II. Welcome and praise songs with kids
(1 to 2 songs), you can use children’s songs or use adult Christian songs – up to each HC.
Before you start singing, make sure all the kids are sitting in front (or standing if they are doing children’s praise) of either their parents or another adult. Do not let your child wander around because we are teaching them to sit still and listen during this time. This will be hard at first if they are not used to doing this on a regular basis. However, once they know that you are serious and you implement this for a few months, then it will become a habit for them.
III. Sharing time for each child
Two things each child should share:
- One thing they are thankful for
- One thing they need prayer for
Helpful tips for Children’s HC time:
- Prepare well before HC begins
- Clear schedule
- Quickly move from one activity to the next
- Have all children participate
- Have older kids help the younger ones
- Be firm
- If a child misbehaves, have the child’s parent discipline them right there during HC
If the child is too young to articulate his or her own thoughts (probably less than 2 years old), then parents must provide the answers for them. Before HC, parents can prepare one thing your child is thankful for and one thing that they need prayer for. Once a child is able to communicate on his or her own, please prepare the child before HC to share his or her thoughts.
Even if your HC has only an unborn child, please pray for the unborn child as a HC.
Shepherds: You will have to facilitate this time well so please make sure you summarize what each child has shared. You will also need to help them stay on task.
For example, a child could start to talk about his or her toy and go on about that for a while if you don’t intervene. Try to help them focus on what they are thankful for and what they need prayer for. Or a preschooler might say something like, “I’m thankful for Spiderman this week!” That response is okay but in addition to being thankful for their toy or imaginary characters, try to direct them to more real-life things (e.g. parents, friends, learning about Jesus)
After each child has shared, the HC as a whole will pray for the children. Make sure to have the kids sit with their parents because we want the parents to get used to blessing their children through prayer. The other HC members can gather around the families and join in prayer.
IV. Children are dismissed for their own HC time and sharing
Parents who are rotating for that month or week will take the children and teach the Bible lesson.
All New Life member parents should rotate within their HC and have an opportunity to teach their own child. This is the vision of the New Life Kids, that parents would be the primary disciplers of their own children.
First, set up a parent rotation (members of NLF) in which both parents (if available) are taking turns teaching because we do not want the same person to miss their HC time every week.
The material provided by church is just a suggested tool for parents to use. Please feel free to use other material as long as it is biblically sound.
Schedule for children if you are using church materials
- Play DVD
- Read the Bible Story
- Circle time: ask them questions about the Bible story
- Circle time: ask kids to share prayer needs
- Circle time: hold hands then pray
If you are not using church materials, make sure you do the last three bullet points.
V. Extra time
If the adults are still having their HC time, then give kids free time but try to make sure they are playing quietly, so that they don’t disturb the adults. If the children are very young, have them get ready for bed or have them play on their own (playing board games, movie, reading, etc.).