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Bringing children to Christ

Published on -8/8/2014, 7:54 AM

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Of the estimated 160 million professing Christians in America today, 70 percent of them accepted Christ during their childhood years. And according to the Barna Research Group, eight out of every 10 of these kids who become Christians make their decision to follow Christ before age 14.

These are encouraging statistics for churches with active children and youth ministries and sobering for those without. When you consider these realities, the role of children's ministry, which so often can be pushed to a church's back burner, suddenly takes on new significance.

"The key to reaching kids outside the church is to be effectively ministering to those who are already inside our churches" said Patricia Verbal, a children's ministry consultant and founder of Ministry to Today's Child.

"If you do your in-reach really well, the out-reach will come."

Making the most of this opportunity to share the love of Jesus with this most valuable and impressionable age group is a priority at Celebration Community Church. Two weeks ago during our Vacation Bible School, 175 kids experienced a fun-filled week of study, song, games and snacks provided by a volunteer team of more than 60 C3 members who seemed to enjoy the experience just as much as the kids did.

Next week, in preparing for children going back to school, Celebration Community Church will host our 13th annual KID-FEST from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Aug. 16 in the parking lot of Hays Academy of Hair Design, 1214 E. 27th

Every year, KID-FEST is a fun-packed day of carnival games with prizes, inflatable amusements, cotton candy, popcorn, a balloon animal-making clown, face painting and give-a-ways galore. There will be hot dogs and buns thanks to Sara Lee Fresh Bakery and Freddy's Frozen Custard, and it's all free. More than 50 church volunteers will be on hand to make the event special.

At the same time, Celebration Community Church continues to partner with Hays Academy of Hair Design to offer free haircuts for kids from preschool age through the fifth grade. Appointments are suggested by calling (785) 625-5483, although walk-ins are welcome.

"Parents are always so appreciative because families can spend up to $50 on haircuts getting their kids ready to go back to school," said C3 children's director DeLynn Rice. "Last year, 139 kids got free haircuts from 25 Hays Academy of Hair Design students and staff."

KID-FEST, now in its 13th year, is an outreach of Celebration Community Church's Go Fish Children's Ministry that meets at 10 and 11:30 a.m. Sunday and 6 p.m. Sunday evenings at the church just north of Interstate 70 at exit 157.

Go Fish Sunday morning programming features singing praise songs with a live band, multimedia teaching, along with small group Bible lessons by caring volunteers.

For more information, call (785) 625-5483 or visit C3 at www.celebratejesus.org

Kyle Ermoian is the founding and senior pastor of Celebration Community Church.

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