Depending on God to do so, we desire to diligently disciple children at every developmental stage to know and believe that Jesus loves them, desiring to help them love him and others.
Based on The Acts 6 Model, adults serving in The Woodland play a vital role in introducing children to God, creating a God-centered environment that is: Welcoming, Child-friendly, and Safe.
This God-centered environment is experienced through a discipleship-focused strategy that, Lord-willing, will inspire them to be thirsty for Jesus, similar to how God described in Psalm 1:3 those who love and obey Him – trees planted by a stream, craving the nourishment needed to produce fruit, their leaves never withering.
This is the foundation for The Woodland’s vision . . .
We are commanded to disciple our children to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and strength (Deuteronomy 6) and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Leviticus 19:18) – both of which Jesus later referred (Matthew 22:37-40) to as the greatest of all the commandments.
For this reason, our vision is to disciple our children to become adults who will:
Love Jesus, Love Others
To accomplish this we will disciple children at each developmental stage to know and believe:
Jesus loves me! (nursery-aged)
Jesus loves me, I can love Him back! (preschool-aged)
Jesus loves me, I love Him back, and I love others too! (elementary-aged)
To do this, they must first trust the adults who are discipling them, knowing that they are truly loved through the intentional, long-term relationships they experience. To this end, we diligently equip adults to disciple our children to learn how to Love Jesus, Love Others through the love they personally experience (1 John 4:19).
Furthermore, Deuteronomy 6:7 commands that whether we lie down, rise up, or walk down the road, we are to diligently teach our children these things. By this we desire for every child to know and experience Biblically-focused, God-centered relationships in such a way they will come to Love Jesus, Love Others.