• Will Spink
    Senior Pastor
  • Wyketa Shipman
    Executive Assistant
  • Ron Clegg
    Associate Pastor, Discipleship
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    Administrative Assistant
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    Chief Musician
  • Peter Render
    Assistant Pastor, Youth/Families
  • Christine Betts
    Assistant Director, Youth/Families
  • Ty Commons
    Youth & Families Intern
  • Kim Delchamps
    Administrative Assistant
  • Derrick Harris
    Assistant Pastor, Shepherding & Young Families
  • Angela Sierk
    Director, Children's Ministry
  • Niña Banta Cash
    Director, Nursery
  • Robert Blevins
    Director, Community Development
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    Director, Facilities/Finance
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Express Grace: Kids Edition

In Matthew 19, people brought their children to Jesus that he might lay hands on them and pray, but the disciples criticized them and turned them away. What Jesus said to them next was astonishing. He said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14).  It’s no small matter that this story appears in the Bible.  In just one sentence, Jesus acknowledges that even the “least and littlest of these” has a place in his kingdom. In Luke 18:17, Jesus says, “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” Oh, to have faith like a child!

But then, a barrage of questions follows…Do I have that kind of faith? Do my children? How do we foster that kind of faith in them? How will they learn to share that sort of mountain-moving faith in the world today?

We can find guidance for this task in scripture.  In Proverbs 6:22, God calls us to teach our children.  When they are very young, we introduce them to the “basics” of our redeeming God…He is our Creator and loving Father.  As our children grow, we develop that a bit more…God as an incarnate Teacher, Leader, and Friend.  And from there, we continue to dive deeper into who God is… a sin-bearing Savior, a resurrected Christ who gave us His Spirit.

As we continue to teach our children about the greatest act of love that the world has ever seen, they develop a meaningful understanding of the amazing responsibility to share God’s story with the rest of the world - both because of the needs of people, and because of the command of Jesus: “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19); “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19).

So, how do we teach our children to have larger-than-life faith and to be mission-minded fishers of men?  By teaching them to recognize God’s call for their own hearts.  On January 26, Southwood Kids will host the Express Grace Conference: Kids Edition, for Kindergarten through Third Grade.  Children will learn how God is calling them to “transform lives and restore communities” from the vantage point of the very first disciples in a fun time of worship, teaching, games and activities.  We’ll talk about missionaries that Southwood supports and we’ll discuss how God is calling even the smallest of us to make a big difference!