Do everything in love.
1 Corinthians 16:14
- acknowledges children already as fully baptized ministers;
- focuses on biblical faith rather than biblical literacy;
- fosters inter-generational relationships and service; and
- empowers and encourages lay leadership.
Relevant and meaningful
Children know when their work is important, and when it’s not. Love First aims to make religion, God, and their faith relevant to their lives today while anticipating the potentially rocky future that lies ahead. Each gathering aims to make a difference in their lives or in the lives of people they care about.
Simple and intuitive
Each week we talk about love: loving self, loving neighbor and loving God. This makes it easy for children (even the sporadic attendees) to understand our purpose for gathering, and it keeps parents in the loop. Each week, parents can simply ask, “Who did you talk about loving today?”
The Making Caring Common Project at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education outlines four ways to help children develop empathy:
1. Children and youth need ongoing opportunities to practice caring and helpfulness, sometimes with guidance from adults.
2. Children and youth need to learn to zoom in, listening closely and attending to those in their immediate circle, and to zoom out, taking in the big picture and considering multiple perspectives.
3. Children and youth need strong moral role models.
4. Children need to be guided in managing destructive feelings.
The Love First children’s ministry does all of that, making your church community invaluable to parents who need help raising the children they mean to raise.