I love that I constantly have to be on my toes. I always have to have another game or activity in my back pocket… And I love that I can be over the top—the goofier and sillier, the better.
It’s in this phase that Bible stories really come alive and are no longer just stories. We get to watch our Kindergarten through 4th graders grow in understanding of everything they’re learning, and with that new depth, start to make decisions informed by biblical truths and faith.
Kindergarteners don’t have huge attention spans, so we utilize the Garden to keep them engaged continuously. In it, you won’t find many tables or chairs, but you will find lots of empty space. Throughout a Sunday gathering, it will transform from a game, puzzle, and lego den to an open worship space for dancing and singing to Noah’s ark or Peter’s fishing boat during live-action storytime to a spread of small groups where they’ll do hands-on activities that help them explore the themes of the Bible story they just heard. These games and activities grow with them throughout the year, looking very similar to what they experienced in Mosaic Little Kids when they first enter but eventually mirroring what they’ll be doing in a first-grade small group.
Just for now, in our limited capacity, our kindergarteners are learning and playing alongside our 1st through 4th graders in The City. We’re looking forward to reopening The Garden space later this year!
We want The City to be a place kids beg their parents to bring them to every week. So, we put hours upon hours of time and creativity into bringing it to life! Every month the stage gets decorated in a big way to help illustrate the current curriculum. It’s from here that kids experience God’s word in action through the Bible. Our goal is to share its stories with simplicity and nuance; simple enough for our first-graders to understand and detailed enough for our fourth-graders to discover something new.
Every gathering follows an arc of high-energy games, worship, and storytelling in our large-group time that eventually resolves into small groups where deeper exploration, life application, and Scripture memorization are encouraged. In these small groups, kids find a fun and safe space to be themselves as they interact and connect with one another and their leader, experiencing being an active part of a biblical community.
I love that I can have real conversations with the kids in The City. Everything isn’t all about the fun aspect; they are willing to go deeper and be honest.
The psalmist wrote, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it” (NIrV). God is the author of creation, and God has entrusted us to care for and cultivate it. We do that by taking responsibility. From the work we need to accomplish to people we meet to the words we use; life is filled with moments where we can decide to reflect God’s character, take responsibility, and use what we have wisely. When we follow through and do what needs to be done, we can point others to Jesus, the One who took the ultimate responsibility for us and made it possible for us to be with God forever.
We kick off the New Year in Matthew 22:36-40. The religious leaders were always trying to trap Jesus with His own words. This moment was no different. They asked Jesus, out of hundreds of laws they were to follow, which were the most important. Jesus simplified everything and made love the top priority. The most important responsibility is to love God and love your neighbor as you love yourself.
Bottom Line: Love God. Love others. These are four simple words, but they are not always simple to put into practice. We hope that, as kids discover more about responsibility, they start to understand the ways they can love God and love the people God has put in their lives.
In week two, we head to Luke 12:13-21 where we find a parable Jesus told about a rich man who was focused on the wrong thing. As a successful farmer, his land produced a large number of crops. He decided to build bigger and bigger barns to collect it all. He might have had a lot for himself, but he failed to think about how he could have helped the people around him.
Bottom Line: Share what you have. Sometimes we are on the receiving end of someone’s generosity, but other times we get to show responsibility by sharing and being generous to others. When we realize that God has given us everything we have, we’re more likely to share with others. We pray that as kids learn more about the parable of the rich man, they’ll discover ways they can be responsible with how they share what they have.
For week three, we take a closer look at Proverbs 6:6-8. “Think about the ant! Consider its ways and be wise!” (NIrV). God created ants to take responsibility and work hard storing up for the winter months. We can look to them as an example as we take responsibility and work hard.
Bottom Line: Work hard. God has created us to work, yet often we try to do whatever we can to avoid it. We pray that this simple bottom line will be a reminder for kids to take responsibility when they have a job to do. God can give them the strength they need to follow through and get the job done.
Next, we discover another one of Jesus’ parables found in Matthew 25:14-30. A businessman went on a journey and left three of his workers in charge of some of his money. Two of the workers turned a profit while the third buried his portion, did nothing with it, wasted his opportunity for growth, and ended up having it taken away.
Bottom Line: Make the most of what you’ve been given. God has given each of us responsibilities for things—money, talents, even our stuff. Kids will discover some of the ways they can remember that everything we have comes from God. We pray our kids will discover how they can use those things wisely.
We finish the month with something Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:29. Paul writes, “Don’t let any evil talk come out of your mouths. Say only what will help to build others up and meet their needs” (NIrV). Our words have the power to help or hurt others. When it comes to our rules for life, what we say and how we speak matters.
Bottom Line: Use your words wisely. Words are important, but even as adults we tend to use them without thinking. We hope that as kids hear more about what Paul wrote in Ephesians, they’ll understand that how they use their words can show God’s love to others.
In 2018 we entered a new chapter at Mosaic with the Every Moment initiative. A key part of this next step in Mosaic’s story includes a buildout of our Winter Garden Campus, utilizing the building’s unused expansion space in a plan we call Phase Two.
What does this mean specifically for kids in The Garden and City? Two new, larger gathering spaces—a reimagined Garden and City (see concept art below), both of which can accommodate more kids, host more interactive stage activity, and, hopefully, immerse them in an environment of fun and wonder as they experience the gospel. We’re very excited about the addition of an indoor playground that will sit between these two new spaces.
The theming of Mosaic Kids as a town—with a park, a garden, and main street—is to help show our kids that God is powerfully present with us everywhere we go.