Our hope is that the children and youth at Near West Vineyard would feel the love of Jesus and the love of the NWV community. We involve them in worship, kingdom ministry, and participation in our Sunday gatherings on many levels. At the Near West Vineyard we strive to equip the kids to know they are called and gifted to engage in the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Our goal is to train them to see what the Father is doing and join in on His mission in their world. We also believe that the children and youth have unique insights and giftings that would benefit the adults faith journey as well. We are one body with many parts, and the children and youth have a part to play.
We believe that a strong connection to Jesus and their church community will get them started on a strong faith journey, advancing the Kingdom of God throughout their childhood, youth and on into adulthood, blessing future generations and ministries.
The toddler and preschool aged kids at Near West Vineyard get to hear a great God story from the Bible each Sunday. After a story is shared they have an opportunity to then assimilate what God is speaking to them by retelling these stories through the use of water-colors, play-dough, wooden dolls, and re-enactment. Besides this they spend time singing, praying, snacking and playing.
School Age (5-11)
Near West Vineyard's elementary kids experience and learn of God's love through classes planned around the same scriptures being preached on in the adult service. As the Holy Spirit leads, open ended art, crafting, science experiments, videos, power-point, puppets, music and snacks are utilized to experience and know God’s love and his calling of each young heart to participate in his Kingdom.
Middle School (11-14)
The middle school aged youth at Near West Vineyard (affectionately called the M&M's) spend one Sunday each month participating in the adult service and three in a separate class with each other and a rotating leader. They are being discipled and challenged into kingdom ministry through Biblical teaching and hands on ministry. Outside of their time together on Sundays, they have the opportunity for further community and spiritual growth through monthly huddles, outreaches, mentoring and an annual retreat.
In addition to their time together on Sundays, the children and youth at NWV look forward to participation and immersion in many other traditions of our church. Each Christmas season, they have the opportunity to participate in a dramatic retelling of the Nativity story. It is a highlight of the season for many of them and always a special night for our community. Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday are days that we treasure celebrating in community. Our services and gatherings are planned during Holy Week with the whole community in mind. The children at NWV especially love the tradition of our sunrise service on Easter morning where we gather at the lake front for a time of celebration and worship. They also look forward with great anticipation to NWV's annual super-bowl party, dance party, talent show, and summer camping trips.