Archive for restructure

Just a Phase.

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If someone has ever told you, “It’s just a phase,” chances are it was intended as a consolation or a word of encouragement. More than likely, what they meant was, “Don’t worry. You can survive this. It won’t last forever.” When I first became a mother and my colicky son was crying for hours after each feeding I needed to know there was hope for a different tomorrow. I needed to know there would come a day when I didn’t smell like baby vomit and when the child I loved didn’t cry for hours.

There’s a lot of truth to the idea that your current relationship with your child is “Just a Phase.” But that’s not to suggest that, as parents, we should grit our teeth and hold out for the next phase to come. A phase isn’t something to wish away or hurry past. Because once a phase is over, it’s over.

We only have the opportunity to know our child once as a three-year-old. After 52 short weeks, they turn four. Sure, moving to the next phase means they will stop throwing catastrophic tantrums when you insist they cannot finish the half-eaten breakfast bar they just discovered under their car seat. But it also might mean fewer spontaneous giggles, loss of imagination. It might mean they finally discover “bilzoder” is actually pronounced “bulldozer.” It might mean you have to start answering some questions you weren’t quite ready for.

Whether your child is a toddler, an elementary age kid, a middle schooler, or a high schooler, they’re in a phase.

And the phase won’t last for long.

Every phase is a timeframe in a kid’s life when you can leverage distinctive opportunities to influence their future. But in order to leverage the opportunities of each phase, you have to show up for it.

That may sound obvious, but it can be incredibly challenging at the same time.

It’s easy to get stuck in the phase that came before. It’s baffling at times when you realize your child isn’t the same person you thought you knew last year. When their interests change, or their preferences change, it can be hard to keep up.

It’s easy to rush into the phase that should come later. Maybe it’s because we’re ready to watch a new movie, read a new book, or play a new game, so we stretch the age-limit just a touch. Maybe it’s because—let’s face it—if we can get our son to shoot a basketball through a ten-foot goal when he’s six, we’ve earned serious bragging rights. But childhood isn’t meant to be rushed. If we’re always in a hurry to get to the next phase, we can miss what is unique about the phase our kids are currently in.

So, whatever phase you’re child is in, remember there is something remarkable happening right now. This phase won’t last forever. Don’t rush the clock. Don’t wish away the moments you have.

At Vista we value Parent Equipping, coming alongside of families supporting and assisting parents to develop the Kingdom attitudes and practices of their children. This is an important concept to fully understand and embrace. Christian schools and the local church’s Sunday school have traditionally been looked to as the places where children learn about God, the Bible teaches us that children really need to learn from their parents. , Deuteronomy 6:7 instructs us to take God’s Word and …repeat it again and again to our children. We are to talk about it when we are at home and when we are away on a journey, when we are lying down and when we are getting up again. This is a basic model for teaching children about God in the home. The perspective taught in this passage is that the parents are primarily responsible for the spiritual development of their children.

We know that this is not easy. We know it can be overwhelming. We want to partner with you and your family in the development of worshipful, relational and missional children. You don’t have to do this alone so we have created ways to be on this journey with you:

  • Yearly: Milestone Celebrations – Child Dedications (twice a year) and Baptism
  • Monthly: talk.pray.do – a monthly resource based on Deuteronomy 6, encouraging families to teach their children about God as they go through the ordinary experiences of life. It’s about intentionality within the rhythm of your everyday life. We encourage you to TALK with your children for 15 minutes a day. PRAY at least twice a week in meaningful time together as a family. Then we simply ask that you DO one family night a month. Each month we provide instruction and tools to serve as a springboard for your family time.
  • Weekly: “What did they learn?” email follow ups to allow your family to continue the discussion at home regarding the lesson taught that Sunday. If you ever miss a week, check the Vista Parents Blog for more information.
  • Groups: Family Discipleship small groups that study a particular subject for 6 to 10 weeks. Check the Vista Parents Blog for groups forming or email me if you would like more information, to lead or host one.
  • Vista Parents Blog: As mentioned several times before the Vista Parents Blog is a hub of information for your family with everything from helpful tips, resources, lesson follow ups and important Kids Community updates.
  • Serve: We all go through seasons where serving is hard and requires sacrifice. Jesus is worth that sacrifice — and so are our children. We can trust Him to provide rest and Sabbath while we also serve. Whether it is teaching kids, chaperoning a student event, or serving in Kids Community, let’s remember that little eyes are seeing our actions and believing that they too are called to serve the body of Christ.
  • Family Sunday:  We offer Family Sunday, every 7 weeks or so to allow time for your family to worship and serve together.

