September 01, 2015

Mexico, Missouri is a county seat town set in the beautiful rolling hills of the middle of the state, where the spire of the United Methodist Church is a handsome landmark downtown. “Our church is fortunate to serve a truly multi-generational community of worshipers,” states pastor Karen Taylor, “and our Next Generations Ministry made a strategic decision to focus on children’s worship.”

A site for the new Children’s Worship became available when a tenant of Mexico UMC vacated a space in the education wing. The tenant was a community preschool that was neither a ministry of the church nor faith-based in its curriculum.

The church quickly made plans to “create an age appropriate worship experience for children that contributes to and deepens their spiritual formation separate from and during the adult worship.”

The new space was well suited for this ministry, however, it needed significant renovation. Church leaders wanted create “a real WOW factor, and to provide radical hospitality” so they worked with a consultant for ideas for color, media technology needs, and furnishings. As the church crafted plans to engage volunteers and raise funds, they thought of the Ministry Grant Program of the Missouri United Methodist Foundation.

“This is the sort of well-planned project that connects church resources with ministry needs and connects to a larger plan for church vitality,” states David Atkins, executive director of the Foundation. The church submitted a proposal that was reviewed and approved by the Foundation board to receive grant support of $5,000.

On a Sunday morning in July, the funds were delivered by Foundation Development Director Myles Hinkel. “We are so grateful for these funds that will enable this vital ministry,” stated Reverend Taylor.

Funding is in place for a part time staff person to oversee the ministry along with additional volunteer staff. Now, each Sunday following the Children’s Sermon, kids in grades K-5 head to their own worship room to learn and worship with music, Bible story videos, bible time, game time, and prayer time.

Is your church nurturing a ‘mustard seed’ ministry? Perhaps a Foundation Ministry Grant would help it grow. The Ministry Grant Application Deadlines are April 1 and October 1. Learn more and download the application at www.mumf.org or call us at 800-332-8238.