Preparing the Next Generation

By Pat Canavan, Director of Children’s Ministries

by Pat Canavan August 25, 2015 Scripture: Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from.  Proverbs 22:6.

Sundays at Tenth are busy for families, and as children move from one hour to the next, some may wonder if there is a coherent plan in the programs we offer. Our goal at Tenth is to raise up a generation that knows, honors, and worships God. To accomplish that goal, we have arranged a complementary effort that uses our time together on Sundays and prioritizes knowing and worshiping God. Our Sunday programs for children contain unique elements that complement one another and provide our children with a rich experience as they progress through the day.

At 9:00 am, our Bible School instructs children in the Word of God in three-year patterns of doctrine, Biblical history, and practical life application. This reformed curriculum, written by the Barnhouses and further developed by the Boices, provides systematic, age-graded training and is foundational to our overall program. These three-year cycles of doctrine, history, and life application may seem redundant, especially when a biblical account is studied two or three times over the years from different perspectives, but this approach has proven extremely beneficial. It has given those students who regularly attend a well-rounded grasp of the flow of history and an appreciation of the great doctrines of grace.

At 11:00 am, the emphasis is clearly on worship as most children join their families to read, sing, and listen to God’s Word for at least part of the congregational worship.  At each service, we provide a nursery to care for our youngest ones.  The optional programs we offer prepare children for worship.

In Praisemakers, our program for 4 and 5-year-olds, children receive music training that is appropriate for their developmental stage.  They learn the basics of music, participate in group singing, and experience the importance of worshipping God in song.

Praisemakers Plus is a program for 1st and 2nd grade children that introduces and explains the elements of worship, while giving them an opportunity to put into practice all they have learned.

At 6:10 pm, Tenth Children’s Music provides age-graded choral and instrumental training for our first through sixth grades at 315 S. 17th Street. At the same time, our 4 and 5-year-olds attend worship and then are dismissed for Catechism Club using the same children’s catechism used in our Bible School memory work program.

Our intent is to fill this church with true praise to God not just in 2015 but in 2045 and beyond.  To accomplish that, we want to equip the next generation and teach them doctrine from God’s Word and the catechism, instruct them in worship, and train them in music so they can sing praises with well-tuned hearts and minds. Pray that through these efforts our covenant children will embrace the claims of the gospel and join us in praising God with informed minds and eager hearts.