Children's Church at Keller Park happens every Sunday during the second half of the morning service. Six different teachers take weekly turns leading lessons, crafts, and other activities geared towards children ages five to ten. Many of our neighborhood kids know very little about the Bible, so our curriculum this year has been structured around Bible stories. We finished a series of lessons from the Old Testament at the end of last year and are now several weeks into a new series from the New Testament. Teaching the stories of David or Daniel or Jonah to a roomful of kids who've never heard them can be very rewarding. My favorite way to involve the children in a lesson is by acting it out with them after we've read it. The story of young Samuel in the temple, with its several false alarms, its reprimands from Eli, and its eventual moment of clarity upon encountering God's presence was especially fun to see the kids perform.
Teaching Children's Church at Keller Park also brings its share of difficulties. Attendance is inconsistent and the kids are often badly behaved. As a teacher, I feel most challenged when trying to communicate to the more unruly children that they have behaved badly while not giving them the impression that they aren't welcome or loved at Keller Park. Though this is a challenge that I and the other teachers face nearly every week, it brings me joy to see our kids hearing stories that are foundational to our faith and learning in ways we hope will help them take steps towards Christ.