Quest Kids Vision and Purpose Statement

The 30,000 foot view of ministry to kids in a multi-ethnic church in Seattle, WA.

Our Kids and Family Ministry has evolved over the past 13 years.  Each year we reflect [briefly] on our vision and mission.  Because it is based off the larger church vision and mission, it doesn’t change too much!

We seek to Love God. Love Other People. Love God’s World. 

This was recently re-written to reflect our current ministry.

Purpose & Values

Quest Kids is a multi-ethnic, all abilities, and intergenerational ministry to and with children.  We seek to journey together to be transformed by God’s Spirit as we follow Jesus and grow in discipleship.  We are a diverse body; each created in God’s image and designed to worship God and be valued; to have a place and presence in the church community.

We believe that a child’s spiritual formation begins at home, and that it is the role of the church to assist parents/guardians in raising children to know and live for God. We are committed to each child’s spiritual growth throughout all aspects of our ministry. We provide a safe, nurturing environment with a structure of safety policies and volunteer accountability.

Through music, Scripture, prayer, fun and relationships, we hope to ignite a deep love for Christ in each child we serve.  In teaching the message of God’s love, salvation through Christ, and the presence of the Holy Spirit, we help kids recognize their place in the big God Story.  Quest Kids seek to love God, love other people and pursue reconciliation in the world.

Getting Leaders Ready to Serve in KidMin

wood-top-keys-lockOne of the [many] keys to successfully keeping volunteer leaders involved in ministry with children and families is appropriate training.  First, we INSPIRE them to serve.  Then we EQUIP them to lead.  Lastly, we DEVELOP leaders (I am still learning how to do the last one well!)

Here is how we set our volunteer leaders up for success in Quest Kids:

ONE on ONE Meeting with Pastor or Director- 30-60 minutes

They are a person first, and we just want to be in relationship and know one another.  This takes a lot of time, but is well-worth the investment.


Leader Orientation is a one hour meeting to review the Leader Handbook with all new volunteers.  This is a required training for all leaders, but if someone absolutely cannot make it to an evening or Sunday training, we send the handbook home with them and have them return a “Read Receipt”.


It is a great idea to let a new leader shadow in a specific classroom or age group before they commit to it.  Also, pairing them with a seasoned ministry leader is a good idea if you can.  We have created a simple, one page leader guide for each of our classrooms that reminds leaders of their roles (i.e. diaper changing, prepping/serving snacks, where to access the volunteer schedule or Bible lessons, and Sunday morning schedule, etc.).  This ensures all leaders are getting the same information as they begin serving with a specific age group.

- 3 hours

Keeping Kids Safe is our Child Abuse Prevention and Safety Training offered several times each year.  This is a required training for all KidMin leaders, done at their earliest convenience (within first year of volunteering).  KKS dates are announced several months in advance of the training.

ALL LEADER GATHERING- 90-120 minutes

Once every 12-18 months we hold an all leader gathering for visioning, prayer, and encouragement of our Quest Kids Team.  All KidMin leaders are strongly encouraged to attend this event.

Creating Family Ministry Safety Policies


We have created several policies for children and family ministry over the years.  Here is a checklist of important policies every church should have, be working on, or at least planning for.  We recommend consulting your churches lawyer, insurance agent or other safety professional already connected to your church community.

  • Volunteer Leader Handbook for Kids Ministry and/or Youth Ministry- both should have their own!
  • Volunteer Leader Handbook- version for the youth involved in Kids Ministry
  • Health & Wellness (Sick) Policy
  • Allergy Policy
  • Photo/Video Permission
  • Emergency Procedures- Church evacuation plan, earthquake, fire, etc.
  • Child Abuse Prevention Policy

We give every new volunteer a Leader Handbook, ask them to read it and sign the last page and return it to us.  Most of our volunteers are able to make it to our New Leader Orientation offered monthly, but at the very least they are all getting the handbook and learning important information about the ministry vision, volunteer expectations, policies, and reporting procedures.

