Nourishing lives of love and faith in Jesus
At ECV, we consider the kids in our church a blessing and a really important part of our community. Our goal is for Sundays to be as valuable and shaping for the kids as they are for the adults—to help teach our children what it looks like to love and follow Jesus! In ordinary times, Elm City Sprouts meets concurrently with our ECV Worship Gathering (Sundays at 4:00pm) in the Fellowship Hall (downstairs from Main Sanctuary). In this season of meeting outdoors, the kids have their own tent and activities on the Green. Of course, you are welcome to keep your kids with you and to participate in the service together.
What happens on Sundays?
We have four classes that meet together during worship service on Sundays: Nursery (ages 0-2), Preschool/Kindergarten, Elementary (grades 1-4), and Youth Group (grades 5-8).
Nursery Class (0-2)
Babies and toddlers experience fun and tender care from our experienced teachers in the Nursery downstairs, with time for songs, stories, and play!
Preschool, Kindergarten & Elementary
Below is the typical structure for our Preschool/Kindergarten and Elementary worship service:
1. Opening Question or Game: As kids come downstairs and parents sign them in, we welcome and engage kids with a quick question or game related to the month’s theme.
2. Worship: We sing songs together to worship God with music, our voices, and our bodies. Kids are encouraged to dance and move around!
3. Bible Story: Teachers present the main lesson or Bible story, involving kids as skit participants or helpers.
4. Bible Memory Verse: We practice the monthly Bible memory verse together, often using motions to help us remember it!
5. Offering: Kids have the opportunity to contribute a weekly offering as they learn about the importance of giving generously to God and to help others. Children will specifically be collecting funds for tangible goals, such as buying a rabbit for a family though WorldVision or Heifer.org. This can also be a great opportunity for parents of older children to teach the value of tithing (and some math skills as well!)
6. Prayer: Each week, we will encourage the children to pray together with different styles of prayer – Intercessory (praying for one another’s needs), Listening Prayer (spending time practicing hearing from God), and also Prayer for other Countries and/or ECV partnerships.
7. Classes for Activities/Crafts/Games: Kids break up into classes: Preschool/Kindergarten and Elementary (grades 1-4) for more opportunities to engage with the main points from the bible story/monthly theme through interactive games, crafts, and free time to play.
8. Snacks: Children will eat healthy snacks together and encourage further discussion on the main points from the bible story. (Parents of kids with special dietary needs are encouraged to provide their own snacks for their children).
9. Clean up/Check-Out/What did you learn?: Before the end of the Children’s Ministry worship time, we encourage kids to clean up what they have been working on and gather back together in a large group. We will check-in with kids to see what they have learned, read another story, and solicit ideas for how to live out the lesson during the week.
Youth Group, Middle School and High School
The ECV Youth Group meets midweek during the school year, and also on select Sundays during service. The Youth Group also regularly serves the younger kids as older “buddies” and helpers. For more information on Roots Youth Group please contact our youth pastor Nate Czajkowski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kids Ministry Vision and Values
“Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” – Matthew 19:14
ECV Sprouts exists to nurture lives of love and faith in all our kids and families. We do this by focusing foremost on the love of God. We want every kid that comes through our doors, whether a 3 week-old baby or a 17 year-old high schooler, to know that they are loved, valued, and cherished by God. We want parents and caregivers to know that they are also loved and supported by a God who knows them, walks with them (especially through all the ups and downs of family life!), and who will never leave them. ECV Sprouts aims to see both kids and their families flourishing as full participants in the Kingdom of God.
Kids were designed to experience the joy of walking with God their entire lives, and to be His worshippers. We know that worship takes many forms, so we invite and encourage kids every week to participate in musical worship, prayer, offering, creating a work of art or craft, reading or listening to stories from the Bible, and having fun with others through games and activities.
Building on love and worship, our monthly themes and weekly lessons emphasize a growing relationship with God and others, as they teach kids wisdom (knowing the character of God, listening to His voice, and making wise choices), faith (learning to trust God as our Forever Friend no matter what), and friendship (putting others before ourselves in love and humility and treating them with love and respect, the way we would want to be treated).
Above all, we know that it is Jesus who is at work in kids and families, and who loves them beyond compare. We are in the business of planting seeds, and watching God bring the growth. At ECV Sprouts, we do all we can to “let the little children come” to Him so we can see all our kids and families grow in love and faith in Jesus.
“They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” –Jeremiah 17:8
Our Volunteers and Teachers
All our Sprouts teachers and volunteers go through a thorough application process, including a background check, and teaching training to ensure our kids’ safety and wellbeing. Our teachers are committed members of the ECV community who know that God is at work among our kids. They strive to make Sprouts a safe, welcoming, and fun place for kids and their families. If you are interested in becoming a Sprouts volunteer or teacher, please contact Asha Evans at email@example.com
We would love to hear from you! If you have questions, feedback, comments, or concerns, please contact Asha Evans, Family Pastor at firstname.lastname@example.org
Additionally, we are currently hiring a Family Pastor as Asha transitions to nursing school to pursue the next steps on God's call on her life. Interested in this role or in seeing our vision for this position? Check out the job description here. If you're interested in applying, please email email@example.com with a cover letter, resumé, and completed by 6/4.