At Discovery Kids we have been one of many churches who has adopted this phrase over the last few years as sort of rally cry for authentic community in our Children’s Ministry at Milton Keynes Christian Centre.
Each Sunday at Discovery Kids we see around 300 children regularly attend our services. We came to realise that although children were making decisions to follow Christ we were not enabling them to really follow Jesus. We asked how could we truly disciple them?
“We want children to have a really BIG faith – an authentic faith. And the only way you can cultivate authentic faith is through leading SMALL.” – Reggie Joiner
God created each of us, including children, with a need for ‘community’, a need to feel like we ‘belong’. We believe that discipleship happens best in a relationship. Or as someone once said, circles are better than rows. We realised we needed to lead small. That’s why we launched DK Groups. Each Wednesday evening during term time children join us for a discipleship course in small groups with a specific aim of building healthy relationships with their peers and leaders.
DK Groups is a 7-year curriculum with 24 weekly lessons each year. Every child receives their own age-appropriate study book with lessons, discussion questions and activities. Groups typically consist of 10-12 children, a leader and helper who stay with them throughout the year. They will study together:
In fact, wherever possible the children and leaders remain together as they progress through the 7-year curriculum. As children enrol according to their school year (Reception to Yr 6) we find that children can often be attending the same school. This all contributes to building a solid relationship with each other, their group leader and most importantly, Jesus.
We have seen children, and leaders, develop their own personal faith with Jesus, taking their own next steps in their walk with Him, in a more meaningful way than what we could achieve on a Sunday morning alone.
When we lead small we simply make a choice to invest strategically in the lives of a few over time so we can help them build an authentic faith. – Lead Small
Behind the scenes, at Equip Resources we have been working hard to get this Discipleship Curriculum into a format where it could be adopted by other churches. It’s taking us a little longer to than we would have hoped. However, at this year’s Elements Conference (Saturday 9th June) every delegate will receive a full draft copy of one year set of 24 lessons.
If you would like to be kept up to date with developments please send us a message and we will send you updates.
P.S. Use the code “limited25” before the 20th May and get an extra 25% off the Early Bird Elements Conference ticket price.