- Heart Transformation
Valdosta Kids seeks to partner with the Holy Spirit and Parents in an effort to see a child’s heart transformed. This is set against an American church culture that too often focuses on behavior modification. We are not trying to teach children to be “good.” Instead, our desire is to introduce them to Jesus and His Word and allow God to transform their heart. We believe that if we show them the gospel, it will transform their heart and their behavior will eventually change. So while we teach “morals” (truthfulness, responsibility, humility, etc.) it is always shown in the context of the gospel.
“When we heap behavior modification onto a broken soul, we are actually adding a burden, not introducing freedom in Christ. Simply put, Christ has to be at the center of everything we do at Valdosta Kids. If we put Christ in the center, He will produce the heart transformation.” Jeffrey Reed, Director of Lifeway Kids.
- Kingdom Expanding
We not only focus on offering excellence in all of our weekly programming and yearly events, but we also understand that children must see the church outside the four walls of a building. We understand that the expansion of Christ’s Kingdom comes only through a solid understanding and proclamation of the gospel. Valdosta Kids seeks to design opportunities for our children to share the Jesus they hold dear. It is so easy for the church to become focused on themselves and their preferences. Instead, it is our desire to keep children focused on others and how they need Jesus.
“Ultimately, the goal of the church should be expanding God’s kingdom . . . not expanding our church. We want our kids to have a big picture of God’s kingdom; we don’t want them to lose sight of what life is all about.” Jeffrey Reed, Director of Lifeway Kids.
Our gospel presentation includes five shapes: a crown (God Created, Rev. 4:11; Col. 1:16-17), an “x” (We sinned, Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23), a Cross (Jesus gave His life on the cross John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9), a Gift (God gave His Son as a gift, Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21), and Receiving Hands (We receive the gift, 1 John 1:9; Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9).
Valdosta Kids is also involved in several cooperative initiatives that allow us to minister to as many children as we possibly can. These initiatives also provide leadership opportunities for them to grow in how they reach others for Christ.
www.camprockga.org (for example)
- Culturally Changing
It is our heart’s desire that our children will influence the culture around them instead of being shaped by it. Instead of focusing on children being “well-rounded,” “well educated,” or “happy” we are strategically and specifically shaping Valdosta Kids to be kingdom-minded, biblically anchored, and world changing.
“If we teach our kids to blend in, their impact on the world for Christ will fall short of the target. We want our kids to have an impact on the world that is swift and sharp – like an archer that precisely hits the bull’s eye.” Jeffrey Reed, Director of Lifeway Kids.
Psalm 127:3-4 “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.”
VK Big Three Goals
When children graduate into Resurge (FBCV youth ministry) it is Valdosta Kids’ vision to have children who:
- Have a solid chronological understanding of the Bible. They will know the major stories of the Bible and how they fit into the greater overarching story of Jesus and the gospel.
- That they have a regular devotional time with the Lord. The Church cannot teach them everything they need to know. There simply isn’t enough time on a given week. We want them to fall in love with the Bible. We desire to teach them how to find the answers to their questions in the Book that has the answers.
- That they understand that they have a ministry (place of service) and are responsible for reaching out to the lost world around them. They are not the church of tomorrow; they are the church today.
Children’s Worship (8:44 and 11am Sunday morning)
- A Preschool Worship will begin at the completion of the new youth building.
Sunday School (9:45am Sunday mornings)
The Gospel Project (Sunday and Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 6pm – the same lesson is taught on both nights)
- This is a chronological study through the Bible showing how at every step of the way the entire Bible is pointing to Jesus.
Tutoring Children and Youth (3:15-4:15pm, Wednesday evenings)
- Valdosta Kids provides academic tutoring for children on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.
Children’s Choir (4:15-5:15pm, Wednesday evenings)
- During this time children learn many important life skills (ex. proper breathing, posture, cooperation, etc.) and are able to proclaim God’s Word through their performances. It is our goal for children to develop a love for God’s Word and to understand that they can proclaim it.
*We have different goals as it relates to ongoing weekly programming and once-a- year events. One is designed to instill certain truths over time, the other is to offer opportunities for relationship building and service.
Vacation Bible School
- VBS is held in early June at FBCV. We continue to reach more and more of our community, whereas last year we had close to 400 children. This is our largest outreach event and the greatest opportunity to reach children (and families) for Christ.
- June 14th – 18th Sunday 4-7pm, Mon.-Thurs. 9am-12pm. 2015. (look at our Facebook page for future events and dates)
Centri-Kid Summer Camp
- This event is designed to give children an opportunity to get away from their home, immerse themselves in a loving and Christian environment, and to explore their relationship with God and to grow in their walk with Him. This is an overnight, five day experience.
