values

Value #3: Safety

As a child of the 80s, when someone mentions the idea of safety, there is one image that consistently pops into my mind...

First introduced in 1971, Mr. Yuk was created by the Pittsburgh Poison Center in order to promote poison prevention. His presence was most popular in Western Pennsylvania, but Mr. Yuk could be found in homes across the country. By the time I was born in 1981, his image was plastered on every chemical in my house. As a toddler, I was trained by my parents and this frightening commercial to stay away from any object that had this sticker. Seeing that I'm still alive more than thirty years later, the warnings were effective, at least in my household. 

While the images of Mr. Yuk have largely disappeared from our culture, the idea of child safety certainly has not. In fact, safety is consistently the number one priority for parents when choosing automobiles, childcare facilities, educational opportunities and even extra-curricular activities. For parents, the priority of their child's safety ensures peace of mind. 

At Northridge Kids your child's safety is our main concern. Here's why: 

Safety sets you, the parent at ease. We don't think you as parents can participate in the worship experience if you're on high alert on your kid's behalf. When your kids are physically and emotionally safe, you can be experientially present in our worship experience.   

Safety sets your kids at ease. We don't think your kids will have fun or learn unless we have first created environments characterized by safety. Trusted adults point kids toward a trustworthy God. When kids are physically and emotionally safe, they will be spiritually open

While there are numerous ways Northridge Kids seeks to maintain physical and emotional safety, here are some of the most prominent: 

  • check-in

    Located in the lobby, our computer check-in stations allow you to retrieve your family's information and select with environments they will participate in for the day. A name tag will print for each child as well as pick up tag for the parent. There will be code on your child's name tag that is identical to the one on your parent tag. Each week this code is randomly assigned. At the conclusion of the service, parents present their tags at their child's environment. Our volunteers match the parent tag with each child before releasing the child to an adult. 
  • Environments

    • CLEAN - While "cleanliness is next to godliness" isn't in the Bible, we do think it best helps prepare kids to learn the Bible. Having a clean kid's environment is more inviting and healthy for kids and more inspirational for our volunteers. We've found that clean environments certainly lead to  better faith conversations between kids and volunteers. 

    • AGE-APPROPRIATE - Our environments are designed physically (size and design) and developmentally (teaching and activities) specific for the ages who utilize the space.  

    • WELL-STAFFED - Our goal is not to manage a crowd, but to inspire faith. Therefore, we maintain recommended adult to child ratios (Infants 1:2. Toddlers 1:3. Pre K 1:4. Elementary 1:8) to ensure our leaders' ability to connect and care for each child as uniquely and specifically as possible.  

  • VOLUNTEERS

    • BACKGROUND CHECKED - Every volunteer who serves in our ministry has passed a state and national background check (covering criminal and sexual misconduct) and they have also passed reference checks (covering skill and stability).   

    • TRAINED & IDENTIFIABLE - Before serving, our volunteers test drive our environments where they learn their roles and responsibilities. Our leadership team encourages continual skill development through trainings and resources. You'll recognize these individuals when you look into our environments and see not only their smiles and skills but also their shirts. As a team member, volunteers wear our Northridge Kids t-shirt and a name tag every Sunday. 

    • SECURITY TEAM - Each campus has security personnel who help ensure that anyone without a tag (see check-in segment above) is not permitted to enter our kid's environments. 

 

We place great value on children because they are important to parents and also to Jesus (Mark 9:42). We think the best way for us to inspire faith is by creating environments where kids feel physically and emotionally safe.

If you have any questions about how we operate our environments to ensure physical and emotional safety, we'd love to hear from you. Please connect with us HERE

Value #2: Gospel

Not long ago I walked into the office and found a package addressed to me. When I opened the box, I found a note and several coffee mugs from one of my favorite organizations. I was pumped! 

I immediately (and literally) ran to the offices of our campus pastors to share the good news and give them their own coffee mugs. Luckily someone who didn't get a mug was around to snap a pic of us as proof

A coffee mug. 

That's all it took to create enough excitement for me tell someone about my experience and invite them to share in my joy. 

At Northridge Kids that's exactly how we feel about our second value, the Gospel. We are so excited about what Jesus has done for us that we want to share our experience with others.  

What is the Gospel? 

The word gospel actually means "good news." It is the news of Jesus' life, death and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-8). That news is good because Jesus has taken our place! Jesus' death paves the way for forgiveness with God, from whom we would otherwise be separated from because of our sins. The Gospel is good news telling us that through Jesus we can have forgiveness from sin and access to God. 

Because Northridge Kids thinks the Gospel is the most important message in history, it is the motivation for everything we say and do on Sunday morning with your kids and throughout the week to partner with adults.

What is our goal? 

When we share the Gospel, our desire is that kids respond in one of two ways: 

1. ACCEPT

We want share the Gospel with every kid who walks into Northridge Kids so that they can hear and accept it. By accept it we mean that they believe in Jesus. We want them to express their belief by asking Jesus to be the forgiver of their sins. 

What we don't want to do is take away your job as spiritual leader. So, as much as we want to talk about Jesus and the Gospel, we want you to be the one who is able to walk with your child across the line of faith. That joy and responsibility is yours! Our volunteers will communicate conversations that indicate your child's interest in faith and our staff is willing to help provide resources and coaching to make you as comfortable as possible as you talk to your kids about accepting Jesus as their forgiver.  

You will find a couple of recommended resources at the bottom of the blog. If you have any further questions on having faith conversations with your kids, please feel free to open a conversation with us HERE.

The Gospel is a message that only has to be believed once - BUT it also serves as the MOTIVATION behind every decision from there on out. Therefore, our second goal is that when the Gospel is shared it will...

2. MOTIVATE

One of the earliest followers of Jesus, Paul, wrote that it is God who gives the believer desire and power for acting out our faith (Philippians 2:13). For those who believe in God, the Gospel helps us want to do right and provides the energy we need to do right in our life. That's motivation! 

Each month our kids learn a new Life App. Teaching kids to show contentment, generosity or perseverance apart from God's power is merely moralism. You could stay at home and see that on a cartoon.

Moralism IS NOT our goal! 

What makes Northridge Kids different is that we teach kids that the only way they're able to demonstrate these monthly faith skills is through the power God provides. The motivation and energy to obey God is only available to those who have accepted Jesus. 

The Gospel excites us.

It motivates us to share.

We want each kid who hears that message to accept it and use it to motivate faith in action. And when they do...the celebration is much larger than the dance we do for a new coffee mug.

 

 

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE GOSPEL? 

PDF. How to talk to your kids about faith. Salvation Conversation Guidelines.

Video. How to share the Gospel with your kids. Bridge Illustration.

Book. Brief yet powerful look at the Gospel as motivation for believers. Living the Cross Centered Life.