For the majority of children who have ever attended Willow Creek Church, each new calendar year has marked the start of a class designed for 4th-5th graders called Communicants. Over our church's history, many children have completed the class, affirming their decision to participate in Communion (The Lord's Supper) with the rest of their Willow Creek Church family. I briefly want to highlight what we cover in Communicants and why it is important for the life of our church.
Who God Is:
For 8 consecutive weeks, our children learn about who God is. They memorize select Bible passages, confessions, the Apostles Creed, and the Bible books in order. Additionally, our children discuss concepts like the Trinity, God as creator, His just laws, His undeserved grace, and much more. (Playdoh, ice cream, and other fun props help provide visual aids)
Proverbs 8:17 says, I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me. Our desire is for our Communicants to discover who God is, and what He says in His word about His character and His will.
Who We Are:
Our children are challenged to understand their identity as human beings. That we are made in God's image, that we are sinners/spiritually dead, and that we are only saved through His grace and the outpouring of His love, manifested in the person of Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:8 says, But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. It is in that promise, in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ alone that our children, or anyone is saved.
What We Believe:
With the culture and environment around our children constantly changing, Communicants class is designed to ask questions about the world, about our beliefs, about what it means to be a Christian, what it means to be Presbyterian, and about why we do the things that we do at Willow Creek Church?
II Timothy 4:2-3 exhorts us to Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will wander away from listening to the truth.
It is essential that our children not only know the truth that God professes, but that they also experience that truth in a practical way, and share that truth with others in the world, as many of their peers "wander away from listening to the truth."
Participating In Communion:
Finally, our Communicants class allows our children to understand why Willow Creek Church, and the Church universally, participates in the sacrament of Communion. It is through this understanding of Jesus Christ giving His life for His people, that our children can participate in worshipping with the Willow Creek Church family, and dwell in the truth that they are loved by their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Matthew 26:26-28, Jesus, Took bread... broke it... and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took a cup... saying, Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
We love our children at Willow Creek Church. It is our desire that they love Jesus and understand that they are loved greatly by Him.
Willow Creek Church Director of Children's Ministry