Kid’s Night Out
- Valdosta Kids staff have fun with the kids while the parents have some time to get away and catch-up on life. These are held quarterly.
Big A Club
- This is an outreach event similar to VBS but focused on sharing the gospel with children and youth in local low-income housing developments. The following is a letter from a family that has been a part of the Big A Club.
Dear First Baptist Church and Big “A” Volunteers
My name is Joseph Fiffe and I am 24 years of age. Back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s my family lived in Hudson Dockett. My family and I lived out there off and on for a total of six years. My mother raised her six children by herself. She has been married to my father for 30+ years and she is a woman of great faith. To cut to the chase . . .
The reason I’m writing you all is because I wanted to thank Mrs. Sherry and the Big A Club for impacting my life. Every summer my siblings and I would go to the Community Center for the Big A Club. We looked and waited patiently for that one week because we would do arts & crafts, Bible study, and many more things. If I remember correctly the verse I remember more than anything is Matt. 22:37. The Big A Club and Church on a regular basis helped to build this solid foundation I have in Christ today!!
My family and I also received gifts for Christmas. I want to thank the ministry for what has been done for my family and many more families. I am moving to Savannah, Georgia here the beginning of next year. Jan. 8th I will be attending Savannah University for Accounting. I ask that you’ll keep me in your prayer because this will be the biggest move in my life for me. I’m still looking for housing because I plan to live on campus.
I am grateful for the time and money that was sacrificed for me and my family. May the peace and grace of God be multiplied to the Church body as a whole.
(He gave his address)
- This is a bridging event where fifth graders move from Valdosta Kids to the FBCV youth ministry (Resurge). It is designed to show how the two ministries are working together to see a child move from the nursery all the way through their last year of high school in their walk with Christ.
- A Bring-A-Friend opportunity for children to get to know each other, catch up from the summer vacation, and to have fun.
- Valdosta Kids’ second yearly outreach event where families are invited to play carnival games, have their face painted, ride a pony, bounce houses, and compete in many games. This is where we encourage families to bring-a-friend and get introduced to FBCV.
Family Worship Services
- These special worship services are designed to give families an opportunity to worship together. They are designed to reach all age ranges and are radically different than a “normal” adult worship service. They are intentionally designed to be upbeat, fun, and heavily weighted toward children and teens.
*These will begin at the completion of the new youth and fellowship hall construction.
*Follow us on Facebook to get the most up-to-date information and upcoming events.
More (Ages 4-7), Adventure (Ages 7-10), and Bible Express (ages 10 and up) Devotionals
*Children receive these devotionals monthly. Each monthly devotional is filled with exciting stories, prayer time ideas, fun activities, and brief devotions to encourage the habit of daily Bible reading.
*When children enter the first grade Sunday School class they are given a kid’s study Bible that we encourage them to get in the habit of reading regularly and bringing it to church with them on Sunday. We also have these Bibles available if new children need one.
When children are baptized they will be invited to take a class called “I’m A Christian Now.” In this class they will receive a 4-week devotional booklet highlighting the topics of the class (meaning of baptism, what it means to be “saved,” church membership, etc.) and upon completion of the class they will receive a 90 day devotional booklet to encourage them to get into the lifelong habit of having a quiet time with the Lord.
How Does Valdosta Kids Communicate With Others?
- Social Media
*this is the best way to get the most up-to-date information.
*Occasionally we will highlight specific events with an e-mail blast, and this is a way for our team to let you know of any last minute changes (due to weather, unforeseen events, cancellations, etc.) Please make sure we have an accurate e-mail address for you and your family by e-mailing us at email@example.com.
What Would Valdosta Kids Like for Me to Do as a New Family?
- Decide how it is best to communicate with you (social media, e-mails, snail mail, texts, etc.) and let us know. We want you to know what’s going on and what’s coming up next. The best place to get started is the Valdosta Kids web site; valdostakids.org Sign Up for the newsletter, “like us” on Facebook, etc.
- Let us get to know you and your child/ren better.
- Consider a place to serve in the Children’s Ministry. Pastor Drew would love to sit down with you and talk about the many opportunities. A successful children’s ministry has parents who understand the importance of commitment and service.
When Children move from children’s ministry to youth ministry what do we want them to know?
What do we want them to do?
- To have a chronological understanding of the Bible, with a broad knowledge of the essential stories.
- To have a solid understanding of the gospel and be able to explain it to another person.
- To know how to navigate through the Bible, how to find answers to their questions from the Bible, and to be regularly reading and studying it on their own.
***Here is a copy of our goals for 2015/1016. Now is a great time to join our children’s team and make a difference in our community and around the world.