Missouri church thrives during COVID-19 thanks to multi-generational efforts
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many churches have searched for ways to keep the congregation connected without in-person activities. Casa Jaziel in Neosho, Missouri, has kept families involved through a multi-generational effort led by the children’s ministry.
The children’s ministry volunteers are comprised of youth in the church. With both children and youth involved, it helps parents stay involved as well. Recently, the church put together gift bags for the children with snacks and activities.
According to Pastor Samuel Córdoba, the activities required parents to work with their children to create some of the crafts. The families then posted what they made on the Casa Jaziel Facebook page. Each week, roughly 50 children tune in to the page for a lesson, and the parents are just as involved then.
“The volunteers ask the children to work with their parents to learn the Bible passages and go through the curriculum,” Córdoba said.
One boy had been coming to the children’s ministry for a while, but the parents didn’t want to attend. The family eventually moved away, but they recently returned to the Neosho area and asked if their son could start coming again.
“The parents didn’t want to come,” said Sandra Córdoba, Samuel’s wife. "They would resist any time we’d ask. But the week that we closed because of the pandemic, they came to us and said, ‘We would really like to attend your church.’
Sandra pastors alongside Samuel, and it was her vision that laid the foundation for Casa Jaziel’s children’s ministry.
While the Córdobas were delighted that the family was interested, they had just closed the building for services. They decided to approach the family about packing the children’s activity bags.
“They brought candy for us to put in the bags because they said they wanted for us to put more in,” Sandra said. “They told us, ‘My child wants to be a volunteer.’”
Recently the Córdobas were invited to a meeting with pastors from churches with 500 members or more despite the fact that Casa Jaziel has just under 200 members. The other pastors left the meeting thanking the Córdobas for ideas on keeping everyone involved.
“It’s a gift from the Lord,” Sandra said. “We don’t have a lot of resources or a special building dedicated for the kids. The things we’re able to achieve are a gift from God.”