Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6
While God has placed families within the Body of Christ, we believe He has appointed parents to be responsible for their own children’ spiritual growth. It is the parents who will have to, one day, give an account for how well they handled the task. Calvary Chapel realizes that this is a hard job, and we are committed to come alongside parents in the training of their children.
Because of this viewpoint, children participate in worship next to their parents so they can learn to praise the Lord by watching Mom and Dad. On Sunday morning, we offer a nursery setting for the little ones still in diapers and Sunday school for grade school children, although kids may stay with their parents if they are able to remain quiet.
Other than Sunday morning, generally speaking, we do not divide up by age. Children are welcomed into our church activities so they can participate with their parents, whether the activity is a home Bible study, a work day, a movie/game night, camping, or a community outreach. However, we do enjoy doing special programs just for kids as well. We try to stay flexible with these special programs depending on the interests of the parents. These have included:
- Vacation Bible school (VBS)
- Harvest parties in lieu of Trick-or-Treat
- Christmas plays
- Special music and concerts
- Bike path outreach
- Convalescent home outreach
Rather than impose a list of “expected” activities, we prefer to respond to the needs and interests of the children and the families.
Fathers (or parents), do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 11:18-19