Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Elementary Quest Programming

A previous post gave an overview of what the Quest programming is all about.  Now, we want to give some more thoughts on the Quest programming that involves elementary-age children (on our Pelham Road campus, we have a separate Quest program that is for 4k/5k children who stay for two services).  Staff and volunteers have spent time thinking about what God wants from us in this program.  Overall, we know that we want to be intentional in all we do, even in a program like this. 

The goals and core elements of Quest are as follows:
  • Provide a time relationships to be built and deepened.  This involves both adult-child relationships, and child-child relationships.  When children are together for 3.5 hours each week, and 40-50 weeks over the year, that is about twice as long and twice as often as our adult Community Groups meet!  We have seen how children bond together after being together so often year after year.  Quest helps children see the importance of consistent relationships, and they benefit from them as well.
  • Be a reward for children who are on campus for two services.  We want Quest to be fun for them, with fun activities, occasionally having special snacks, and so on. We have had parents ask us about serving, specifically because their children want to participate in Quest.
  • Give supplemental instruction for children.  We do not want children to only go to Quest; they need their regular Small Group time, to help them grow in Christ.  However, we can add to their growth by discussing bible passages or reviewing what they are learning in Camp Grace.
  • Equip adults and students for service.  We have had a number of volunteers who are perfectly suited for serving in Quest, as shown by their love of children and desire to connect with them through play.  Furthermore, in Quest we have a high proportion of volunteers who are in our Student Ministry.  This opportunity to serve is a great way for them to feel connected to the local church.  
In order to be intentional about achieving these goals, there are a number of ideas that we plan to implement, or have implemented already, including:
  • More of a set schedule, instead of a loose organization of where the children need to be.
  • Having a short "Huddle Time" each week, with a lesson and discussion questions that tie in with the Camp Grace curriculum.
  • Using Quest as a time for occasional review days (for the Camp Grace curriculum).
  • Be purposeful in our crafts, including specific days to have planned crafts and having crafts that have a focus of being culturally-engaged (such as for ministries and organizations that Grace Church partners with).  Of course, we still think it's OK to have "free craft" days, where children can choose their own crafts or games to do.
  • In order to better equip our volunteers, we work towards a more planned out schedule and calendar of events.  
Thoughts or questions?

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