Equipping Parents as the Primary Disciplers of Kids

The Scriptures make it clear that parents are called to instruct and raise children in the ways and truths of God. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 20-25, Proverbs 4:1-4, 10-13, 20-22, Ephesians 6:4) Parents clearly are primarily responsible for training children in how to live as followers of Jesus as part of the family of God and on the mission of God. Emmaus Church believes in coming alongside parents to help equip them to raise their children well.  Through the Emmaus Kids group on The City, every parent at Emmaus Church has access to weekly and monthly resources to help them disciple their children. From Bible stories to read, questions to ask, activities to do, songs to sing, thoughts to ponder, and more, these age-specific resources enable parents to introduce their children to the glorious truths of the gospel and their implications for their everyday lives.

On Gathered Sundays

On Scattered Sundays

Birth through Walkers

As a church family we have the great privilege of loving the kids of Emmaus, training them, and coming alongside their parents in introducing them to Jesus.  On Sunday’s when we gather corporately children (birth – walkers) will have the option of being a part of Emmaus Babies and Walkers.  Emmaus Babies and Walkers is safe, fun, age-appropriate and is led by trained leaders and volunteers from our House Churches who serve, pray, lead activities, sing and play with the babies and walkers.

Please check in at the kiosk to sign in your child and receive a security tag.

Preschool through Elementary

At Emmaus Church we deeply value the presence of children in our gatherings. This is because Jesus tells us in Matthew 18:5, “And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”

When you arrive at the gathering, please stop at the kiosk and sign in your child and receive a security tag before you enter the gathering.

Children who are preschool age through elementary will enter the gathering and participate in the singing and liturgy with their parents. Right before Joel begins the sermon, he will invite all these children to stand as he leads the congregation in a blessing with a response over the children. After this time, they will leave the gathering with our volunteers and go to their classroom for Storytime, response, and feast using the Godly Play curriculum. If your child has a hard time with separation, feel free to step into the foyer with them as they move to into the classroom.

Once in the classroom, the children will line up to speak one on one with our door greeter. Again, if your child is still having a hard time separating, you are welcome to come along upstairs and even stand in line. However, we are asking that parents NOT enter the classroom. This is intentional. We want the children to know that the classroom is their sacred space. Once a child crosses the threshold, that will mark the beginning of their class time.

After the gathering you will come to the classroom and pick up your child. Again, parents DO NOT enter the room. The door greeter will meet you at the door and speak a blessing over your child. PLEASE be patient and allow us this time. We know there will be a line of parents, but this is important. Take this time to talk to other parents while you are waiting.

The door greeter will also hand you a Parent Page. This has a recap of the story along with some activities you can do with your child.

On the last Sunday of each month we engage in what we call “Scattered Sundays.” Worship still happens on those Sundays just not in our meeting place with preaching and singing.  Instead we worship on Scattered Sundays through loving our neighbors, serving our city, and taking Sabbath together.  On Scattered Sundays we encourage parents to involve their children in appropriate ways.  We believe Scattered Sundays are outstanding opportunities to train children and instill in them the values of service to others and being on mission with God.  Even if children cause distraction, or a parent needs to repaint what their child just “painted,” worshiping together in these ways provides a beautiful picture of an intergenerational family striving to love our neighbors and seek the welfare of our city together.

Children in House Churches

How children engage in House Church is ultimately a communal decision for each House Church (some have a rotation of House Church members taking turns watching the kids, others pitch-in together for child-care, and still others include children in all activities and discussion).  Our encouragement is to involve children in as many things as are possible and appropriate: pray for and with them, celebrate significant events in their lives, and intentionally talk and listen to them.  If your group is serving a neighbor or throwing a party, for example, include the kids in whatever activities you’re doing. On nights you’re talking about God and life, involve kids in the discussion starting in elementary school.

Youth & College Students at Emmaus

Emmaus does not have a traditional youth or college ministry.  Because we value integration so highly we want youth and college age students to participate in Gathered Worship, Scattered Worship, and House Church with the rest of our church family.  However, for youth and college students, some of our encouragement towards attending a House Church based on proximity is lessened.  We encourage them to find a few other students to attend the House Church of their choosing with (pending the approval of their parents for Jr. High & High School students).  Additionally, Emmaus Church will also hold age-specific events for youth and college students throughout the year.