Over the past few years working downtown Toronto in the social service field serving youth at the intersection of the child welfare and criminal justice systems, I witnessed the importance of meaningful investment in the lives of children. In a busy, metropolitan, quick-fix, diverse, noisy, rich or poor, hurried environment, children are often the ones who we are asking to keep up with the schedules we set.
Children, by nature, need support. They rely on others in order that they might grow into strong and healthy teens and, later, adults. Young children need to be assisted walking up and down stairs, eating properly, and building friendships. Children need to be reminded to complete tasks like homework, brushing their teeth, and looking out for younger siblings. Children need to be taught over time how to tie their shoes, how to ask politely, and how to value what God says about them over what others think.
Parents are in the thick of one of the biggest tasks of their lives — a full-time, forever, 24/7 job of caring, protecting, and shaping the hearts, minds and faiths of the next generation. We want Knox to be a place where parents feel that they are surrounded, equipped, and supported in their mission as parents.
At Knox, we value the heart and mind of each child and the journey of faith they embark on as they discover the world. Camp & Children’s Ministries at Knox are committed to facilitating programming that is safe, fun and puts relationship at the center of everything we do. Whether we meet kids in the Goforth on a Sunday morning, at birth when they join Knox with their parents in the Sanctuary for the first time, or at the registration table in Week 3 of Knox Day Camps, we are delighted to invite children into the village of support, care, and love that awaits them at Knox.
Jesus spent time with children and valued them. In the gospel of Luke, Chapter 18, verses 16 and 17, it says:
“Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”
Children are an important part of our ‘village’! There is so much we can learn from them, too!
Villages are diverse, with people who have been around a long time, and people who are just settling in. Villages are full of workers, thinkers, artists, planners and people in need of rest. I don’t know all of you, but I am getting to you one by one, and I am thankful for the vast array of gifts and abilities God has blessed this village with.
Have you considered what your role is in this village of Knox, where God is continually calling people to join in the fun? This village that welcomes children, values their imaginations, and believes in their potential.
What part are you able to play in the lives of the children entrusted to us? 1 Corinthians 12:5 is a great reminder — “there are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord”! There are many ways you can choose to take part in the ministry at Knox — here are a few of the ways that involve our kids:
Family Greeting Team @ 11am & 5pm Services: This is a minimum (20-minute) commitment role. Arrive 10 minutes before the service begins, greet families & have children sign-in with their parents. This role will be done in pairs at three main Knox entrances!
Program Leader @ 11am & 5pm Services: This is a medium (3-hour) commitment role. Read e-mail sent with curricula details, prepare for upcoming Sunday, and take time to pray for the kids who will be in your class (approximately 20-30 minutes). Arrive 15 minutes before the service begins, meet the Camp & Children’s Ministry Coordinator in the Goforth, greet parents & children, run programming of small group of 5-10 children (approximately 2.5 hours).
Camp Sunday Leader @ 11am Service, 4th Sunday of each month: This is a medium (3-hour commitment) role. Arrive at 10:15 to meet with Camp Sunday Program Coordinator and begin programming by 10:30. Camp Sundays run until 1pm, so your role will be complete at 1:15pm, after children have been picked up by their parents.
Program Coordinators: 252, Tiny Tots, Nursery, Camp Sunday: This is a medium-to-high commitment role. Advocate on behalf of program area at monthly check-in meetings with Camp & Children’s Ministries Coordinator. Provide leadership, answer questions and be an overall support for the Program Leaders in your program area.
My name is Rachel Pipher, and I am the Camp & Children’s Ministries Coordinator here at Knox. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer in Children’s Ministry, feel free to e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call me at Knox! I look forward to speaking with you.
“It takes a whole village to raise a child.” – Nigerian Proverb