If you would like to preview a sample of our church’s policies, please email



Teaching Children About Race: Parent Resource

This is a resource we created for Quest Kids and Family Ministry

“When I walked into the classroom, the kids were seated at their desks, eager to get started with the special presentation.  After the teacher introduced me, I handed a puzzle piece to each student in the class.  As I began my spiel about how diversity is like a puzzle, I noticed that the children in the back of the class were busily working on something rather than paying attention to me.  They chattered with excitement as they passed objects back and forth between them. 

 I asked what they were doing, and they announced, “We’re putting it together!” When I asked them why, they said, “It’s a puzzle.  The pieces are supposed to go together.   It doesn’t make any sense if we don’t put all our pieces together.”

Standing in the classroom, I realized that these children from different backgrounds were teaching me.  They didn’t need instruction about the importance of coming together, they instinctively knew that our individual pieces “don’t make sense” unless they come together with other pieces of different shapes, sizes and colors.  They understood that they were interdependent, and they eagerly collaborated with each other so they could see the bigger picture.  To do anything less just wouldn’t have made sense.”

pg 85, A Credible Witness, Brenda Salter McNeil

Moms & Dads, Caregivers and Grandparents: A Credible Witness is a great read, among many other book & resources suggestions here!

Ephesians 2:14

“For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.”

Galatians 3:26-28,

“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

What is racism?

  • The practice of discrimination, prejudice, and intolerance of another race based on the belief that claims to find racial difference in character, intelligence, morality
  • The assertion of the superiority of one race over another.

Is it our goal to teach children to be colorblind?

  • Being colorblind means to not attach value to color.
  • It is confusing to tell our kids not to see our color differences.
  • The will see color.
  • We need to teach our children not to make value judgments about people based on their color.

How can we accomplish this with our children?

Be disciples to our children

  • Pray for God’s kingdom- it is multiethnic, multinational, and multilingual.  Our goal is to point children towards Christ’s kingdom.
  • Interact with anyone who is different.
  • Encourage our children to play with children from different races.

Be models of Reconciliation

  • Parents are to be aware of your own subtle disparities.
  • What you say and how you behave toward those of another race will shape your children.
  • Be models of reconciliation.

Get out of our comfort zone

  • Interact with people who are different.
  • Let your kids play with kids from different races.
  • Lead children to appreciate and learn from our differences.
  • Help children to value others.

Take Active Steps

  • Expose your children to different cultures.  Learn about their foods, festivals, costumes, language and games.
  • Encourage your child to invite someone racially different over to play.
  • Never make jokes about other races.
  • Reach out to people who are of a different race than you.
  • Extend an invitation to your home for a meal, or to church to worship together
  • Get to know other people’s stories.  Learn about who they are, where they are from, and what they love.

More active steps

  • Teach your child about his/her own ethnic heritage.
  • Help them to recognize their own diversities even within the race.
  • Affirm children’s ethnic heritage.
  • Encourage schools and church to teach racial reconciliation.
  • Find multiethnic media- public library and websites, etc.
  • If our parents or grandparents say a racist joke, have the courage to say, “I don’t believe that’s the best Christian approach.”
  • We can tell our children that Grandpa was wrong for telling ugly jokes: “I hope you’ll never make remarks like that.  Grandpa grew up in a time when many people were prejudiced against other races.  These are wrong attitudes.”

The most common misconception about racial identity?

  • People are afraid that racial reconciliation means sameness.  They think they have to give up who they are.
  • Christians think that because we do not harbor prejudice or act bitter, that people will just want to be with us.  We have to reach out to invite others into genuine, caring, and authentic relationships.  People will know if it isn’t real, so don’t force it!



Kids Ministry Leader Role Descriptions

It takes FOREVER to write succinct job descriptions for ministry positions in the church. Something that will quickly tell a person what the job is, what they will need to know or prepare and how much time in their week will it require. Here is what we’ve come up with for ministry. It is continually getting re-drafted!


