Student involvement enhances Memorial Road children’s ministry
Friday, September 14, 2007
By Guest Writer
Memorial Road church of Christ moved college Bible class in order to
increase participation and ministry training. Campus minister Jeff
McMillon said the attendance of college students is up quite a bit now
that college class has been moved from Sunday morning to 5:00 Sunday
The college class recently moved to help provide students more
opportunities and to increase class numbers. Memorial Road saw the time
change as a way to better address college students’ spiritual needs.
Better focus and energy at night leads to more participation and
understanding during lessons.
“People are more awake on Sunday night,” McMillon said. “You’re in the zone when you’re in class.”
The number of students interested in helping teach classes also
increased due to the time change. Judy Branch, children’s ministry
director, said getting students away from their friends to help proved
to be difficult before the change.
Now it’s possible to worship with friends and still serve other classes
in the morning. The children’s department, known as Journey Land,
recruited new helpers as soon as the change occurred and the results
have been phenomenal.
“This is the most college students we’ve ever had involved,” Branch said.
The students provide role models for the 280 first through fifth
grade children at Memorial Road. Children get two different learning
forms now: one from an adult and the other from students to whom they
may better relate. Church staff said children love having the college
students in class.
“It makes the church experience a cool experience for kids,” Branch said. “It adds a new element.”
The church leaders believe the children receive an admirable role
model and the college students gain hands-on experience and training.
Those wanting to get involved in ministry now get that opportunity.
Memorial Road offers the training-ground students going into ministry
need and a chance to be part of something different.
“I would hope our college students would fall in love with ministry
and make a huge difference in the lives of the children in the
congregations they attend in the future,” Branch said.
This opportunity to serve through ministry caught the attention of
students so quickly there is now a waiting list. In Journey Land,
thirteen college students dedicate their Sunday mornings to guiding the
“We don’t ever have to worry,” McMillon said. “Now we have people waiting to serve.
Amanda Edwards, biochemistry major at Oklahoma Christian University,
serves the children’s department Sunday mornings by working in the
first through second grade game room at Memorial Road. Now she does not
have to worry about missing the college class, and she is free to teach
on Sunday mornings.
“I definitely would [recommend this teaching opportunity to other
students]. These kids are a lot of fun, and they really look up to us.
I really think that it helps them to know that we care and makes them
feel special. Plus it’s great to know that we are doing something to
help them know God better,” Edwards said.
Along with many other students, Edwards teaches many core lessons to
young children. These student teachers care very much about the
children they are guiding.
“I hope that the stories we teach them will be something that when
they get older they can base their faith on and start developing their
own love for God in seeing how awesome he really is,” Edwards said.
The college class is comprised of 450 members. Those who do not serve
the children on Sunday morning attend a young professionals’ class and
provide assistance to other various church departments.
“It has left a lot of options open for students to do what works for them,” McMillon said.
Although the college class offers communion Sunday nights in class,
McMillon expects students to be in attendance Sunday morning.
“We wanted to address college spiritual needs better. It’s a win for the students and a win for the church,” McMillon said.
So far, the change remains positive with many benefits stemming from it.