Parkside is a ministry of Next Generation Church. It is a youth targeted Christian based non- profit organization that takes the gospel to the local parks, and mentors children in the Maywood and Bellwood, IL. The concept of Parkside Sunday School derives from a program called Sidewalk Sunday School, that was implemented in Brooklyn, New York over 30 years ago. Next Generation Church’s outreach program reaches children and strive to demonstrate the love of the Lord in every session. We plan fun activities, games, songs, biblical teachings and lessons about life that are age-appropriate and engaging to children. It’s our hope that they leave with an understanding that Jesus loves and cares for them no matter what situation they are in. Our lessons are tailored for children the age of 5-12 years old, however, teens will also learn and have the opportunity to volunteer as a NextGen Leader. NextGen Leaders assist with all areas of operations and also monitor while the teaching is in progress.
PARKSIDE TEACHES BIBLICAL LESSONS THAT ARE RELEVANT TO YOUTH:
Every lesson script, worship song, and activity is relevant to the lives of children now. We want children to know that the bible is not only for adults but them as well. We want to reveal to them how they can understand and apply biblical principles in their young lives to make good decisions. Children who thirst for God’s word will be empowered to live righteously, obey rules, respect authority, be kind to others.
PARKSIDE VALUES COMMITMENT TO YOUTH:
Showing up for the children is a huge commitment that we value. We believe that children are greatly influenced by adults who believe, encourage, and guide them. Just by showing up we have the opportunity to get to know the children, build a rapport and help them become more like Jesus Christ. Our ongoing commitment also includes home visits, help with homework, and providing basic necessities for some children such as school supplies, food, and clothing. We want to keep the children coming back to the program because we know they are leaving with knowledge, words of encouragement, and hope.
PARKSIDE WILL STRIVE TO MAINTAIN A SAFE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT FOR YOUTH:
We want Parkside to be a safe environment for our NextGen Kidz to receive the word as we understand that safety and security are two of a child’s high priority necessities. Children learn best when they are in an environment that makes them feel safe and welcomed. We plan to provide a sufficient number of properly trained volunteers (adults and teens) to monitor the environment and the children when teaching is in progress.