|Philosophy and Distinctives of D.I.G. Children's Ministry|
Partnership with Parents
We believe God has designed parents with the primary responsibility for the spiritual nurture of their children. The church should not usurp or hinder the parents’ role in raising their children in the instruction and admonition of the Lord. Rather, the church ministers alongside the parents, intentionally seeking ways to equip and sharpen the parents in discipling their children. The gospel ministry that occurs in D.I.G. each week represents the corporate expression of what already takes place in our homes daily. Thus, we structure the curricula and design ministry roles that enable Christ-centered parenting to flourish both inside and outside the local gathering (See Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 20-25, Psalm 78:5-6, Proverbs 1:8-9, Ephesians 6:1-4, and Colossians 3:20-21).
We believe God has designed children with the capabilities to both pursue and grasp the deep truths of Scripture. Our task in building these truths into their lives should begin even at a very young age. We commit ourselves not to hiding difficult doctrines and profound truths from them, but to explaining and clarifying for them the entire counsel of God. Our hope is that God will use this biblical foundation to transform their life and shape their worldview, so that they will live in a manner that brings glory to God through Jesus Christ whether during times of great rejoicing or intense sorrow (See Deuteronomy 6:7, Psalm 78:4, Acts 20:27-28, 1 Corinthians 10:31, 2 Corinthians 1:4, Colossians 1:27-28, and 2 Timothy 3:15).
We believe that the Bible is God's written revelation for humanity. People come to know God personally in his Son through the abiding witness of the Old and New Testaments. The Bible's very nature, therefore, demands that we read it as a book first and foremost about God. We teach children to read the Bible this way by having them always answer the question, "What does this story say about God?" We believe that the more children know God, the less they will see themselves as the center of the universe, and the more they will grow to embrace God's absolute sovereignty and enjoy living under his benevolent, Fatherly rule (See Psalm 119, Luke 24:44, Colossians 1:16-17, 2 Timothy 3:15-17, and Hebrews 12:28).
We believe that faith comes through hearing the word of God. We also believe that teaching ultimately falls short if it merely feeds words and concepts into the minds of children without ever applying the truth to their hearts. We desire the children not only to know biblical truths, but also to be transformed by them, so that their lifestyle rightly reflects the power of the gospel. Therefore, we seek to explain God’s truth through illustration—connecting the known to the unknown—and demonstration—relating the abstract to the concrete (See Deuteronomy 6:2, Psalms 1:1-2, 119:1, Romans 10:17, Ephesians 4:1, and James 2:14-26).
We believe God has equipped our local body with a diverse array of teachers and servants. He granted these gifts to individuals, in order that his people would be edified and equipped to do the work of the ministry. Each class has a Department Team Leader, Worship Leader, Small Group Leaders, Teachers, and Assistants. We encourage all workers to maintain their involvement even when they may not be the primary teacher for the week. Doing this provides the children with a variety of teaching styles, as well as numerous examples of adults seeking to live out the faith before them (See 1 Corinthians 12:1-14:36 and Ephesians 4:7-16).
Many curricula written for children contain a repetition of the same Bible stories every year. As the children grow older, only the means by which the stories are told change. We, however, utilize a building block approach by which children learn new truths every year that build upon and deepen their understanding of what they learned previously in Scripture. We believe this format provides a broader understanding of the whole of Scripture and a more insightful understanding of God and his purposes in redemption.