In-reach is equipping God's people as we seek to live in covenant community carrying out the "one another" commands of Scripture. "Delighting in God's glory" involves the worship of our Triune God - an upreach motion of God's people as we seek to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Care Group Ministry
Care groups are the basic units for Christian community within Redeemer Church. Consising of 10-20 people, these small groups meet weekly (either as the whole group, men only, or women only) on Wednesday evenings (a few of these groups meet at different times to accomodate work & family schedules). The early church met regularly in smaller groups in each city and many of the “one-anothers” befit contexts small enough to practice them. The smallness of these groups help foster gospel community that makes Christ supreme in every area of life. It is our prayer that Care Groups be characterized by the following:
The church devotes itself to the apostles’ teaching (Acts 2:42; 4:33). Indeed, “all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:16-17). Some care groups review the sermon text each week, while others may study a particular book that develops a biblical theme. Whatever the case, we seek to apply biblical truth in specific ways to our lives, so that we might be further conformed to the image of Christ.
True and lasting change that glorifies God must stem from a heart motivated by God’s boundless love and grace as well as his awesome holiness and judgment. Both are announced in “the gospel,” a message that doesn’t merely get people into the kingdom, but serves their ongoing transformation for the kingdom. The Holy Spirit uses the gospel to save the church (1 Cor 15:1-2), enlighten the church (2 Cor 4:4-6), motivate the church (1 Cor 9:23; 2 Cor 9:13), unite the church (Phil 1:27), humble the church (Phil 2:1-8), protect the church (Gal 1:9-11), warn the church (2 Thess 1:8), embolden the church (Eph 6:15), and so forth. Therefore, the goal in care groups isn’t merely behavior modification, a kind of new ethic without the power of the cross. Rather, the goal is to admonish one another in the gospel such that by treasuring who God is for us in Jesus Christ, we are compelled to live in ways pleasing to him.
We must move beyond the superficial. Genuine love for one another doesn't grow when we hide in the dark but walk together in the light (Acts 19:18; 1 John 1:5-10; Jas 5:16). Through formal discussion questions in a group setting or sincere questions one-on-one, we strive to spur one another along in the faith (Heb 3:12-13), weeping with those who weep and rejoicing with those who rejoice (Rom 12:15). That also means care groups become a context for people to voice their needs, and then for others to pray and help meet those needs when voiced (Jas 2:14-17; 1 John 3:17-18). Whether through conversation, prayer, study, or service, we seek to invest in each other's lives to fight sin, treasure Christ, and cultivate brotherly affection and service (Heb 10:24; Jas 1:22). Christian growth doesn't happen in isolation; it's a community project.
The church is a community of people characterized by God’s mission to save the world (Matt 28:18-20; Acts 2:47; Rom 1:14). Our lives should demonstrate on all fronts a commitment to the ongoing march of the gospel (1 Cor 9:19-23). Thus, care groups provide a great context for accountability and partnership in the advance of the gospel wherever we live, work, and play. Group members can meet together at local parks, invite neighbors to front-yard grillouts, target neighborhoods for outreach, and pray for lost coworkers and friends. Care groups can also listen for specific needs of any neighbors living in closest proximity to them, and then seek to do them good (Gal 6:10; 1 Thess 5:15). The goal is to enter people's lives, bear witness to the love of Jesus, give them a tangible expression of his love in the church, and ask God to make more disciples through us.
Discipleship Hour Ministry
Discipleship Hour occurs weekly during the Spring and Fall and takes a short break during Winter and Summer.
- Children's Ministry
The two branches of Children’s Ministry are Nursery and DIG (Delighting in God).
Nursery (also known as “Extended Session”) occurs during the worship service, 10:30 a.m. – noon, for ages 3 months to 3 years old. Nursery workers receive children ages 3 months to 1 year old after DIG finishes at 10:15. Because we desire to see children grow to enjoy corporate worship with their parents, Nursery rooms for 2 and 3 year old children do not open until after dismissal from the corporate worship setting (usually around 11:00 a.m.). Time for dismissal is printed in the worship guide and posted on the screen during worship.
