All children are loved by God. At Haymarket Church, we seek to help children and their families build a solid foundation for a lifetime of faith while also equipping them to live as Christians today. Therefore, we seek to give children the tools that will help them mature in faith as they get older while also offering them opportunities to participate in ministry in the present.
By participating in the Children’s Ministry at Haymarket Church, children learn stories of faith and begin to discover their own place in God’s story. They also learn habits and practices that are essential for a lifetime of faith – worship, prayer, communion, studying Scripture, service, and more.
Our children’s ministry is centered in what children experience on Sunday mornings. At 10 AM each Sunday, children are invited to gather with their families in our worship space at Gravely Elementary School. Because we believe that children learn to worship God by worshiping (and by watching adults worship), our worship service begins with all ages worshiping together. This gives our children the opportunity to gather, sing, pray, and feel included in the “big church.” We believe that this sense of inclusion makes a big difference in enabling children to know, deep down, that they are always welcome and “at home” in God’s church. At some point early in the service, children are invited forward for “Children’s time” – a time when they get to sit with our pastor and explore faith together. We hope that this time will help children develop a sense of connection with our pastor – and that that connection will be a spiritual resource for them as they grow in faith and life.
Once children’s time is complete, as the rest of the congregation prepares to listen for God through Scripture and sermon, children from preschool through 5th grade are invited to head off to our children’s classroom, where they will encounter God’s story in ways that fit their particular developmental and learning needs. After the sermon is over, the children return to our worship space to participate in communion with their classmates (and the whole church). The children’s class receives communion first, before returning to their classrooms for the rest of worship. Parents are invited to pick their children up from their classroom once worship is completed.
Nursery care is available each Sunday morning during worship for children from birth through 3 years old. Our nursery is staffed by trained childcare workers and volunteers who love sharing God’s love with our littlest ones. Your children are always welcome to stay with you during worship, but if you need a break we are happy to host them in our nursery.
When you arrive in worship, you are asked to check in your children at our children’s registration station (by the front door). You will receive a nametag for each child. You will also receive an identification tag for yourself that includes a unique identification number. These are used to enable our teachers to call each child by name and to help us make sure that each child goes home with the right person. In addition, there is space to include special notes – things like allergies, etc. – that will print on the nametag. This system helps us care for your child during our time together!
Serving others is an essential part of what Christians do. We therefore work hard to create opportunities for people of all ages – including children – to serve others. Not only do these service opportunities make a difference in the lives of others (they do), but they also create opportunities for all of us (adults and children) to learn to make service a part of our everyday lives. Our regular church-wide service events include opportunities for children to put God’s love into action by serving others, because none of us are too young to do something to make a difference. Learn more about our service opportunities on our Serve page.
Ignite: A Group for 3rd-5th Graders
Upper Elementary School is an important time for children – they’re no longer little kids, but they’re not quite teenagers yet. Ignite is a group for 3rd through 5th graders that is designed to give these kids a space to call their own. It’s a chance to build relationships (with each other and with adults who care about them), have fun, grow in faith, and fall in love with God and the church. We meet monthly, immediately after worship on Sunday mornings and going to about 2:00 PM. We head out on various adventures (bowling, mini golf, pizza, serving in the community, and more), so permission slips are required. Students are asked to bring asked to bring $10 to help pay for food/adventures. For more information and to get permission forms, contact email@example.com.
- Vacation Bible School: A weeklong program, held during the summer, when children have the opportunity to sing, play, learn Bible stories, make crafts, and encounter God’s love together.
- Special Studies: Occasionally, we will sponsor church-wide studies. These opportunities are designed to include elements for adults, children, and youth – so that the whole family can grow in faith together.