Team Coordinator

Coordinate Lessons, Schedules or Volunteer/Classroom care for a specific ministry age group. Mid-week responsibilites might include volunteer scheduling, or lesson planning, or connecting with KidMin leaders. Once a month, supervise a Sunday service in Kids Ministry. Work with Pastor and Director to lead in a specific ministry area. Time commitment 2-3 hours/week and quarterly Team Coordinator gathering.


Arrive 20 minutes early to help with Family Check-in and direct kids to classrooms and Large Group areas.  Answer questions and assist visitors and newcomers. Time commitment: 45 minutes on Sundays.


Volunteer weekly at one service. Lead kids in singing songs at beginning of lesson times. (Instruments optional, CDs’ in all classrooms) Meet quarterly with other worship leaders. Time commitment: 2 hours/week.


Help run technology for preK-Grade School ministry weekly at one service. Time commitment: 2 hours/week.

Early Childhood Ministry Positions (ages 0-3)

Nursery Leaders

Volunteer weekly to monthly. Arrive 20 minutes before service begins (to set-up classroom). Play with and hold babies, feed and change diapers. Time commitment: 2 hours/week.

Lead Teacher

Volunteer weekly. Arrive 30 minutes before service begins. Plan and prepare lessons, oversee class schedule & flow, lead short Bible story, lesson, craft & snack times, direct other volunteers in assisting with activities. Time commitment: 2-3 hours/week.


Volunteer weekly to monthly. Arrive 20 minutes before service. Play with kids, help lead teacher with activities. Time commitment: 2 hours/week.


PreK-Kindergarten Ministry Positions (ages 4-6)

Large Group Leader

Volunteer two-four times a month. Arrive 20 minutes before service begins for KidMin leader prayer time. Lead large group gathering time of prayer, scripture, and story telling of the Big God Story. Provide support to small group leaders during small group time. Time Commitment: 3-4 hours/week.

Small Group Leader

Volunteer weekly. Arrive 20 minutes before service begins for KidMin leader prayer time. Interact with kids before worship through conversation and small group Activities. Assist large group leader during worship and teaching time by helping kids stay engaged. Lead small group time of crafts, snacks and lesson discussion. Time commitment: 3 hours/week.

Parent Partner

Volunteer 1-2 times/month. Arrive 20 minutes before service begins for KidMin leader prayer time. Assist kids and leaders with needs and activities such as bathroom breaks, snack prep, craft assisting. Time commitment: 2 hours/week.

Grade School Ministry Positions (1st-5th grade)

Large Group Leader

Volunteer two-four times a month. Arrive 20 minutes before service begins for KidMin leader prayer time. Lead large group gathering time of prayer, scripture, and story telling of the Big God Story. Help kids connect bible truths to their everyday life. Provide support to small group leaders during small group time. Time Commitment: 3-4 hours/week.

Small Group Leader

Volunteer weekly. Arrive 20 minutes before service begins for KidMin leader prayer time. Interact with kids before worship through games, conversation and Small Group Activities. Assist large group leader during worship and teaching time by helping kids stay engaged. Lead small group discussion & activities after Big God Story. Time commitment: 3 hours/week.

Parent Partner

Volunteer 1-2 times/month. Arrive 20 minutes before service begins for KidMin leader prayer time. Assist kids and leaders with needs and activities such as bathroom breaks, snack prep, craft assisting. Time commitment: 2 hours/week.


Other Ways to Volunteer 

Office Volunteer

Provide administrative support to the daily workings of CFM through curriculum organizing and prepping, working on volunteer schedules, event planning and support for volunteer recruiting and training. Fun projects include birthday cards, making flyers and FB advertising, publishing blog posts, creating video and picture slideshows, and keeping bulletin boards current. 5-10 hrs/week

Special Events

Help with planning and prep for special events as needed. Not usually more than a couple hours a week in any given season, and 4-6 hours on a special event day.