DIG Children’s Ministry takes place on Sundays, 9:15-10:15 a.m., for ages 3 months to 12 years old. Our workers prepare to receive children after 9:00, allowing ample time for parents to participate in other ministries the church provides during that time. Parents are welcome to attend class with their child if they desire, especially when the child needs help during various stages of shyness, separation anxiety, etc. Please know that our workers make every effort to come alongside the parents, both granting and receiving wisdom in the process of childrearing, training, and discipleship.
DIG Children's Minsitry Classes take place during Discipleship Hour, in the Spring and Fall and takes a short break during Winter and Summer. Check the Discipleship Hour schedule and make plans to bring your child to DIG!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
My child has a food allergy. Will that be a problem?
Snacks such as goldfish, pretzels, etc. are served. If your child has a food allergy we recommend notifying the volunteers at check-in and bringing your child’s own snack.
What policies are in place regarding illness?
Redeemer Church has a “Well-Child” policy that we enforce for both DIG and Nursery ministries. We make it a point to inform all participating parents and volunteers of this policy. The policy is as follows:
- If your child is exhibiting any of the following symptoms and it is impossible to keep him home, please keep him with you at church. The classroom leaders of each age department are authorized to turn away ill children for the sake of other children and caregivers present.
- A child may not be admitted into the classroom if they have exhibited any of the following symptoms within the last 24 hours, with or without medication: fever, runny nose (unless associated with allergies), cold symptoms, croup or severe coughing, sore throat, any unexplained rash, diarrhea, vomiting, eye infection, head lice, symptoms of any childhood disease (chicken pox, measles, hand-foot-and-mouth, etc.), a cough plus any other symptom.
- If any of these symptoms arise while your child is in the nursery, you will be notified immediately and asked to keep your child with you for the remainder of the Discipleship Hour or worship service for Nursery/Extended Session.
- If a child in your family has a contagious illness, please consider keeping his/her siblings out of DIG and/or the Nursery for that week.
- Medication cannot be administered to children while they are under our care in DIG or Nursery.
- A child is welcome into the classroom with an open wound if it is covered immediately with a bandage to prevent any blood-borne diseases.
- If your child comes down with a contagious illness and was in the classroom just before or at the onset of the illness, please contact the Team Leader(s), and let him/her know. In this case, they can then inform other parents whose children may have been exposed.
This “Well-child” policy exists for the protection of the children entrusted to our care. We regret that this policy sometimes means not admitting children that have been brought to our public gatherings.
What measures are in place to protect children?
All adult volunteers who work with children at Redeemer Church must be members, pass a criminal background check, be interviewed, undergo sexual abuse awareness training provided by MinistrySafe, and abide by the policies and procedures outlined in our Parent Handbook (see in Children’s Ministry Resources below). Children ages 10-17 are allowed to volunteer with the supervision of approved adults (details provided in the Parent’s Handbook).
What care is provided for special needs children?
We want to help any child who faces unique challenges related to physical, mental, behavioral, medical or emotional needs and enable them to hear the gospel and participate in the mission of Redeemer Church. If your child faces such challenges, please contact us and we would be happy to make accommodations according to their needs.
I would like to volunteer to work in the children's ministry. How do I begin?
Adult volunteers must be members of Redeemer Church. Submit a Children’s Ministry Volunteer Application to begin the process.
GOAL OF DIG CHILDREN’S MINISTRY
God’s gracious and global purpose in Jesus Christ is to save rebellious sinners and transform them into true worshipers of his glory and grace. This saving activity finds its expression in the local church, a people among whom Jesus’ lordship, the Spirit’s ministry, and the gospel’s power manifest themselves. Delighting in God Children’s Ministry (D.I.G.) is the way our congregation regularly unites with one another to serve the coming generations with the gospel and assist parents in ministering the gospel to their children.
