LEADER RALLY 2016
This year at Leader Rally, we invited Orange Specialist, Sue Miller, to come and teach and encourage the incredible leaders who have been called to serve in Early Childhood at Westside Family Church. We were so blessed to have such an amazing author and speaker join us for our biggest volunteer gathering of the year. Below are the notes Team Leader and Coach, Cat Monroe, took from Sue’s time of encouragement in the Clubhouse during the Early Childhood Breakout.
Children coming to the Early Childhood Ministry at Westside show up week after week for a person, not a program. That person is YOU! They want to know you! When they walk in the room they are looking for a smile and acceptance. Who is it that will make a connection, observe their needs and care for them while teaching them about Jesus?
God handpicked each and every one of you to minister to each child in your room or small group, to meet their needs and wants, but most importantly to make a personal connection with them.
Here are some things to consider about your “few.” Children think like artists. They’re observant but they also want to experience. They need to touch and feel the world around them. Play is their work! Children will absorb their world as they observe it through their artistic eyes. As their leader, engage them in questions about things that will grab their attention. If children are the artists, each age group (or PHASE) has a specific artistic lens they are looking through.
Kids want to know:
Babies and Ones: Am I safe?
Babies are seeking trust and security even though many can’t verbalize those needs at this age. Consistency is what babies and parents want and need. Parents love to know their child’s leader. They get to know you through their kids and the questions you engage them in at drop-off and pick-up. They get to know you by watching your interactions with their little one.
Flyers (2s and 3s): Am I able? What can I do? Can I fly? Can I eat this?
Toddlers are seeking praise as they learn. When we see that they are able and reinforce it, they begin to build confidence. Parents are looking to see how you are reinforcing their “am I able” attitude and keeping them safe in the process. Parents will love seeing how you encourage them to explore their environment and learn.
Fours to Kindergartners: Am I okay?
Boundaries are being pushed. Am I okay if I do this? What happens when I cross a boundary? Being clear and loving will help kids understand boundaries, and crossing them gives us the opportunity to point them to a God who loves them. Children want to know that they can count on you, and in turn count on God. This continues to build confidence as they grow and learn that yes, they are able! Parents recognize the consistent boundaries and the growth in confidence and in knowledge.
Remember: You are whom your few are coming to see. God has called you and He will equip you, and though you may not see or hear the influence of your faithfulness in the lives of the children you serve, I pray you truly understand the significance of the roll you play in helping each of your few know that God mad them, God loves them, and Jesus wants to be their friend forever.
Our Father is cheering you on even when you don’t feel others are cheering you on.
We are blessed to have each leader in our ministry and we, too, are cheering you on!