By Lauren Davidson
In September 2014, Triad Baptist Church unveiled the brand new set for Kids Street marking the 20th anniversary of their organized children’s ministry program. The church itself is about 30 years old, and has seen exponential growth over the past ten years. “God has allowed us to minister to many more kids as the years have progressed,” says Children’s Pastor Tim Gerber. “Based upon his blessings with set and staffing, we have really seen it mushroom over the last several years.” The church’s “main” sanctuary moved to a new multifunctional “gymatorium” last July, leaving the previous space open for Kids Street, the newly rebranded children’s ministry program. That gave the church about three months to convert it into a more childlike atmosphere. The new stage is bursting with bright colors and depicts “Main Street, USA” with a bridge connecting home and church, and a car with interactive puppets that sing and converse during the service. The slogan for Kids Street is “Where Friends Find Faith” to encourage “helping kids unite and find their faith in Christ,” says Mr. Tim.
Children use the Kids Street Worship Center for services on Sunday mornings, while their parents are in the “main” sanctuary. These services are divided into two sections according to age, and afterward, the children go to their individualized Sunday School classes. The Worship Center is also used for AWANA on Sunday evenings. AWANA, in case you were wondering, is an hour and a half long program where children learn about the Bible and ways to apply their faith to their life. Each week has a different theme, like Pajama Night and Crazy Hair Night. The children also play games and receive awards. They even have a Boy Scout-like uniform. “There is an excitement to it that makes it really appealing to kids,” says Mr. Tim, “It melds them together and it is fun, but there is a purpose as well.”
Students of Triad Baptist Christian Academy (TBCA) love using the Worship Center for Chapel each week as well. Many sessions feature a prominent church leader or Christian business person who talks to the students about how faith has positively affected their life. “It is really one of my favorite times of the week because it brings everyone together and it supports the school’s vision of leadership. We try to start even at the earliest age to begin to implement that vision,” says Austin Needham, TBCA Campus Pastor and Assistant Children’s Ministry Director. TBCA has also started to run student-led chapels in the Kids Street Worship Center, where students can learn what it is like to usher, provide sound or lighting, or even lead a service.
Because of the tremendous amount of growth, Triad Baptist has adopted a new automated Check Point system for the safety of its kid visitors. This security system allows new members to give basic information, like food allergies, and pick up a set of stickers that match parent to child at pickup time. “With a church our size,” says Mr. Tim, “you cannot know everybody. It is just a safe and secure way to protect our kids.” This program was implemented a year and a half ago, and is used for Sunday morning services, as well as AWANA on Sunday evenings. With each Sunday bringing in several hundred children, it is reassuring to have this system in place.
Triad Baptist Church has gone above and beyond to create a safe and inviting atmosphere for Kernersville’s kids. If you are interested in learning more about Kids Street, check out tbcnow.org.