Our goal in DIG is to equip the next generation to delight in God’s glory and declare that glory to our neighbors and the nations. This goal highlights our joyful responsibility to teach the Lord’s glorious deeds to the next generation, so that they hope in God and remain steadfast in their faithfulness to him (Ps 78:5-8). Moreover, it encourages us to depend on the Lord to sustain our gospel ministry to children, since he himself has an unwavering commitment to flood the earth with a knowledge of his glory through Jesus Christ (Hab 2:14; Rom 16:25-27).
Our heavenly Father makes our own participation in this ministry possible through the gospel of his Son (2 Tim 1:8-14). For this reason, we joyfully make a four-fold commitment to meeting and sustaining the stated goal.
WE IMPART BIBLICAL TRUTH EVEN TO THE VERY YOUNGEST OF CHILDREN BY…
- Acquainting children with the whole of the Christian Scriptures (2 Tim 3:15-17).
- Presenting the Bible as the revelation of the person and work of the triune God to deliver his people from darkness (1 Pet 1:23-25).
- Encouraging children to develop a biblical mindset and Christian worldview (Rom 12:2).
- Instilling in children strong and intentional desires to memorize Scripture (Ps 119:11).
WE EMPHASIZE A GOD-CENTERED VIEW OF ALL THINGS BY…
- Guiding children to the only, triune God who owns the universe, created them, sustains their life, and governs all things (Acts 17:24-25).
- Showing children that God is the central figure and main character in the Bible (Ps 78:4).
- Revealing to children God’s chief passion to do everything for his own glory and the praise of his name (Rom 11:36).
- Teaching children that when all of the energies from their God-wrought passions are spent for Christ’s glory, they gain the greatest satisfaction and delight (Phil 3:7-8).
WE ENCOURAGE ENDURING FAITH IN GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST BY…
- Leading children to recognize their sinful state, repent, and come to God by faith alone in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone (Rom 3:24-25).
- Encouraging children to trust in the character and promises of God (Deut 7:9).
- Cultivating a habit of interacting and responding in faith and obedience to the Word of God (Jas 1:22).
- Nurturing in children a passionate pursuit of joy in God’s presence (Ps 16:11).
WE LEAD CHILDREN TO PARTICIPATE GLADLY AND ACTIVELY IN THE LOCAL AND GLOBAL PURPOSES OF GOD BY…
- Helping children to see the hand of God at work in this world (Dan 2:20-21).
- Spurring on the children to pray fervently to the God of the Bible (2 Thess 3:1).
- Encouraging children to recognize and use their spiritual gifts for the good of the church and the world (1 Cor 15:58).
- Stirring a passion in children to see God made supreme in the lives of family members, friends, neighbors, and all people groups (Matt 24:14).
These four dimensions of our commitment to equipping the children describe more than what we do; they remain characteristic of who we are as Christ’s body. By intentionally focusing on these things and practicing them before the children and their parents, each department team will demonstrate a culture of attentiveness to hearing God’s word and delighting in God above all else through Jesus Christ. In this way, Redeemer Church hopes to build into each child an unwavering passion to delight in God’s glory and declare that glory to our neighbors and the nations.
We believe the curriculum published by Children Desiring God (Minneapolis, MN) best bolsters the aims above. This curriculum largely shapes our children’s ministry philosophy and distinctives.
PHILOSOPHY & DISTINCTIVES OF DIG CHILDREN’S MINISTRY
PARTNERSHIP WITH PARENTS
We believe God has designed parents with the primary responsibility for the spiritual nurture of their children. The local church should not usurp or hinder the parents’ role in raising their children in the instruction and admonition of the Lord. Rather, the church ministers alongside the parents, intentionally seeking ways to equip and sharpen the parents in discipling their children. The gospel ministry that occurs in DIG each week represents the corporate expression of what already takes place in our homes daily. Thus, we structure the curricula and design ministry roles that enable Christ-centered parenting to flourish both inside and outside the local gathering (see Deut 6:4-9, 20-25; Ps 78:5-6; Prov 1:8-9; Eph 6:1-4; Col 3:20-21).
