Four times each year, when a fifth Sunday occurs in a month, we do something special at First Friends: we suspend our normal Kid Connection time during the sermon portion of our 11:00 worship gathering and keep the kids (grades 1-6) in the sanctuary to experience “big church” from beginning to end! One practical reason for this rhythm is that it gives our Kid Connection Leader a day of rest from teaching. But, the deeper reasons are much more important. We want our children to know that they are not “the church of tomorrow.” They are an important part of God’s church today. We love the idea that most weeks they are hearing a biblical message that is on their level and age appropriate. But, by worshiping on occasion within in the wider community, we are reminding them that they belong with us. With all the well-known statistics in circulation showing the rate at which Christian young people leave the church early in adulthood, we believe it’s important that they feel a sense of belonging as early in their lives as possible.
The Feelings the Drive Us
Starting with the 2018 calendar year, we’ve decided to try to make those fifth Sunday sermon times more engaging for the kids in the room, while also remaining applicable for adults. The theme we’ve decided on for this year is based on the animated movie Inside Out. In the movie, the main characters are the emotions that guide the thoughts and actions of the 11-year-old protagonist: Joy, Anger, Fear, Sadness and Disgust. On the fifth Sundays of 2018, we’ll be studying how those characters are portrayed in the movie, and what Scripture teaches us about understanding where those emotions are rooted and how we should handle them. While it is true that our thoughts—what we think about and how we act upon those thought patterns—heavily influence the shape of our lives, it is also true that what we feel, and how we respond to those feelings, plays a large role as well. We hope you can join us for these special Sundays in 2018!