Childcare Coordinating

Help coordinate childcare for moms groups and church-wide meetings/events.

Change the Narrative: With Books

How do we help our kids seek to love other people, no matter what?  It begins by changing the narrative in our home.  If this thought overwhelms you, try some books.  Reading opens doors for conversations, thoughts and ideas.  Reading gives us opportunities to learn new things about people who are different than us.  We can change the narrative with books.  Start while your kids are young. Here are a list of Quest favorites and some websites to do your own exploring.

Everybody Cooks Rice  Dooley, Norah
My Family  Kinkade, Sheila
Black, White, Just Right   Davol, Marguerite W.
I’m Like You, You’re Like Me – A Book About Understanding and Appreciating Each Other  Gainer, Cindy
Every Child Everywhere!  Anderson, Debby
God Knows My Name Anderson, Debby
God’s Dream and Children of God Storybook Bible Tutu, Desmond
Shades of People Rotner, Shelley
The Skin You Live In  Tyler, Michael
The Colors of Us  Katz, Karen
All Kinds of Children  Simon, Norma
These Hands  Mason, Margaret H.
Boycott Blues – How Rosa Parks Inspired a Nation Pinkney, Andrea Davis
Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match  Brown, Monica
My People and I, Too, Am America Hughes, Langston
I Love Saturdays Y Domingos   Ada, Alma Flor
I Am Latino: The Beauty in Me  Pinkney, Sandra L.
The Other Side   Woodson, Jacqueline
Efraín of the Sonoran Desert – A Lizard’s Life Among the Seri Indians  Astorga, Amalia
Dear Juno  Pak, Soyung
Uncle Peter’s Amazing Chinese Wedding  Look, Lenore
Horace  Keller, Holly
Pablo’s Tree  Mora, Pat
Star of the Week – A Story of Love, Adoption, and Brownies With Sprinkles  Friedman, Darlene
My Two Grannies  Benjamin, Floella
Black Is Brown Is Tan  Adoff, Arnold
Separate Is Never Equal Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation  Tonatiuh, Duncan
Mumbet’s Declaration of Independence  Woelfle, Gretchen
I Am Mixed Beauvais, Garcelle
I Am Your Peanut Butter Big Brother  Alko, Selina
With Books and Bricks: How Booker T. Washington Built A School  Slade, Suzanne
I Am An American: A True Story of Japanese Internment  Stanley, Jerry
We’re Different, We’re the Same (Sesame Street)  Kates, Bobbi
Dumpling Soup Rattigan, Jama Kim
Mama, Do You Love Me?   Joosse, Barbara M.
My Parts Equal Me! Beverly C. Heath
Please, Baby, Please!  Lee, Spike
Peace is an Offering, Annette LeBox

Childrens Books Infographic 2015

websites for more ideas


Favorite Books on Parenting

There is no ‘one size fits all’ model for parenting.  The Bible does not outline ’12 steps to successfully raise a child to be a follower of Jesus’.

The Bible does offer us insight and instruction, wisdom and guidance that informs who we are (identity), how we are called to live (mission), and what we invited to do (share the gospel, love people, be kingdom builders, pursue reconciliation).  There are wise people/authors, not perfect people/authors, who provide some suggestions too.  So there is no prescription.  But there are supports as we find our way.

Here are a few books that I’ve enjoyed along the journey, learned from and recommend to families at our church.

