Welcome to Southgate Children's Ministry
Jesus called a little child over to Him. He had the child stand among them. Jesus said, “What I’m about to tell you is true. You need to change and become like little children. If you don’t, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Anyone who takes the humble position of this child is the most important in the Kingdom of Heaven. Anyone who welcomes a little child like this one, in my name, welcomes Me.”
At Southgate Church, our kids (Infant through 8th Grade) experience safe, age-appropriate environments where they learn about Jesus in a creative and relevant way. What an honor and responsibility it is to love young ones in the Name of Jesus! At Southgate Children’s Ministry, our goal is to come alongside parents, grandparents, and other caregivers as they lead children to know Jesus. We offer our support to families and provide a safe, engaging place for children to grow in faith. Recognizing that every family and child is unique, we seek to connect with you where you are and do whatever we can to foster your family’s spiritual growth. We would love to see you and your family visit Southgate Kids. Here in Southgate Kids, the truths, stories, and the Bible come to life. Kids are fully engaged through worship, skits, creative videos, games, and activities. We have fun! We know that children can give their hearts and lives to Jesus, and that is the center of all we do. As we mentor the kids, we hope to see them grow in understanding of the Bible, true connection to Jesus, wisdom in the Holy Spirit, and closeness to God in prayer.
Your first visit
Here's what to expect when visiting Southgate Kids for the first time:
First, find the area marked for first-time families. There we will meet your family, check your child into our system, and then one of our volunteers will lead your child to their age-appropriate room.
Upon checking in for the first time, we will ask for the following personal information (NOTE: We value your privacy and will not share this information with anyone):
- Parent/guardian name(s)
- Child's name
- Phone number
- Any special instructions (allergies, special needs) for your children
You are not required to fill out a visitor form, however if you decide you would like to keep coming and want to put your information in our system, we have visitor cards for your convivence that is quick and easy to fill out that can be found at the Welcome Desk.
How check-in works
Before Service: You can check-in your child at any available kiosk. After finding your child’s name in the database, you and your child will be given matching name tags that are exclusive to your family and your visit. Your child will need to wear the name tag portion while you hold on to the matching tag.
After Service: After the service is complete, you will return to your child’s room and show your tag in order for your child to be released back to you.
During Service: In the event that we need to contact you during the service, your child’s identification code will appear on the screen. We ask that you exit the sanctuary promptly and look for a staff member or volunteer who will direct you to your child’s room.
New Mom's Room
Here at Southgate Church we offer childcare during service for infants. But we also have a Nursing Mother's Room that is available for mothers and caretakers with infants. This room is reserved exclusively for parents with infants to enjoy the service in a more private and quiet environment. This room is located down the main hall past the bathrooms on the way to the cafeteria in Room 10.
Southgate Kids is a family style service, where kids grades 1-6 join together to worship and share a life-giving lesson from the Word of God. The first half of the morning brings the Bible to life through story-telling, creative videos and visits from “real life” Bible characters. For the second half of the morning, first-third graders break off into their own room for games, activities and art projects that stir conversation and bring the truth home. Fourth-sixth graders break into a circle of girls and a circle of boys, led by Bible Coaches. They’ll work in teams to dig into Scripture and then share as a whole group what they’ve learned. They’ll explore how to apply that truth to their everyday lives in order to grow in wisdom and understanding. Games and activities will round out the morning. In both rooms, kids will have a chance to connect with their coaches, share what’s happening in their lives, seek the leading of the Holy Spirit, and pray together with their friends.
4/5 Year Old's & Kindergarten
Sprouts is a class founded on the love and acceptance of Jesus, where every child is welcomed and treasured. Crew Guides connect to children and help them make friends and feel comfortable. In the learning circle, children worship, learn a simple Bible verse, and hear a Bible story with truth they can understand. Special time is set aside to pray and listen for the Holy Spirit to speak to their hearts. Activities and play time round out the morning.
Babies/Walkers & 2/3 Year Olds
From babies to toddlers to three year old's, in the Seedlings class, every child is welcomed, comforted and cherished. We seek to care for your precious little one as if they were our own, calming fears, playing with them at their level, and being the hands and feet of Jesus. In our sharing circle, children worship, practice a simple Bible verse, and hear a Bible story that connects to a young child. Children may sit in the prayer chair and receive a prayer of blessing from their teachers and friends. Simple activities and play time complete the morning.
