Thousands of preschoolers, grade schoolers, junior highers, high schoolers, and college students have emerged to descend upon their schools. It’s an exciting new school year with great opportunities and lofty goals. Actually, September signals the very same phenomenon in the church world—the students come back in waves.

We Are Ready

We’ve spent the last few months getting ready for the new church year starting in September. Our children and student teams have been working diligently at improving curriculum, developing better ways to follow-up and to provide practical Holy Spirit empowered application. We think this year will be the most exciting we’ve ever had.

Big Vision

Our dream is to lead our children and youth into becoming passionate followers of Jesus. We want them to understand the things that we talk about in adult church—the Kingdom, identity, righteousness, and grace. In fact, they generally understand these concepts better because they have a greater amount of faith!  They are part of the “army of fully devoted disciples.”

Building Disciples

We take our role in developing children and youth very seriously. We are not simply trying to entertain kids and youth while their parents are being discipled elsewhere. We want them to be disciples in their own right. Our dream is that they will be the influencers in their schools, neighborhoods, and friendship groups.

Great Leaders

We are blessed to have very good teams of child and youth volunteers. The key leaders are always assisted by an army of parents and lay leaders/volunteers who make the program come alive. Without the countless teams of people pouring their lives into our children and youth, the ministries would never be as successful as they are.

Please Help at Home

Moms, dads, guardians—please help us at home. By this we mean reinforcing what the kids/youth are learning at church. Find out what they are talking about in their classes and have discussions with them. Of course, it’s really good if you also model the very things they’re learning so they have a chance to see it in action.

Please Help at Church

I mentioned above that we have a wave of volunteers in the children’s ministry; yet we are always looking for more volunteers. We currently have 101 volunteers that serve in KidZone (Infant thru Kindergarten). We need 136. We are praying for no less than 40 more volunteers to teach and serve these children. In the Garage (1st Grade thru 6th Grade) we have 81 volunteers, but need 96 to have a fully staffed team and therefore praying for 15 more dedicated volunteers. It is a great way to change a generation. Pour your life into them and watch the fruit come back for years and years.

Final Thoughts

What a privilege to be part of a church that has an exciting kids and student program. We at the Heartland Vineyard Church are committed to have a dynamic program for our young people. As we continue to learn and grow, we always appreciate thoughts and comments from our parents.

Thanks again for being friends and partners as we reach out to our kids and youth.

(Adapted from a blog written by Hap Leman, Pastor of The Vineyard Church in Champaign, IL and former Regional Overseer and friend of Heartland Vineyard Church)