DL Expands Online CGs
As DiscoveryLand prepares to launch Online Connect Groups for children ages 7-9 this month, Pastor Chung Kah Fei (PKF) and Pastor Susie Tan (PST) share more about the heart behind these online meetups.
What’s the heart behind the Online Connect Groups?
PKF: Relationships! Children learn so much from how people interact with them. That’s why Christian relationships are so essential at this stage of life.
While we don't get to see the children during physical services now, Online Connect Groups (“Online CGs”) provide a platform for children to connect with their spiritual leaders and with one another.
Online CGs are not solely for education or to reinforce what was learned in the DiscoveryLand Pack. We also want it to be a place of encouragement where children spur each other towards love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:25).
What was it like putting Online CGs together?
PKF: Starting Online CGs was a big leap of faith for us because we had never done this before. But through teamwork, hard work, and prayer, each week got better and better.
Before we launched Online CGs with the Pre-Teens (ages 10-12) in July, we had to plan sessions to equip our Children’s Leaders with skills to facilitate the sessions. They readily availed themselves and stepped out of their comfort zones to lead age-groups they had never led before.
We are truly thankful for all of our Children’s Leaders. It is because of them that we were able to launch our initial Online CGs!
There were also discussions about ideal group size. That meant forming smaller Online CGs (no more than 10 Pre-Teens to two Children’s Leaders) so that our Pre-Teens feel safe to share openly with one another.
We also had to help Pre-Teens and parents adjust with this new way of meeting up. For the parents, we had to consider how to educate and inform them about Online CGs so that they could partner with us to facilitate this time of encouragement and relationship-building.
PST: It took a while for the Pre-Teens to get used to Online CGs. Over time, the groups grew in vibrancy and relationships were built up each week.
Now, we can see how much they love playing and have heart-to-heart conversations with their friends and Children’s Leaders.
PKF: Many parents have also written in to express their gratitude for Online CGs. One parent shared how his child was facing social challenges. After the parent took our advice to have the child join a fixed Online CG to have a fixed group of friends, the child has more confidence in life and in interacting with others!
What is the format of the Online CGs?
PST: Our Pre-Teens Online CGs always begin with games as a way to get to learn more about one another. Then, they share their reflections from the DiscoveryLand Pack, discuss, and pray together.
Pre-Teens are discovering a lot from what they read in the Bible. They are also trying to make sense of what they hear or experience in their lives. Online CGs are essential to allow them to share their heart and express their thoughts. Hearing what God is doing in each other’s lives builds their faith and makes the Word of God even more relevant to them.
On top of building relationships, our upcoming Online CGs for ages 7-9 will help the children remember what they have learned. Through games and activities, we want them to enjoy and look forward to learning God’s Word.
How do the children grow through the Online CGs?
PST: We give our children different opportunities to grow in leadership. Some support their Children’s Leaders during the games. Others are asked to share their testimonies. There might also be “cheerleaders” who type encouraging words (“Amen!” or “So good!”) while their friends are sharing.
All of these have created a culture of encouraging and building one another up. We even hear of our children organizing watch parties with their friends so that everyone is ready to engage during Online CGs!
Some of our children serve in the First-Time Visitor’s Room with their Children’s Leaders. They make FTVs feel welcomed and also partner with the adults to share the Gospel. To prepare for this, the children learned how to use the online bridge illustration from Trinity’s website.
What are some breakthroughs you’re seeing through the Online CGs?
PKF: Through Online CGs, we see DiscoveryLand growing stronger in three ways.
1. Faith and courage
Regardless of our circumstances, the call to impact lives does not change.
Together with our Children’s Leaders, we continue to impart God’s Word into our children’s lives despite the absence of physical services. We are not afraid to try new things, like adapting to new platforms for discipleship.
Since 2019, the pastors and Children’s Leaders have been looking for ways to strengthen our relationships with the children. Through Online CGs, we have been blessed with a platform to speak more personally into their lives.
Online CGs show us that it is still possible to reach out to their oikos and evangelize, even if we are not able to meet physically. Praise God for the many lives committed to following Jesus and being connected to this spiritual family!
When our children obey, they experience God in amazing ways. That's why we're really excited to start the Online CGs with the younger ones. As they come together, we know that God will cause exciting things to happen in and through them!
Starting October 17 & 18, Online CGs will expand to include children ages 7-9!
Online CGs (ages 7-9)
Sun, 8.30am & 11am
Zoom ID: 93344313392
For more details, click here.