We believe God has designed children with the capabilities to both pursue and grasp the deep truths of Scripture. Our task in building these truths into their lives should begin even at a very young age. We commit ourselves not to hiding difficult doctrines and profound truths from them, but to explaining and clarifying for them the entire counsel of God. Our hope is that God will use this biblical foundation to transform their lives and shape their worldview, so that they will live in a manner that brings glory to God through Jesus Christ whether during times of great rejoicing or intense sorrow (see Deut 6:7; Ps 78:4; Acts 20:27-28; 1 Cor 10:31; 2 Cor 1:4; Col 1:27-28; 2 Tim 3:15).
We believe that the Bible is God’s written revelation for humanity. People come to know God personally in his Son through the abiding witness of the Old and New Testaments. The Bible’s very nature, therefore, demands that we read it as a book first and foremost about God. We teach children to read the Bible this way by having them always answer the question “What does this story say about God?” We believe that the more children know God, the less they will see themselves as the center of the universe, and the more they will grow to embrace God’s absolute sovereignty and enjoy living under his benevolent, Fatherly rule (see Ps 119; Luke 24:44; Col 1:16-17; 2 Tim 3:15-17; Heb 12:28).
We believe that faith comes through hearing the word of God. We also believe that teaching ultimately falls short if it merely feeds words and concepts into the minds of children without ever applying the truth to their hearts. We desire the children not only to know biblical truths, but also to be transformed by them, so that their lifestyle rightly reflects the power of the gospel. Therefore, we seek to explain God’s truth through illustration—connecting the known to the unknown—and demonstration—relating the abstract to the concrete (see Deut 6:2; Pss 1:1-2; 119:1; Rom 10:17; Eph 4:1; Jam 2:14-26).
We believe God has equipped our local body with a diverse array of teachers and servants. He granted these gifts to individuals, in order that his people would be edified and equipped to do the work of the ministry. Each class has a Department Team Leader, Worship Leader, Small Group Leaders, Teachers, and Assistants. We encourage all servants to maintain their involvement even when they may not be the primary teacher for the week. Doing this provides the children with a variety of teaching styles, as well as numerous examples of adults seeking to live out the faith before them (see 1 Cor 12:1-14:36; Eph 4:7-16).
Many curricula written for children contain a repetition of the same Bible stories every year. As the children grow older, only the means by which the stories are told change. We, however, utilize a building block approach by which children learn new truths every year that build upon and deepen their understanding of what they learned previously in Scripture. We believe this format provides a broader understanding of the whole of Scripture and a more insightful understanding of God and his purposes in redemption.
CHILDREN'S MINISTRY RESOURCES
- Student Ministry
If you (or your son or daughter) is in the 7th through the 12th grade, FBC Elgin Student Ministries would love to serve you. If you are one of those 7th through 12th grade students, then come join us! Parents of our teens are always welcome, too.
The FBC Elgin Student Ministry exists to come alongside parents and the other ministries of Redeemer Church to provide a particular service to our youngest adults. This service will focus on assisting in the discipleship and equipping of our young people. What do we pray that God will produce from all this? We desire, first, to see these students thoroughly enjoy the One True God who created us. We also want to see them thoroughly equipped to passionately serve God’s church and His world as they proclaim Christ through their words and their lives. This means knowing who God has revealed Himself to be through Scripture. It also means being able to understand the big and small ideas of the world around them so they can rightly love what is good and hate what is evil. We hope to see our students grow into God’s call for their lives and to be distinctly and radically Christian in whatever vocation God has for them.