What I Learned from The Village Church
One of my stops during Sabbatical Trip 2 was to The Village Church in Dallas, TX. I attended their worship service two weeks in a row. I also had the opportunity to observe their children's ministry for 5th grade and younger. Here are a few thoughts from this visit:
- Matt Chandler and the Village Church have been taking some heat recently via social media. I was encouraged by Chandler's confession and repentance during the worship service. He was humble and gave permission for the congregation to contact any of the elders if they had been hurt by their actions. His words and posture showed sorrow for his and others' actions
- Children's Ministry curriculum that is gospel centered and Jesus focused--I know this seems like a no brainer, but so much of the curriculum for kids is about morals and being good. I appreciated Kid's Village (1st-5th) focus on the attributes of God. These are prominently placed in all of their rooms. See picture below.
- Repetition of themes for younger children--One of my conversations with staff from The Little Village centered around their repetition of themes for younger kids. This was a good reminder that during Children's Church at Hesston MB, I could find a study and repeat it throughout the year.
- Kids are kids in Kansas and Texas--So often as a leader we can get frustrated or discouraged by how kids respond in our ministries. They cry or are disruptive and we try and come up with a great plan for how to deal with it. Observing kids in Texas was a good reminder that kids are kids. They can be disruptive and cry in Texas just as they do in Kansas. Leaders, we need to remember that kids are kids and a cooler, larger ministry does not automatically assume differences or change.
- Communion every week--We at Hesston MB have increased the number of times we celebrate communion. However, one of the reasons we don't do it more often is logistics and significance. If The Village Church with four services and hundreds of people in each can do communion every week, logistics do not have to be an issue. Also, the way communion is incorporated into worship it does not lose its significance or meaning. It truly pointed to Jesus and celebrated what He did for us.