207 Washington Street, Wellesley Hills, MA 02481

Teach Children and Youth

Hills Church cares about children and youth, values their participation in the life of our church, and seeks to help them grow in faith and service. As part of that commitment, the whole congregation participates in ministry with children and youth as mentors and teachers for church school, confirmation class, and youth groups.

Questions

Can I do this?

Our church school teachers and youth mentors are high schoolers, parents, grandparents, young adults, seminary-trained and new Christians. What they share in common is a deep sense of the importance of spiritual development for young people, in a place where curiosity is honored and questions welcomed.

Teacher trainings happen every month, and the faith formation staff are always ready to answer questions and provide resources.

What if the kids ask a question and I don’t know the answer?

(Alternate version: I can’t work with the older kids. Their questions are too hard and I don’t want to answer wrong!)

Our best teachers are the ones who know that sometimes the best answer to a hard question is “I don’t know,” whether it comes from an openly curious 3rd grader or a plainly skeptical 8th grader. They’ve wrestled with their doubts, or they’re comfortable with ambiguity in faith, and they can share that openly with young people. And when something really sticky comes up, they can say, “I’ve wondered too. Let’s ask one of the ministers to help us think through this together.”

How do I choose?

Read the descriptions below, looking to time commitment and what to expect. Listen for where God may be calling you to serve.

Opportunities to Serve

Nursery Shepherd

These are our youngest members, infant through age 2, and volunteers provide care and nurture.
Volunteers commit to be present for one month during the length of the Church service. There is a paid coordinator who is present each week to provide continuity for the children and to ensure that an adult who is knowledgeable about our procedures and policies is always available.

Great for:

  • Volunteers who want to be with kids but not prepare a lesson
  • Those who can commit to a full month, once or twice a year
Toddler and Pre-K Teacher

The teaching team of two prepares the lesson from the leader’s guide.

Some teams will work as lead teacher and assistant, while others will share taking the lead on different parts of the lesson. This curriculum is simple and easy to follow and includes all needed material.

Great for:

  • Those who can commit to a full month, once or twice a year
  • Those who are willing to engage in Bible study and creative thinking time preparing lessons (approximately three-four hours per month) to enrich our youngest learners
  • Teens and grown ups who enjoy children who are still learning how to follow rules and learn in groups
Kindergarten to 4th Grade Rotation Teacher

Grades K-4 use the Rotation Model, which has engaging lessons and activities for the children to learn about the Bible.

Each workshop is taught by a teacher and assisted by a Shepherd in the classroom each Sunday. The workshop rotations are art, storytelling, and “brains and games.” Teachers sign up to teach one workshop all month. The teachers remain in the same classroom, teaching the same lesson each week, while the children rotate to a different class each week.

The first Sunday of the month, the lesson for grades K to 2 is taught by the Children’s Ministry Coordinator, while the older children stay in worship for Holy Communion. No lesson planning is needed that week; instead, teachers are invited to teacher training and subject review on the first Sunday of the month they’ll teach.

Great for:

  • Teachers who can commit to three or four weeks at a time, once or twice a year
  • Those who are willing to engage in Bible study and creative thinking time preparing lessons at the beginning of the month (approximately three hours per month)
  • Teens and grown ups who enjoy kids who are energetic, curious, and eager to learn
Kindergarten to 4th Grade Rotation Shepherd

Because the kids rotate to a different teacher each week during the month, shepherds serve as a consistent face and guide for one age group throughout the month.

Shepherds make sure kids have name tags and know where they’re going. They also help provide extra adult hands when rotation teachers need them.

Great for:

  • Volunteers who can commit to three or four weeks at a time, once or twice a year
  • Teens and grown ups who enjoy kids who are energetic, curious, and eager to learn
  • Those who want to share their time with kids but don’t want to prepare lessons
5th and 6th Grade Bible Explorers Teacher

Each class is taught by a team of two teachers – sometimes as lead teacher and assistant, sometimes taking the lead on different parts of the lesson – using a Bible survey curriculum developed here at Hills Church.

Each lesson has a discussion curriculum and a suggested craft project. Teachers are welcome to use the suggestion and church school art supplies, or to use their creativity to teach a craft that will help students connect with the lesson.

Great for:

  • Teachers who prefer to commit to one or two Sundays at a time, a number of times throughout the year
  • Grown ups who are delighted by smart kids with lots of good questions, exploring their world and the strange and deep truths of scripture
  • Those who know and love scripture already AND those who don’t but want a reason to do their own Bible study, looking at the book for the week and its context in preparation for the week’s lesson (approximately two to three hours per month)
7th and 8th Grade Bible Seekers Teacher

Each class is a Bible lesson built on the idea that the Bible is both a collection of different books and a long narrative of God’s relationship to humanity.

The curriculum provides an overview video, a script for telling the week’s story, and a set of discussion prompts. Teachers can study in advance or look over the book the morning of class, and to create their own game/activity and prayer practice or to follow the suggestions.

Great for:

  • Teachers who prefer to commit to one Sunday at a time, a number of times throughout the year
  • Grown ups who enjoy wit, sarcasm, and the poignant questions of students who are at the right developmental stage to question their faith
  • Those who don’t have very much time to deeply prepare lessons (up to one to two hours per month), but who are willing to be Bible study partners with youth, modeling that “I don’t know” is a good answer when wrestling with big ideas
Youth Group Shepherd

We have three youth groups – Club Night 3:6 (grades 3-6), Junior High (7-8), and High School (9-12), as well as a Confirmation Class for young teens considering confirmation of their baptismal vows and full membership in the church.

A typical youth group involves food, games, and some kind of lesson, spiritual practice, or worship. Mentors provide support to faith formation staff and develop relationships with young people that grow with them.

Great for:

  • People who want to share their time with young people but can’t or prefer not to teach during Sunday morning worship
  • Grownups and older teens with the energy for the silly fun parts of youth ministry and willingness to model their own spiritual practice
  • Those who would rather prepare lessons occasionally or not at all but are open about sharing their faith journey
Ministry Team Member

The Children’s Ministry Team and Youth Ministry Team each meet briefly once a month to dream together about the possibilities for ministry to young people at Hills Church, measure current programs against that vision, and identify new ways our congregation can serve young people.

The Ministry Teams are a connection between children and youth and the wider congregation, bringing together mentors and young people and supporting thriving children’s ministry programs and growing youth ministry, a visible and functional sign of this church’s care for its young people.

Great for:

  • People who have a vision for faith formation and ministry to young people AND people who have no idea what they’re doing but want to offer their hands and hearts in ministry
  • Those who can commit to an hour or two in the evening each month

Ready to get involved? Still have questions?

Reach out to our faith formation staff via email or fill out the form below.

Sally Tomasetti, Coordinator for Children’s Ministry, sallyt@hillschurch.org
Katherine Blaisdell, Acting Associate Minister for Youth and Families, katherine@hillschurch.org

Volunteer Quiz

Worship With Us

Sunday Worship 10:00 a.m.

Church School Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

 

Join Us

Become part of the Hills Church community. Discover faith. Serve others. Worship God. Learn. Teach. Celebrate. Pray.

Wellesley Hills Congregational Church

207 Washington Street

Wellesley Hills, MA 02481

781-235-4424