teach and lead, two or three teachers for each class.
Finally, we distinguish between essentials and appearances. The Biblical and Reformed theology which helps to define Covenant as a particular church will always be the foundation of our children’s ministry. The specific details of our children’s ministry may change now and then as our church family grows numerically and spiritually, but the foundational concepts and purposes will not. Our ministry to children will include worship, instruction, evangelism, service and fellowship. Exactly what these things look like in the life of our church family will vary, but the essence of the ministry will not because it is rooted in God Himself and in who He has called us to be.
We believe that the Bible speaks clearly to the importance of teaching children. Some of the verses that shape our ministry priorities are: