J.O.Y. Centre…the children expression of Christ Baptist Church, Gbagada, Lagos

J.O.Y. Centre is the place that nurtures children from birth to age 12 year old at CBCG. At J.O.Y. Centre, we use JOY in two contexts, first as an acronym for Jesus first, Others next, then Yourself. Second, is the English use of the word Joy, which means a feeling of great delight, pleasure, gladness or happiness. Both children and caregivers have a covenant of joy with the Lord. J.O.Y. Centre was established based on the words of Christ in Mark 10:13-16 where children were brought to Jesus Christ, and He took them in his arms, placed His hands on them and blessed them. Jesus even commanded; do not stop them from coming to me.

Therefore at J.O.Y. Centre, we to bring every child to experience the love of Christ, in a safe, secure, spiritual and fun-filled atmosphere. This we achieve through partnership with parents and well skilled volunteers and caregivers, week in week out. The big picture for us is to lead every-child to commit his/her heart to Christ as Lord and Saviour. To achieve this, we commit to raising them to love Christ, love His word and live His word. We also commit to creating a church atmosphere that children always long to attend. We raise the children as lights to others around (Philippians 2:15). To achieve our mandate, we have our age-graded approaches which we adopt every Sunday through Seven J.O.Y Classes:

Laughter: B-1

Blessed with the umpteen bundles of joy at the Laughter class, we like to catch them young. Our aim is to introduce Jesus and the word of God to newborns. Babies are responsive to sound and touch. They follow objects with their eyes and try to reach for them. By showing colorful pictures of the Cross, the church and by letting them feel the Bible, we are preparing them for entering into a Christ centered life.

God's Heritage 1-2

God’s rich heritage of beloved toddlers at the age of 1-2, start walking, saying their first words and try to imitate movements. They can also recognize familiar faces, pictures and sounds. Hence with repetition of the words ‘Jesus’, ‘love’ and ‘Bible’ by the teacher, the kids are able to say it back and retain the same in their minds. They are also shown small song videos where they can sing or move along with the music.

Little Angels 3-4

Little Angels at this age are the curious kind. In addition to showing them small song videos, they are also taught how to pray and recite short phrases such as ‘Jesus loves me’ or ‘God is love’. Using attractive pictures/toys to tell Bible stories and playing a Bible activity or game ensures that they are learning with fun.

Olive 5-6

Olive is the energetic group that is growing like a plant watered by word of God daily. Here they are taught Bible action songs, short memory verses and Bible lessons. They are able to draw and color pictures
relating to the lesson. They are also encouraged to read aloud from their Bibles. Games and short quizzes increase their interest in learning. At this age they are told about Salvation in simple terms.

Oak 7-8

Young and eager to learn, this group of children are branching out & bearing fruit nourished by the word of God, much like the Oak tree! They are taught the Bible lesson in relation to its application in their lives. They are encouraged to ask questions while understanding and memorizing longer Bible verses. Easy crafts, song/dance activities and games make up their learning process. They are also taught what Salvation is all about.

Treasure 9-10

Treasure is characterized by more complex Bible lessons that give rise to thinking and reasoning. Children are encouraged to share their experiences and express themselves via poetry, drama, art and various other mediums. They learn more skilled crafts and are able to recite long memory verses. They are taught about salvation in the way it applies to their own lives.

Cedar 11-12

Cedars are the bright-eyed group of pre-teens who have rooted themselves firmly in the word and have flourished into strong fruit bearing trees. They are taught Bible lessons that challenge them and make them dig deeper into the Bible for answers. They are encouraged to research about topics and express themselves in prose, music, art & poetry in addition to participating in advanced games, quizes, crafts and drama. They are also shown more impactful videos and movies that anchor their faith.