The vision for the Breakfast Club was originally to help out the GAP Sunday School class, made up of young adults. These young families were late to Sunday School and some of it was because they couldn’t get their kids up, ready, fed and to church without a struggle. We offered the breakfast one time and they said it helped them so much to get to church on time that we decided to continue it.
Then Phase two happened. We offered breakfast during Vacation Bible School about four years ago to children and their families. WOW! That was the year we had over 100 children who attended and some new parents came, too. We outgrew the classroom on the third floor and moved down to the fellowship hall. We continued to serve the GAP Class as well as the new families from VBS, and began to offer van transportation to some of our new-found friends. Children began to invite their friends and relatives and our van ministry grew from two vans each week to five vans.
Phase 3 came next. As staff and I were building relationships with these children and families, it became necessary to ask for assistance from the Sunday School classes so we could be released from preparing breakfast each week in order to drive the vans. We felt it important to have the same drivers each week so we could get to know our newest participants and help them feel included as part of our church family. We received wonderful support from the GAP, AGAPEAN, DOUBLE RING AND PATRIAN Sunday School classes. The HOMEBUILDERS class financially supports the 5th Sunday months. The SOJOURNERS help as well. It is a church-wide ministry.
Phase 4 was one of the most surprising to me. Now we were beginning to feed hungry children from the community and sometimes their parents. (Some of the children who attend each Sunday have very little food from the time they leave school on Friday until they return to school on Monday.) We also have some staff members who slip through and grab a quick bite of breakfast during their busy mornings. Most recently we have had several visiting people (adults and children) who just happen to arrive in time to be invited to the breakfast. It has proven to be a very casual, safe and warm environment in which they can experience the hospitality of First Christian Church.
I am happy to say we have had at least four young families and their children join FCC over the last six months because of that first impression and contact.
Breakfast Club is our opportunity to not just feed children and help them learn manners and gratefulness—it has evolved into a very personal ministry of care and relationship building for all ages in our church. Thank you so much for seeing the need and value of this ministry.
This ministry has been evolving to meet different needs over the last several years and I am certainly not the one who is directing or controlling it; I am excited to see what God will do with it next.
Written by: Beverly Vale Brown
Director of Children’s Ministries
First Christian Church