by Jane Lightbourn • Staff writer
Christ’s Family Church has long been known for its outreach to its parishioners, visitors and the community.
Now, the non-denominational church near the city’s downtown is reaching out again, enhancing its vision and mission.
The focus is on families, explained Christ’s Family Church Associate Pastor Joe Hannah and family minister Lori Reller.
“It is about building Christ-centered families,” said Hannah.
It is impacting the young people, the children, helping them to realize they are an important part of what is happening at Christ’s Family Church.
Reller was hired this summer to lead the outreach and has a number of church member volunteers who help in the outreach. Part of it began last month with the initiation of Kids’ Station during the 10:30 a.m. Sunday morning worship service. This new focus is for children ages birth to fifth grade. Meanwhile, the new initiative for youths ages middle school to high school officially kicks off Wednesday, Nov. 5. Both are led by trained adult volunteer leaders.
“We’re building off the volunteers and what they envision,” said Hannah.
Three rooms in the building, usually used as meeting and activity rooms, are being used for Kids’ Station. There is softer, inviting paint, games, activity boxes, different tables and chairs, all placed with a focus.
“We want them to come and feel welcome, have fun here,” said Reller.
All throughout the discussion of where the outreach should go, the growing families coming to Christ’s Family Church were very important, said Hannah. They said that if they can make people feel a part of something, such as an activity or group, there is likely to be more connection.
“The church is about sharing the word,” emphasized Hannah. “There definitely will be an opportunity for Bible discussion here. People can share stories. “We want them to have a reason to come back again. We want to provide for our children as they are our future.”
“With the growing families we have, how do we reach them?” asked Reller. “We can learn, we can have fun in a non-threatening place and keep it low key. The kids are our investment. How can we support them? For children of all ages, we want them to feel comfortable.”
For the older youth, there is renewed focus of making them welcome, both Reller and Hannah said.
That kick off is at 6:30 p.m. at the church and the “Youth Crew” from Northwestern College in the Twin Cities will be in attendance.
“This is a group of young people who visit other churches, and will help us reach out to young people,” Reller said.
She said the evening will be “crazy fun” and it will be a chance for youths to talk about their faith, interact with each other, have fun and be in a safe place.
The Wednesday evening meetings will continue all year for the young people.
So far, the response to the Kids’ Station has been very positive, said Reller.
“They are loving it,” she said. “They are loving it and they are learning.”
“Again, the youth are our future,” said Hannah. They are building Christ-centered young people who they hope will continue to lead.
“This is part of the community investment in the next generation,” said Hannah. “This is the heart of every ministry as continue to reach out.”
The programs are open to all interested.