A snapshot of Kids Club with Seth and Theresa Crissman

Posted on July 21, 2015 by VMMissions Staff

Katie waited on her porch, waiting to get picked up for Kids Club, like every Monday evening. Kids Club is her favorite part of the week.

She was among the first to come when Kids Club started in May. Leaders from Early Church and Immanuel Mennonite Church met with Seth and Theresa Crissman to listen, pray and launch a new way of sharing God’s love in their local neighborhoods. Three years ago, Seth and Theresa worked for Eastside Church, beginning a Kids Club partnership with Ridgeway to do the same thing: share God’s love in their neighborhood.

Last May, when volunteers from Immanuel and Early Church invited their neighborhood to come, Katie was there, curiously peering through the screen door. First Katie invited her sister because she didn’t want her to miss out. What happened at Kids Club was just too good not to share.

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Seth and Theresa, with daughter Eliana, will be serving in the Shenandoah Valley, helping churches share the Good News with children in their local communities through Kids Clubs. Courtesy photo

After a few weeks Katie invited her next door neighbors and they started coming. A few weeks later she showed volunteers where her friends the next street over lived. Over the next several months, Katie seemed to invite the whole neighborhood.

But one family wasn’t allowed to come no matter how many times Katie invited them. Katie would ask the adults walking with her, if they could stop and invite them and week after week they gave different reasons for not coming; it was shopping, or busy, just going out. But Katie kept inviting. One week, after another rejection, a volunteer noticed tears coming down Katie’s cheeks and asked why Katie was crying. “It’s not true! Why can’t they come?” Katie cried. But, two invitations later, Katie finally received a “yes.”

She was ecstatic, like the shepherd who had found their lost lamb. And, much to Katie’s joy, they’ve been coming ever since.

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Seth leads a Kids Club activity at a local congregation. Courtesy photo

Every Monday evening at Immanuel, you can find a dozen volunteers in blue t-shirts from several congregations with around 40 children, pre-K through 8th grade. Together, they sing, act and retell stories from the Bible, eat and play together as they learn to give and receive God’s love with each other.

Seth and Theresa Crissman are beginning a two-year term with VMMissions to provide direction and coaching to congregations interested in sharing God’s love in their own communities through Kids Clubs. They bring expertise and enthusiasm to equip congregations to engage as mission-shaped communities. They are currently raising funds, hoping for a fall 2015 launch, pending adequate funding. Please contact skip.tobin@vmmissions.org for more information on how you can participate and support this ministry.


Skip Tobin is Cultivate Coach and USA Ministries Director for Virginia Mennonite Missions. He is also supported by Virginia Mennonite Conference.

Kids Club: a local My Coins Count project

My-Coins-CountVirginia Mennonite Missions has designated Kids Club as one of its 2015 My Coins Count projects. This program, formerly known as Penny Power, will help provide the material resources for this ministry. As part of the Virginia Mennonite Relief Sale, My Coins Count donations are divided evenly between Mennonite Central Committee and VMMissions. Learn about the other designated projects.

Filed in: All posts, Transforming

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