Since Tanna has been working with the Senior youth group, I decided to take a more active role in the Junior youth. Tanna had come up with a new name for the Sr. youth group, BASIC, which stands for Brothers and Sisters in Christ. I thought, well, since they have a fancy new name, maybe our Junior youth group needed one too. Let me tell you how, and what, I decided for the new name.
If you will, turn in your pew Bibles to Acts 29 on p. 795
I see some confused looks and some knowing looks, but, no, it’s not a typo or a slip of the tongue…there is no Acts 29… in the Bible anyway. Now let me explain…..
To start looking for a new name, I began searching out an idea for t-shirts. I ran across a shirt idea with this chapter in Acts and looked it up. Well to my surprise, and maybe some of yours as well, there was not a Chapter 29. I was really confused until I read the tagline on that shirt – “We are the Next Chapter”, and then I had a big A-HA moment. Not only was it a t-shirt idea, but now it was a potential name for our junior youth that seemed to fit. I continued to look because I wanted to make absolute sure it was right, but every time I would search, Acts 29 came right back to me. I then realized it was perfect for us!!
All of these kids, from our preschooler’s in Miss Janie’s class, the elementary kids in Miss Brenda and Miss Ernestine’s class, and, even though they are not technically the Acts 29 group, our youth group with Tanna, are our next chapter here at Springfield!! We have to make sure we support them, encourage them, and make them want to come back here every single week.
We want them to bring their friends, have fun activities, like the lock-in that we just had, and want them to include all of you!! When our children are excited, then I feel like that gets our adults excited!!
In Proverbs 22:6, it says “start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it”.
I have heard many of us say that we want Springfield to grow. In order to do this, we have to have people. To get new people here, especially families with young children, we have to encourage our little ones and start them off the right way. We want to grow so we have to be the roots for that to happen. Volunteer to help at these events we plan, invite the youth to tea, ask for our help, and help them to grow into the beautiful future of Springfield.
A few opportunities to volunteer or, just a way to get to know the little ones, are open right now. On Wednesday nights, Acts 29 has a meeting and we need teachers for that. Kelly has made a sign-up sheet for this class and has put it on the bulletin board in the hallway back here. They meet for 1 hour while Josh has Bible study in the chapel (which I encourage you to come to just to see how great it is!!). We have several spots filled, but we encourage you to share your wisdom with these kids and sign up to teach them. These classes don’t have to be a lot.
When I agreed to teach, I looked and found a free curriculum online for building with Legos. The first lesson was about our names. We learned what our names meant and why we each have our own name. Then we made nametags out of the Legos, just like these (show off the nametags). This last week, we learned about Jesus dying on the cross. Nicolas and Hunter made these 2 crosses to represent that. If you want to use that curriculum to teach, the Legos are in the supply room along with the lesson book. There are 13 lessons, so let me know if you do one of those so I don’t repeat it.
Ken and Kelly have also found simple lessons on line to teach them. One week Kelly made clappers (you know kids love noisemakers!!! LOL) I think one week, Ken just let them play in the nursery. So it doesn’t have to be anything special, just time together.
We also have 2 retreats coming up – a K-2 grade event on September 16 and a 3-5 grade event on September 15. We are going to be learning about prayer and how to pray. We will be playing games and each event will have a special activity. It would be fantastic if you could come and help play a game, or just sit with them and get to know them. This is all we have planned for now, but you are always welcome at any event we have.
Again, we want our church to grow!! I have heard many times that it takes a village to raise a child, well I think this applies to us as well….it takes a village to grow our church, so please help us lift these children up and bring them closer to God. Pray for them and encourage them every chance you get!! They are Acts29 – They are the next chapter!!
Now I want to ask the new PreK’er’s and Miss Janie to come up.
Give Bibles – you are about to start a fun and exciting adventure with Miss Janie!! She will be teaching you stories from the Bible and she will help you on your path to the Light of Christ!! These Bibles are for you and for your parents to read to you to help you build this relationship with Jesus.
Now I want to ask the old Pre-k and Miss Brenda to come up. Next week, you will begin going into Miss Brenda’s class. You will learn more about the Bible and learn all the fun stories that it holds. I encourage you to listen and learn about how much God loves you.
These Bibles are for you to either read or have your parents read to you. Jesus loves you and this is your life line to him. We want you to grow in your faith and love Jesus with all your hearts! Bring these with you each week and you can begin to look at the stories in the Bible as you learn them in class.
Now I want to ask Miss Ernestine’s class to stand up. You all will stay with Miss Ernestine this year. I still encourage you to learn and grow in your relationship with Jesus. Next year, some of you will move up into the BASIC group. But for now, you are setting the example for the younger kids. They see what you do and they want to be like you, so you need to make sure that you are behaving and acting appropriately.
Now please continue to stand and turn around and look out at the church. You are Acts 29: Our next chapter!!! All of the adults you see here are here to support you and help you grow. Talk to them and learn as much as you can from them. They are the roots of our church and the foundation for each of you to grow from. Get to know them, help out when you can, and remember we are always here for you!!
Can we give them a hand?
We have an Acts 29 event here in 2 weeks. One night is for K-2 graders, and the other night is for 3-5 graders. I am going to give each of you a few copies of this flyer, the one for your age group – one is for you so you remember to come. And then, I want you to give a copy to 3 of your friends, and ask them to come and join you in the fun! We will be playing games, learning about prayer, eating pizza and having a fun activity!!
In a few years, you will be part of our Senior youth group, BASIC. We want to see Acts29 and BASIC grow and bring lots of new friends into our church!!
It all starts with each of you. I hope and pray that you will follow the path to the Light of Christ and keep these foundations in which we are laying for you now.
Let’s say a prayer.
Thank you so much for each of these children!! Please give the teachers the guidance needed to allow these children to learn to follow you. Be with our church as we continue on a path to grow and please you in every way. We love you and give you all the glory! In your name we pray, Amen.