Let’s do this together! Its just a phase and we don’t want to miss it.

Praise the Lord for Policy!

With the start of the new school year, we will launch both new policy and new curriculum…The Gospel Project and Play-n-Worship! In this post, we will discuss some of the new policies in place in Kids Community at Vista. We want parents to be aware that this policy is created and in place. We care about your children – spiritually, emotionally, and physically – and want them to receive the utmost care when they are in Kids Community on Sunday mornings.

Matthew 19:14 reads: “Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’” We want Kids Community to support children knowing Jesus better and our hope is that this policy will support our children.

The Policy and Procedures are split into six different areas:

Research and time went into writing these policies. We researched other churches’ policies, looked into Ohio Health standards, and examined and compiled what would be best for Vista.

Why does this matter to you? The children in Kids Community are the future of the church. They are the next generation. Are we loving and supporting them? Our hope is that this policy will help provide the structure and standards needed in the classroom, so teachers can focus on teaching and loving our future Lifegroup leaders, Kids Community teachers, mission champions, worship leaders and pastors of Vista.

We ask for your help in supporting this policy, so we can continue to care for your children in the best way possible. We are a team, all working for the good of your children, so they can ultimately know Jesus better by attending Kids Community. Please help us in this effort! You can view all of the policies on this page of our church website.

Safe and Inviting – Restructure


“Send forth your light and your truth,
let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell…” (Psalm 43:3)

Here are some highlights from a letter to parents from Site Pastors regarding the move of Climb classroom kids this coming Sunday May 5:

For the last eight months, our Climb-aged kids (K-3 at Dublin and K-5 at Worthington) have joined us for worship. The decision to have our kids in worship was largely driven by you the parents.  

After much prayer, consultation and listening, a decision has been made to bring the kids back into the classroom for worship beginning this Sunday, May 5.  

This decision was made for two primary reasons:
1.  For the sake of new families –  the process seemed confusing  for those visiting for the first time.
2.  To create a safer, more meaningful worship space in the Climb.

As we move forward, we’re not only working on finding alternative worship, we’re also close to finalizing new curriculum.

Additionally, we’ll continue our tradition of Family Sunday, which creates space for families to worship and listen to the teaching together, every seven weeks.  

For those parents who would prefer their kids worship with them  —  we appreciate the way you disciple your family and would encourage you to continue doing so.  Feel free to bring your kids into the service for worship and simply lead them to their classroom afterwards.

To summarize, the change takes place this Sun., May 5.  After registering your child(ren), you can either take them directly to the Climb, where they will have a time of worship in the class … or … you can have them worship with you in the auditorium and take them to the Climb afterwards.

Thank you to all the group leaders, volunteers, and teachers that have made this possible for our Climb classes. Special thanks goes to Kids  Community Assistants (Lani Kelly at Dublin and Jess Heath at Worthington) and the Climb Team Coaches (Cathy Harrison at Dublin and Melinda Woody at Worthington) for helping facilitate this change.

Stay tuned for more changes involving restructure events in that Climb classes as well as all of our other Kids Community Classes. Also, please remember that our service times are changing this Sun., May 5 — 9:45 a.m. at Worthington and 10:45 a.m. at Dublin.