For families who are unable to keep their children with them during the sermon, Sunday School runs in both our morning and evening Sunday services after the collection of the offering in the service.
On the last Sunday of each month, we have a Hope Kids Celebration, which we encourage all children to attend, where we celebrate the Gospel and all the children's birthdays of the past month.
Hope Reformed Baptist Church, located up stairs.
9/130 Kingston Rd, Underwood
We love teaching kids about Jesus!
See below for details about our Sunday School ministry.
We love equipping parents for Family Worship!
Find our videos to help you here
Our Catechism and weekly Family Worship guide are available at Church, or are available below in digital form:
Hope Kids is a family-focused children's ministry that acknowledges parents as the primary disciple-makers of their children. In line with our beliefs, our church services are intergenerational and we welcome and encourage families to remain together for the worship service.
As our services are intergenerational, we encourage families to come prepared to have their children remain in the service with them. We do provide writing and coloring materials for children to colour or take notes during the sermon.
We do offer a children's program each service for families who are not able to keep their children in the service with them for varying reasons or are requiring support while they become accustomed and transition to integrating their children into the main worship service.
Our children's program - Sunday School - is catered to bring age-appropriate lessons to children ages 1.5 - Year 6, in a fun and scripturally rich environment. It is led by a small team of trained leaders who are zealous for the Gospel and are invested in the children's spiritual wellbeing and growth.
To support and equip parents to be the primary disciple-makers of their children, we produce a 5-day Family Discipleship Guide every week which follows our Hope Catechism, produced by the Teaching Elder and the children's ministry team. Both the discipleship guides and catechism are available in the Hope RBC foyer every Sunday. Digital versions can be found here.
Our conviction at Hope Reformed Baptist Church is that parents should be the primary disciple-makers of their own children. Subsequently, we believe that children should remain with their parents during the worship service as much as practicable in an effort to prevent abdicating parents from their discipleship responsibilities. We do consider this to be an open-handed issue, meaning there are no key scriptures that indicate God’s definitive word on the matter.
However, taking into consideration His regard for the family institution, children and corporate worship, we do believe that God’s intention for worship is not age-based segregation but that it is to be intergenerational. For example, the Old Testament illustrates the gathering of families, including children, to hear the Word of the Lord (Deut. 31:11-13, Josh. 8:35). We see in Ephesians and Colossians that children are addressed in the letters, commanding them to obey their parents in the Lord. This infers that children were a part of the worship service since these letters were to be read during corporate gathering.
Additionally, we believe in the transforming power of the preaching of God’s Word under the Teaching Elder. It is to be expected that initially and especially in early years, the children will not comprehend all teaching heard from the pulpit and nuances may not be understood. We appreciate that this is not entirely different to an adult’s experience as they study the Living Word, who may initially miss the complexities of the truths and wisdom of God’s Word. We unapologetically hold that an age-appropriate explanation of the sermon and faithful discipleship should be the responsibility of parents each day throughout the week.
Our vision at Hope Kids is to see all children amongst our congregation, grow up with a love for Christ and His Church and a zeal for evangelism. Our desire is to equip families to raise up their children as disciples for Him who will surpass us in fervor, knowledge, sanctification, fruitfulness and devotion.
Children are the legacy and heritage of the church. As commissioned disciples and members of the Body, we should invest our time and resources to minister to children in a way that enables them to comprehend and be receptive to the gospel. This is accomplished by equipping, encouraging and resourcing parents to be the primary disciple makers of their children. Our Sunday School program is a space designed to facilitate families in their pursuit of faithful family discipleship, by accommodating children who can not practically remain with their parents during the service. In order to support parents as they take hold of the reins of family worship, our Sunday School will only teach content that is an echo of the parent discipleship guide produced each week for our families. We desire to work alongside parents to faithfully teach children the gospel, sound biblical doctrine, appropriate Christian values, morals and disciplines and endeavour to demonstrate the love of Christ.
The church body should recognise that children are a part of the church of today in order for children to learn what it means to be a part of the body of Christ and what it means to be a follower of Christ. People who work with children in the church are ministers to children and should have a burden for them and for their families. The church body should also pray for and encourage teachers and parents in their tasks.
Our Sunday School prioritises the teaching of high quality, Christ-focused, systematic curriculum that utilises catechisms to teach biblical truths. Our Sunday School has five key criteria when evaluating curriculum to be implemented in our children’s ministries.
The Bible was written to show us God—who He is and what He has done to rescue us through Christ Jesus. We implement a curriculum that keeps God and His gospel central and avoids confusing children by focusing too heavily on moral and behavioral applications.