  • Children’s Ministry in the Way of Jesus, David M. Csinos & Ivy Beckwith
  • Sticky Faith, Kara E. Powell & Chap Clark
  • Theirs is the Kingdom, Robert Lupton
  • Spiritual Parenting, Dr. Michelle Anthony
  • Boundaries with Kids, Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend
  • The Five Love languages of Children, Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell.
  • How Children Raise Parents: The Art of Listening to Your Family, Dan B. Allender
  • How to Talk so Kids Will Listen, Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish
  • Siblings Without Rivalry, Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish
  • Grace-Based Parenting. By Dr. Tim Kimmel
  • Power of a Praying Parent, Stormie O’martian
  • Raising Your Spirited Child, Mary Sheedy Kurcinka
  • Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child, John Gottman
  • Joining Children on the Spiritual Journey: Nurturing a Life of Faith, Catherine Stonehouse.
  • Parenting is Your Highest Calling and 8 other Myths that Trap You into Guilt and Worry, Leslie Leyland Fields
  • Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours, Kevin Leman
  • Parenting in the Pew: Guiding Your Child into the Joy of Worship, Robbie Castleman.
  • Parenting is Heart Work, Dr. Scott Turansky & Joanne Miller.
  • Raising Kids Who Care: About Themselves, About Their World, About Each Other, Kathleen O’Connell Chesto.
  • Raising a Modern-Day Joseph: A Timeless Strategy for Growing Great Kids, Larry Fowler.
  • The Blessing: Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and Acceptance, John Trent and Gary Smalley.
  • Real Kids, Real Faith: Practices for Nurturing Children’s Spiritual Lives, Karen Yust and Eugene Roehlkepartain

Family Lent Activities

Select a scripture verse that everyone in your family can work on together.  Simplify the language for younger children, or add extra verses for older children and adults.  Write the verse down in a place everyone congregates daily.  Work on the verse together throughout the Lenten Season.

Paper Chain
Make a chain of 46 days (40 days of Lent plus 6 Sundays).  Commonly made of purple construction paper, with a black chain link for Good Friday, this activity is great for a variety of ages.  Each link can have a scripture verse, activity, thought, or just help count down the days to Easter Sunday!

Candle Lighting
Candle lighting is a common practice during Lent, similar to Advent.  You can use 6 white pillar candles, or purple candles.  Place the candles in a prominent place in your house where they will serve as a visual reminder of the Lent Season.

Table Talks
Pick a day of the week that you all eat a meal together and discuss these topics over dinner.  If there is a better night than Monday- switch it up!!!

Table Talk #1 Personal Reflection:

What is something in my life that I can work on during the Lent Season (i.e. being more thankful, better attitude about household chores, kindness toward siblings)

Table Talk #2 Family Compliments: Go around the table and give each person in your family a compliment

Table Talk #3 Serving Each Other: Pick someone in your family to help during the week.  Find at least 2 things you can do for them this week (i.e. do their chores for a day, help with homework, make their bed, pack their lunch, etc.)

Table Talk #4 We are Special: Go around the table and share your thoughts about this question: What is something special about our family?

Table Talk #5 What does Lent mean to Me?  Share with your family what Lent has meant to you this year, what you have liked about it, and how God has spoken to you or been with you.

Table Talk #6 Taking Care of God’s Creation: how can we as a family do a better job of taking care of God’s creation?

Worship & Game Nights
Schedule a special activity time for your family when everyone can be together.  Set aside 45-60 minutes of your evening to listen to some good worship music, or sing together, and play a favorite family game.  Make it fun & special.  Light candles, make popcorn, or do the activity in a family size fort!

A great recipe for Hot Cross Buns can be found at:
A recipe for Soft Pretzels can be found at:

40 Ways for 40 Days, 2001, Ligouri Publications


A Child’s Faith

I have wrestled in different seasons of ministry with this idea of when does a child’s faith become their own.  Those of us who work with kids in the church might not question the importance of our work because we are in it day in and day out, and we know personal stories of children who have been touched by God at an early age.  We know kids who follow Jesus.  We know kids who want to be disciples of Christ.  We know kids who worship and pray and share God’s love with people around them.  So what’s with the wrestling?

I regularly have the opportunity to hear adults’ faith stories.  Often [especially in the church], it begins like this (sorry to generalize): “I grew up in a Christian home, going to church, BUT it wasn’t until high school [or college] that my faith became my own”.  What is up with that?  My first question is why?

