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This is an innovative ministry resource for 0 to 5 year olds, replacing what was previously known as Cradle Roll.
‘First Steps’ is a ministry where every child between 0–5 years of age is valued and nurtured in a loving and caring Christian community.
The first five years of a child’s life is a time filled with firsts: there’s the first smile, the first word, the first tooth, and also the first steps. ‘First Steps’ represents a child’s first steps into a Christian community through the ministry of The Salvation Army. It may also be the first steps for many parents into a Christian church. ‘First Steps’ has been designed to help people in your church who are passionate about connecting with young families. It’s about making a positive difference in the spiritual development of children, and supporting and resourcing parents during this journey.
The key aspects of this ministry include:
- Pastorally caring for families with young children;
- The recognition of key milestones;
- Supporting families through joys and difficulties;
- Celebrating dedication or thanksgiving services.
And this is just the beginning…
This program is designed so that corps can use the same format for a number of preschool settings, making it easier for those who don’t come from a church background to engage in a kids’ church program and also making it more engaging for children and their families. It promotes learning through interaction and offers support to families to continue conversations and faith exploration at home.
One of the important elements of the curriculum is the ‘Take Home Spot’. This is a way of helping resource parents with ideas and language based on the topic that the kids have engaged with either at playgroup or kids church. Using the same language at church and at home will help to reinforce the message that the kids have heard during that session and create a tradition that shows talking about God doesn’t only happen at church. There are templates in the back of the book that can be copied and sent home with families to support this.
Access the materials here or purchase from Salvationist Supplies (1800634209)
- First Steps Handbook
- First Steps Curriculum
- Welcome Certificate
- Dedication & Thanksgiving Certificates
- Cloth Badges
If you would like more information regarding this ministry and how you might be able to use it at your church, please contact your Divisional Children’s Ministry representative.