“Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God” (Luke 18:16).
At Church of the Lamb, we long for our children to encounter God, grow in affection for him, and experience his abundant life. Our community breathes life into these desires in four ways:
We are an intergenerational community. Our church provides a thick community for children to interact with faithful Christians of all ages.
We are a liturgical church. Liturgy is accessible to children in that it contains repetitive prayers and movements (kneeling for confession and coming forward to Communion).
We baptize children and serve them Communion. Both of these are profound events that mark our children from a very early age. We remind our children that they are baptized, so they belong to God. When they receive the weekly Communion meal, they are reminded of how much Jesus has loved them.
We give children the story of Scripture. Nursery is available for infants and toddlers through age 3. Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is for children ages 3–9.
What is Catechesis of the Good Shepherd?
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd uses Scripture, liturgy, and insight from the Montessori teaching method to help children engage with God, learn about his kingdom, and celebrate his great gift to us of himself.
The space where Catechesis of the Good Shepherd occurs is called the atrium, a place set apart for the children to work and worship. Any activity that is beneficial to the human person, including play and learning, is considered work.
A trained catechist (adult leader) presents short narratives and parables from Scripture or introduces the children to a liturgical element that deepens engagement in the life of faith. The children then have the freedom to return to that work when they visit the atrium. These works often include hands on pieces: models (such as the Good Shepherd and his sheep) or elements of a parable (such as real mustard seeds). Art supplies and other forms of contemplative work are also available for the children’s use.
Each session in the atrium includes time around the prayer table where we read a verse of Scripture together, pray, and sing songs of worship. As liturgical seasons change, we have processions and celebrations to mark major events in the great story of salvation.
The mission of our children’s ministry can be summarized by this beautiful prayer. It aligns our hearts with God’s heart as we walk with children toward our Good Shepherd.
Almighty God, heavenly Father, you have blessed us with the joy and care of children: Give us calm strength and patient wisdom so to train them, that they may love all that is true, and pure, and lovely, and of good report, following the example of their Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
—The Book of Common Prayer (2019)