This November, I celebrated 5 years as the Children’s Ministry pastor. I am so thankful for the opportunity I have had to shepherd those in children’s ministry. What an honor it has been to see God work in and through the children, families, leaders, teachers, and helpers at New Harbor!

Melanie Robbins, Children's Ministry Pastor

Melanie Robbins, Children's Ministry Pastor

The main emphasis of the Children’s Ministry continues to be providing quality care and instruction for the babies through 5th graders on Sunday mornings. It is our desire that all children would feel loved, safe and secure, and know and experience how much God loves them every Sunday. We strive to do things with excellence and to make the most of every moment we have with them. (Col. 4:5 “Be wise in the way you act
toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity…”)

Our vision is that all children would develop and embrace a growing relationship with Jesus, that they would come to know and love Jesus first, and love others as Jesus loves them.

This school year, we are concentrating on Matthew 5:14-16, encouraging the children to be Lights for Jesus. Our goal is to teach the children practical ways to be a LIGHT in their daily lives: L – Love God and Love Others, I – Invite Others to Church, G – Give Generously to Others, H – Help Others, T – Tell Others the Good News.

After a year with our new curriculum, The Gospel Project, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Taught by our excellent teachers, this curriculum has helped the children see how the Bible reveals the ultimate over-arching story of who God is, who they are in relation to Him, and His amazing plan of redemption and restoration in Jesus. Each Sunday we also have a time of worshiping God through song. Many of our songs are Bible verses that are from our curriculum and/or relate to what we the children are learning. At our fifth annual training in October, the CM team was provided with additional training on this new curriculum. Our servants were also given tools on how to better know where children are at in their spiritual walk and how to share the Good News with them.

This Easter, we had a wonderful time of fellowship and fun at the Ottmer’s home. The Easter gathering featured a team-based Easter Egg Hunt, complete with puzzles and riddles, which encouraged the children to work together towards their common goal - candy!

In 2017, our mission focus was raising funds for African Missions. The Children’s Ministry raised over $2,000! These funds were transformed into an answered prayer for two pastors, who each received two oxen.

Because many of our servants were going to be gone on vacations, mission trips, camps etc., over the summer months, we provided Nursery care and Kids’ Club for just the first service. We had another fun, themed summer – Scientists: Discovering the Meaning in Jesus’ Parables. Room 3 became a laboratory where every child received their own scientist badge. The kids were excited to meet “real-life scientists”, who visited and introduced lessons to the children. Children collected different scientist gear and took home their scientist box at the end of the summer.

A top priority of NHCC Children’s Ministry is to partner with parents, who are the primary disciplers of their children. We seek to do this through good communication. This is our fourth year of providing a quarterly newsletter which contains relevant articles, important dates, reminders, birthdays, etc. We continue posting on our church website, Facebook page for Children’s Ministry, our Moms’ Group page and the New Harbor Children’s Ministry Instagram account. A quarterly informational brochure is available in the connection center and classrooms, and an email is sent out to the parents, which contains all the lessons for the quarter.

Throughout the year, children are encouraged to invite their friends to church. Our Christmas tradition of putting together “Jesus Gifts” provides our children something tangible to give a friend who may not know Jesus as their Savior. This gift also included an invitation to our three Stable Hope Christmas services. We also hosted an annual “Happy Birthday Jesus” party during service on Christmas Eve.

As we look ahead to 2018, the servants of Children’s Ministry will continue to encourage children in their spiritual growth, regularly sharing the Good News, and reminding them of ways and giving them opportunities to be Lights for Jesus.