When I tell a child about the love of Jesus, when I teach basic Bible skills- like bible memory or  how to navigate book/chapter/verse, when I tell stories from the Bible that reveal God’s love for His people, I don’t do it in hopes that one day they will decide to follow Jesus as an adult.  No!  I want them to know Him now.  I want a child to believe that they can “own their faith” as a child, they don’t have to worship God just because their parents do.  But what does that mean?  Is a child capable of making that distinction between individual faith or, as James Fowler might describe it, the

imitative [faith] phase in which the child can be powerfully and permanently influenced by examples, moods, actions and stories of the visible faith of primally related adults.

What makes a child’s faith real?  What makes a child decide to worship God because they want to not just because they are told it’s the right thing to do?  Is there any way to help a child understand that even if they go through seasons of doubt, or seasons of struggling with sin and reconciliation, that the faith of their childhood is still valid?  I want to believe it is possible.

  • I see genuine faith in the 6 year old who sincerely wants to be baptized to share with his church family, that he loves Jesus.
  • I see faith in my 5 year old as he chooses to pray with his arms open, palms up as a way to posture himself before the Lord.
  • I see faith in the worship songs played by a 5th grader learning how to play the piano.
  • I see faith in the art of the 4 year old, drawing herself and Jesus hanging out in a garden under a colorful rainbow.

Sticky Faith, it’s a book on my shelf, waiting to be read, and seriously calling my name late at night when I crash in my bed at the end of a long day.  I love the idea of kids catching a sticky faith early on in life.  How can I lead kids into a life of faith that’s sticky…a faith they don’t have to wait until college to own, a faith that they don’t have to wait until going through their “rebellious” years to turn to.  A faith that calls them to serve the church at a young age, and a faith that keeps them coming back to the Word, to Christian community, and to the feet of Jesus without a long absence.  A faith that sticks with them through the ups and downs of childhood, teenage years, college days and early adulthood, and chases them to the porch and rocking chair.

Just in: My GROW adventure with God!

A couple weeks ago, we introduced some exciting new materials called, “My GROW Adventure with God”!  This resource was created by our denomination, the Evangelical Covenant Church, for teachers, parents, mentors and kids.

As parents, we want our children to not just know who God is as they grow up, but we want them to really seek a relationship with Jesus.  But often, our fear of ‘shoving religion down our kids throats’ leaves us hesitant to courageously proclaim the gospel to our kids.  So what can we do?  We don’t want to force our beliefs on our kids, but we want them to freely and personally choose to live their lives for Christ.

The best advice I [Katey] received as a parent has come from other parents around me who model Christ love for their kids, in ways that teach the child the ways of God, and invite them to join the journey of obedient living for Him. Because our faith is just that.  It’s a journey.  Sure there is a ‘correct’ path, which we all can stray from, but there is much that is unknown about this faith journey.  Only God knows what is in store for each of us.  We know our kids will stray, just as we will, but  God is always present and waiting for us to return to Him. So when we mess up we learn from it, and guess what?  We grow as we go!  As parents, we fill our imaginary backpacks with ‘tools’ that can help us and our children along the journey.  We live our lives as God-honoring as possible, and we invite our kids to walk alongside us.  And hopefully, to grow with us.

This is one of those tools that should be in every parent backpack.  It provides a framework for meaningful conversations between adult and child; it provides examples of ways we can grow in our faith; it helps us to reflect on our relationship with God, to share our stories, and can provide regular reminders of our adventure with God.

God’s Word- shaping our action and our lives
Relationships- nurturing our growth
Obedient Living- using our gifts in witness and service
Worship-  interacting with and experiencing God 

If you missed the Sunday class on the GROW series, contact Katey to pick up your family’s materials.  This and other great spiritual parenting tools are available to you.


What’s a tool in your parenting backpack?  How do you encourage your child in their faith journey?