The Christian faith is informed and transformed by the Scriptures. Our curriculum must help children apply what the text teaches by asking searching questions, and providing relevant application points that tether us to our hope in Christ.
Doctrine matters and it is a vital component to our curriculum. We incorporate fundamental Christian doctrines into the lessons and take time to explain the mechanics of these doctrines in order to emphasise the significance of each bible story. This is accomplished with digestible catechisms written for children.
Curriculum must account for and speak to multiple learning styles as well as the varying age-level abilities of children. It must also help kids retain key Bible doctrines and stories through proven pedagogies including memorisation and review.
It is important to us to have a children's ministry that creates welcoming environments for building relationships with kids and their families. In which case, the curriculum should not be so incremental and dependent on previous lessons that it fails to embrace kids that are new to the program. We acknowledge that it shouldn't alienate children from an unchurched background with legalistic standards or application points. For this reason, we require our curriculum to be engaging and aware of the presence of new children.
In order to uphold curriculum criteria standards, we follow Hope Catechism produced by our church, teaching the next corresponding catechism each week, in retrospect of the parent guide.
At Hope RBC, we practice credo-baptism or believer’s baptism which means we require a confession of faith before baptising our congregants; this includes children. Scripture teaches that the Lord wants the children to come to Him and that it angers the Lord and displeases Him greatly to forbid or hinder them in any way (Mark 10:14). Jesus illustrates that the greatest in the kingdom are those who have the humility of a child and that unless we exhibit the humble and teachable characteristics of a child, we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 18:1-6), suggesting that it is not merely a mental or emotional maturity that are the hallmarks of our faith. We believe that children can be regenerated, and can make credible professions of faith; being baptised in obedience to the command (Matt 28:19, John 14:15).
When assessing whether we would baptise a particular child, we would hold them to the same criteria as we would an adult, while taking into consideration that the evidence needs to correspond with the age of the child and not an adult. This includes:
While we avoid scrutinising and critiquing a child’s profession of faith, wisdom and discernment is required on behalf of the child’s parents and the church Elders to determine whether participating in baptism is an accurate reflection of the child’s profession.
In line with our Reformed theological convictions regarding regeneration, a desire to protect the purity of the church, and a zeal to honour the sacraments, it is tempting to deny a child from being baptised ‘until they are older.’ We caution that there is no scriptural precedent to hold children to any additional criteria and it is beyond our mantle of jurisdiction to implement an intentional ‘probationary period’ between a child’s profession of faith and their baptism.
We acknowledge that baptising children is heavily nuanced, although we should not resist believing that a confessing child has been regenerated. We rather expect such a blessing as parents and ministers who are prayerful, and faithful shepherds of our children.
For the baptisms of other congregants, the Sunday School children are returned to the congregation to observe and celebrate with the rest of the Body.
Our practice at Hope RBC is to participate in communion on the first Sunday of every month. As a revered, high ordinance it is crucial that believers participate and so, for these particular services, we return the Sunday School children to the congregation to observe the Lord’s Supper being taken. While we practice an open communion, we exhort that it is an ordinance for believers and echo the Apostle Paul’s warnings regarding the manner in which we should eat of the Lord’s Table. In light of our views regarding childhood regeneration, we do not believe that children are exempt from the ordinance all together. The Elders encourage parents with the general guidelines of participating in Communion after they have been Baptised. Baptised children partake at the discretion of the parent, so we usher children to sit with their family during communion to allow parents to navigate their own children through this act of worship.
Due to the weight of the Apostle Paul’s warning surrounding this ordinance, we urge parents to be cautious in discerning their children’s worthiness to participate and we exhort that communion is not a frivolous, exploratory Christian activity but is a serious and mindful act of remembrance and worship with no room for carelessness. Children (even those baptised), who are not of a maturity to meaningfully “examine themselves”, by assessing their life of obedience (1 Cor 11:28), should be kept back from the Lord’s Supper by their parents. In time, those children will grow a high regard for the Lord’s Supper, even if their understanding of all the nuance is lacking.
At Hope RBC we believe children should participate in worship with the wider congregation, in which case, our Sunday School program begins after worship. We are very mindful of the purpose of our children’s ministry program, being that it is to facilitate family discipleship by offering a space for families to bring their children who are unable for various reasons, to remain with their parents during the sermon. To segregate the children from the wider congregation during worship does not contribute to this purpose, nor does it benefit the Body.