Welcome to Preschool Ministry
We minister to infants-Kindergarteners and their parents, believing that it is never too early to teach a child about our Savior. We provide a safe place filled with caring people who are passionate about teaching preschoolers the truths of the Lord. As the parent, you play the most important role in the spiritual development of your little ones. It is our desire to partner with you in teaching your child about Jesus. We look forward to working together to build foundations of faith in your preschooler.
WHY WE LOVE BALLOONS AT FIRST HURST
Our family recently took a trip to East Asia and spent time with several families. A highlight of the trip was attending "home church" one Sunday. This was held in a small apartment with about 35 adults and children gathered to sing, pray, and study the Word. This was an extra special Sunday because we were able to witness a very tender time of baptism with the son of one of the families serving.
Before we all gathered near the bathroom for the "tub" baptism the child sat by his mom and shared his testimony. He recalled that his journey to the Lord was like a balloon. He had many people throughout his young life that were filling his balloon with the goodness, grace, and truth of the Savior. He recalled that mom and dad, grandmas and grandpas, friends and family had all taught him something about who God is. He said that finally his balloon burst and he realized that his heart was sick with sin and he needed Jesus to forgive him.
I love this story for so many reasons. I rejoice with my little brother on the most important decision of his life, to follow hard after Christ. I am in awe that this sweet child could articulate, with such a beautiful picture, the way that the Lord draws us to himself. I am humbled because I see preschool ministry as an integral part of the foundation of faith that is laid in our children. Together, the home and church are blowing into countless balloons. One day the balloons will "BURST" through the prompting of the Holy Spirit and these children whom we are teaching and loving will get to choose Christ!
So when you see a balloon, let it encourage you to keep filling it up! I am so honored to serve with you.
“He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and BURST their bonds apart. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!” Psalm 107:14-15
We believe that it is possible to share the love of Christ with a child from the day of their birth. In every lesson we teach, your child will learn a foundational Biblical truth. It is our hope that these truths take a firm hold of our children's hearts and are carried with them for the rest of their lives. It is a privilege to have your child with us on Sunday mornings, and it is a responsibility that we do not take lightly. It is our continued prayer that your child will come to know the Lord at an early age and will “set their hope in God so they will not turn back in the day of battle.” (Psalm 78:1-8)
What to Expect
Checkin begins 15 minutes before each worship service. First-time guests will need to fill out a registration card [link to reg / or form?]. You'll then receive a numbered security sticker which serves as your child's name tag. You'll also receive a matching numbered security tag which is required to retrieve your child later. This numbered tag also helps us notify you in case of a medical or behavioral issue.
Because safety is a high priority for us in caring for your preschooler, you'll find carefully screened and trained volunteers, strict teacher-to-child ratios, and matching numbered security stickers.
Please label all of your child's belongings. Prepare your baby's bottle in advance, as volunteers do not spoon feed infants. Also note that we discourage children bringing their own toys into the class, as it is easy for them to be misplaced or forgotten.
Children with Special Needs
We provide a number of different options for children with special needs. Please contact Kellie Charbonneau before your visit to get more information.
Keeping Them Healthy
Please let us know of any allergies or medical conditions your child may have. For health reasons, we ask that children who have fever or show symptoms of any contagious disease within the last 24 hours not be brought to church.
Norwood Campus: northwest side of the campus, to your immediate left as you enter through the covered drop-off entrance.
River Trails Campus: to your left as you enter through the north lobby entrance.
We provide childcare on Wednesday nights for choir, on Sunday evenings during our LIFE Transformation Bible studies, and for select events throughout the year. We also offer PNO (Parents Night Out) once per quarter to serve as a date night or fellowship night with your LIFE Connection Class. Even during our child care times, we use this opportunity to teach your children the truths of our God. We are purposeful in teaching through play, stories, and activities and not simply “babysitting.” Childcare check-in begins 15 minutes before each event. So we can provide the best care possible for your child, please email childcare reservations to Gwen Flores. You may also contact Gwen if you are interested in joining the paid childcare team.
The goal of Mission Friends is to help your child understand missions--whether across the street or across the world--and to prepare them for lifelong involvement in these missions. Meeting from 5-7pm on Sunday evenings during the fall semester (September-November), this program provides children a great opportunity to learn about other cultures and how we take the gospel to people who have not heard.
Made for Praise
During the spring semester (January-May), Made for Praise meets on Sunday evenings from 5-7pm. This program for kids begins at age 4 and trains children in worshipping our Lord through singing and a variety of other elective activities.
Baby dedications are a beautiful and very personal part of our worship services, as the pastor tenderly carries the child and carefully walks throughout the Worship Center explaining and expressing the significance of the baby’s names and our hopes for the child. The baby’s first Bible is presented to the family, as well as a Blessing Brick. This brick, with the word 'Promise' inscribed on it, is to serve as a visual reminder of the promise you as a parent have made to "train your child in the way he should go" (Proverbs 22:6). Blessings are then prayed over the child and parents. Truthfully, it’s more of a parent dedication, as the child’s mother and father commit themselves to lovingly rear their baby under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. If your family is interested in a baby dedication, please contact our Preschool Ministry to begin arrangements.
MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) is an international nonprofit organization designed to support and meet the unique needs of mothers and preschoolers (expectant mothers through kindergarten). Our MOPS group is a smart, relevant, and caring network helping moms to be better moms. Once each month during the school year, mothers and children meet separately, allowing a morning out for moms, who can relax, enjoy a guest speaker, create crafts, and enjoy adult conversation. We have an inviting environment where women can come to build friendships, be encouraged, and gain practical parenting strategies. While the moms are meeting together, our children are lovingly cared for in the MOPPETS program.
Sprouts Preschool meets Mondays and Wednesdays during the school year. We believe in providing each child with different learning centers, including arts and crafts, books, blocks, puzzles, nature, music, Bible stories, and Bible verses. The “Wee Learn” curriculum promotes the development of the whole child. Additionally, our 4/5′s class use the “Core Knowledge” curriculum. We strive to provide children with a greater awareness and understanding of the way God created them by incorporating Bible stories into our daily activities along with tangible learning opportunities. Learn more about Sprouts.
Parents Night Out
Each quarter we offer parents the opportunity to enjoy a date night or fellowship night with your LIFE Connection Class. It's a great time to connect as a couple or as a class. Check the calendar for the next PNO event. Reservations and a small fee are required.
Family Easter Celebration
It's fun for the entire family! Come join us the Saturday before Easter for a massive egg hunt, games galore, and special memories with your family.
To conclude the Made for Praise semester each year, we love to honor mothers as our M4P kids lead us in worship on Mother's Day.
Early in the Christmas season we host this free event to help little ones celebrate the wonder of Jesus, who became God's gift to us. Serving as the quarterly Parents Night Out event, Holiday Hoopla also gives parents a prime Friday evening opportunity to get some shopping done or celebrate Christmas with their LIFE Connection class.
Preschool Ministry Staff
Kellie Charbonneau, Pastor of Preschool Ministries
Brandi Johnson, River Trails Preschool/Children's Director
Stacy Hollingsworth, Ministry Assistant
Stacy Roach, Sprouts Preschool Director
Gwen Flores, Childcare Coordinator