Introducing Route 56

"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young but set an example for believers in speech, in life, in love and in purity." I Timothy 4:12

We're putting feet to this verse in GraceKids this year with the introduction of a new ministry called Route 56.

Perhaps you've noticed some fresh, young faces greeting you at the main doors, handing you programs when you enter the Worship Center, helping you get coffee or cappuccino at the Coffee Corner, and leading in song & tech for Kids Worship during Sunday school. If you haven't noticed, look for their easy-to-spot orange ringer shirts!

These great kids are part of a group of sixteen 5th and 6th grade leaders-in-training. They meet monthly for specific training in leadership and study of their correlating theme verse. Serving weekly all school year, they'll be exploring how God has gifted them and how they can use those gifts to serve him and the church.  

Though we're just in the beginning stages with this ministry - and naturally have some bugs to work out in the system - it's been exciting to see how enthusiastic and willing these kids are to serve. We're grateful for adult volunteers who have welcomed them warmly in their stations and are helping to mentor them. Recent research reveals that kids who become involved in serving in church early and see themselves as an important part of the church today will be more likely to stay in church (and serve) as they get older.

There are so many other great benefits to this kind of program - inter-generational serving & relationship building, creating a joyful environment that welcomes kids everywhere (not just in designated “kid” areas), and leading the next generation to name a few. This is one great way we can be intentional with Grace's vision to "lead others to do the same"!

GraceKids is blessed with creative, hard-working volunteers who recognize opportunities like these and are willing to innovate, create, and try new things like Route 56! Saying yes to new opportunities often means other things have to take the back burner.

This year, as we're turning our attention and resources toward Route 56 and some other changes, we'll be pressing the pause button on some other things - namely Trunk-or-Treat and the kids Christmas program. This doesn't necessarily mean those good things won't ever happen again; it just means we're redirecting our resources in the direction of something else we feel is important and meaningful. 

I want to invite you to celebrate this new opportunity with us! Keep your eyes peeled for our Route 56 team. Don't overlook them! Instead, give them a big smile, engage them and encourage them as they explore what it means to lead by serving. Pray for God's blessing on them as they grow and serve. Pray also that this ministry will bless our church now and in the years to come.

Blessings to you!
Juli Dirks