Our kids ministry at Catalyst is called SPARK. We offer families three separate options at our monthly worship gatherings and in select Catalyst Groups in Burlington and Oakville (Nursery, K-Gr. 4, and Gr. 5-7).
We work with each family to ensure they are grouped into a Catalyst Group that has both SPARK volunteer leaders (hand picked, background checked, trained, and always paired with another adult as per our Plan to Protect policy), as well as with other families with kids similarly aged. Not all Catalyst Groups will offer kids ministry, but we will work hard to help families find a group that does.
At 10:30am, kids under the age of 13 years old head to their designated meeting areas by age group with their volunteers (as agreed on by consensus with their group. This could be an adjoining dining room, kitchen, additional living room, basement, upstairs area, backyard in warmer weather months etc.).
Each Sunday morning will include a time of dynamic video teaching, discussion questions, and a fun planned activity. SPARK volunteers and parents collaborate together on other fun elements that may be included as a part of the morning. Kids and SPARK volunteers will rejoin the rest of the group at noon for lunch.
In a day and age where kids experience so much social anxiety with being around large groups of kids they don't know, we believe that being around fun loving adults that are personally interested in them can make their Catalyst experience something they look forward to whether there are 10 other kids present or if it's just one or two kids with our SPARK leaders.
As time passes, we expect to hear kids say things like
***"I think everyone at Catalyst thinks I'm famous! Whenever I walk in, I get fussed over and I know I am loved!"
***"I look forward to Sunday lunch all week as the adults go out of their way to make it special".
***"Catalyst is the only place I can think of where adults treat me like a friend"
Because of the closer proximity that adults will have with kids and youth inside a home, we provide regular training and reminders to the adults on how to interact with the kids and youth in their group to make them feel at home, and why the messier and louder approach to kids and youth ministry is a small price to pay for giving this generation a better chance of remaining engaged in their faith because of the web of relationships they have with adults.
If you have kids and youth, or are curious about how we train all Catalyst group members to engage with kids and youth to make them feel a part of the whole group, we encourage you to check out our Philosophy of Kids and Youth Ministry Page to better understand the differences between a traditional church kids program and how we engage kids and youth at Catalyst. We believe that our approach is one your kids will enjoy, and more likely to see them remain engaged in their faith and in the life of a local church as they transition into adulthood.