Sunday Mornings (2nd & 4th of the Month)
ALL 6th, 7th, and 8th graders are welcome to join us as we learn more about how to follow Jesus and grow our faith together. The 2nd & 4th Sunday of the Month. Meet at the Welcome Desk after worship: Meeting will be in the ZAP Room during the sermon.
Meet our Children's Ministry Team
Becky powell: children's pastor
I’m Becky Powell, and I am thrilled to be the Children’s Pastor at Southgate Church. I grew up going to church and hearing and loving the stories of Jesus and other people in the Bible. One Saturday at a small kids’ meeting in the home of Tom and Lillie Doyle, Lillie told all of us that if we wanted to ask Jesus into our heart, we could. I already knew who Jesus was--I just didn’t realize He would come to live inside me. Instantly I went forward and prayed for my sins to be forgiven. I gave my heart to Jesus that day, and my life changed forever. I was in third grade.
I was blessed to have parents who had also recently given their lives to Jesus. I was able to learn and grow along with them. They bought me a little purple paperback New Testament, and I read it over and over. On Monday nights they opened their home to kids and led us in singing, listening to the Holy Spirit and studying the Bible. This foundation has shaped my life.
As I grew older, I also grew in understanding and relationship with Jesus. It wasn’t always a straight line up. I failed and learned and succeeded and struggled, and my faith became my own. I also felt God pointing me toward a life of serving children, introducing them to Jesus, and encouraging them in their faith.
After college, Southgate Church--then Victory Fellowship--became my church home. I first volunteered in the 2/3 year old room. So I’ve been volunteering at this church for over 30 years! I taught six years of elementary school before taking a break to raise my kids. Even then I loved volunteering in preschool and elementary kids’ Bible studies and at Kids of Victory camp in the summers, writing curriculum and serving on the Core Team. Since my children have gotten older, I’ve taught literature and writing to Kindergarten through 12th grade and loved my time doing that. But now I am in my dream job.
It is an honor and thrill to lead an incredible group of dedicated volunteers as we come alongside families, helping them grow in relationship with Jesus. I am grateful to be Children’s Pastor at Southgate, and I am here to support your family in any way I can!
Nigel: Sprouts Director
I’m Nigel Darvel, Sprouts Director. I am a psychotherapist in private practice and a professor of psychology at Mckendree University. I have been involved with Children’s Ministry since 2006. I have always had a belief in God but not a direct relationship. Growing up in the village of Wales in Great Britain and 1 of 12 siblings (10 brothers 1 sister) I always felt there
was more to God than just going to church. I joined Southgate--then Victory Fellowship-- in 2003 and in 2005 received Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. For the first time I witnessed the power of relationships over rules, and connection over correction.
I love what the Lord loves, and he loves the children. I also have multiple nieces and nephews and have always lived life around children. I want to see people come to Christ, beginning with the youngest. Children matter to God, and reaching our children should be the top priority for the church.
LiZ: Seedlings director
I’m Elizabeth Ritter, the Seedlings Director. I am a high school math teacher currently teaching at NCNAA, which is a school specifically for immigrants and refugees in St. Louis city. We are currently housed in part of Roosevelt High School.
I have been involved in children’s ministry on and off for the last 40 years. I was raised in a church family but not a believing one. As a teenager I got involved in Young Life in my high school and during one of the retreats gave my life and heart to Jesus. It was a powerful moment of experiencing God‘s total love for me and His presence.
Authors like Watchman Nee--Sit, Walk and Stand or The Latent Power of the Soul; Francis Schaeffer--The Mark of a Christian; or Dietrich Bon Hoffer--Life Together helped create my early foundation of this new life.
Now I have my own grandchildren and still find their wonder and delight in the small things (sunshine, wind, flowers, leaves, puddles) as a constant reminder that God is ever present in all things. And if God cares about the small things for my grandchildren, surely he will guide me in all the things that I think are too big. Because for God everything is a small thing.
The Sprouts Team and I look forward to being a part of seeing how God will form and mold each of our little ones into His hands and feet to their neighborhoods, school, friends and community.
If you have further questions concerning the Southgate Kids experience or visiting Southgate Church with children, simply fill out this short form, and we would love to answer any questions you may have, and to welcome you with your children to Southgate Church!