[caption id="attachment_1412" align="alignleft" width="300"] Our Preschool Ministry Team (L-R): Diona Hightower, Mary Cannon, Kimberly DeLoach, Amy Throckmorton, and Robin Cheatham.[/caption]
For today's post, I sat down with Diona Hightower, Robin Cheatham, Amy Throckmorton, and Kimberly DeLoach from our Preschool Team, and did a short Q&A with them about Brook Hills' Preschool Ministry.
BH Women: If someone does not have a preschooler, what would you want them to know about Preschool Ministry?
Robin: We point preschoolers to Jesus and the world.
Kimberly: Jesus is in the nursery.
Diona: It's not just babysitting. We are impacting the next generation. Preschool ministry is family ministry.
BH Women: How many preschoolers do y'all see each week?
Diona: In a week, we see about 600 preschoolers on our campus.
Amy: On Sundays, it's between 450-500.
BH Women: What does a Sunday morning or a Wednesday night look like in Preschool?
Diona: Foundational, God-centered Bible study; large group worship time with praise and worship; prayer; Scripture memory.
Robin: Building trusting relationships with the children and their parents.
Kimberly: In the nursery, it's providing babies with consistent faces and creating a sense of safety and security. The nursery, in particular, is a huge opportunity for influence. Just think of how many things you learned to do by the time that you were two that you continue to do today and don't even remember learning.
Check out this cute video of one of our 4 year olds quoting a psalm she had memorized!
BH Women: Tell me more about the focus on missions within Preschool Ministry.
Robin: We have a monthly missions focus where we learn about a particular missionary or mission organization around the world. We particularly focus on our Brook Hills missionaries, but we have recently begun expanding a little bit to focus on our ministry partners such as Compassion International and Neverthirst.
For example, this month we are focusing on Samaritan's Purse and helping the kids to understand that they do more than just the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. Week one, we explained to them about what Samaritan's Purse does. For week two, we are explaining to them the good news that Samaritan's Purse shares through the booklets that they put in the shoeboxes and through the follow up that they do in the months after the shoe box giveaways. On the third week, Angelia Stewart, one of our church members, will share with the group about what it looked like to do some of this follow-up (she recently got back from a short-term trip with Samaritan's Purse).
We also have the kids come up after each mission presentation and pray for the missionaries and for the people. And in the past, we have Skyped in the missionaries we focused on that month or have them come share with the preschoolers in person if they're home on furlough.
BH Women: Kimberly, tell us more about Brook Hills' ministry to new and expecting parents?
Kimberly: On April 12, we will have a New Parent Commissioning in all three Worship Gatherings, and this will be something that we will do twice a year. For the one in April, we have over forty families who will be participating, and each of these families took part in a required First Steps class during this month.
BH Women: So if someone just found out that they are expecting a child (whether through natural birth or adoption)...
Kimberly: They need to notify me (firstname.lastname@example.org),and I'll add them to our Expecting Board on the Preschool Hall. We will also send them a packet and small gift when their child comes home,
[caption id="attachment_1414" align="alignright" width="300"] You can find the Expecting Parents Board in the Creation Care part of the Preschool Hall (immediately to the right when you're coming from the Main Lobby). The fruit on the trees displays the new arrivals, and the parts in between feature the due dates and parents' names.[/caption]
and we'll update the Expecting Board. Their packet will explain how the nursery operates and will include information on the Early Learning Center at the church, Mom Time small groups, and information about New Parent Commissioning. We also have a Facebook group for new and expecting moms that has been a huge resource and place for these women to ask questions and to share.
BH Women: How can our faith family be specifically praying for Preschool Ministry?
Robin: Pray for God to send those whom He is calling to serve in Preschool Ministry.
Kimberly: Pray for leaders who are passionate about preschoolers and walking alongside new parents. Pray for a Titus 2 mindset, especially among the empty nesters and older people in our church who have been there and done that when it comes to parenting. You have such an opportunity to minister to young moms. You do have something to offer - what you've learned as a parent!
If you would like to serve or learn more about Preschool Ministry, contact Diona Hightower at email@example.com or Amy Throckmorton at firstname.lastname@example.org. In particular, there are serving opportunities available for newborns on Sunday mornings and for 4's and 5's on Wednesday nights.