“Tribes” are medium-sized groups (15-30 people) that function more like an extended family. Some of those involved might be children and teens and not all gatherings might include kids. Our desire is to nurture intergenerational relationships in order to glean wisdom and understand different perspectives in an increasingly segmented, if not divided, society. Tribes seek to be not only a place or relational support but also spiritual practice. A significant part of this shared practice is that each group might exist for the benefit of a greater need within the margins of Austin.
Connie & Bill Nelson (email@example.com)
Chip & Mary Ray (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Theo & Salli Smith (email@example.com)
Kairos Quest curriculum is all about helping kids develop an awareness of God's presence. It gives kids a biblical framework for their lives by exploring the two big ideas from Scripture: relationship and responsibility. We want to help kids discover what it means to live as a child of God and how God wants to use them to bring His kingdom to earth.
How We Learn. Sociologists say that there are three basic ways that we learn.
1) Classroom style teaching: Passing on facts, data and information from a teacher/lecturer to a student. Whether it is elementary school or college, we are lectured to and expected to learn what we are taught. Similarly, much of the Bible and the basics of faith are taught to kids in the same kind of way.
2) Apprenticeship: You learn to do something by learning from someone who does it well. So if you want to be a surgeon, you apprentice yourself to a surgeon after med school and enter into a residency. You learn by having them show you how to do something. So for instance, rather than telling a child how to pray, we should be showing them how to pray and doing it with them.
3) Immersion: You learn to do things by being immersed in the culture. Children don’t learn to talk by taking lessons. They learn by being around people who speak the same language. They are immersed in a consistent culture and eventually they pick up the language and nuances. So, if our kids were immersed in a vibrant, consistent church community, they would pick up the behavior, language, nuances and depths of that community. For Mission Hills, we see our Rhythms as a guide and shared practice of faith.
So as we reimagine children’s ministry, we want them to be taught stories, ideas and information from the Bible and basic Christian orthodoxy (Classroom teaching). But we also want them to see how those things are fleshed out in real life by engaging with parents who actively teach them to do the things Jesus did (Apprenticeship).
We want kids to be part of worship was well as have multiple voices who teach, encourage, guide, and play with them. We encourage every parent find their place within our family ministry because it will equip you (as much as them) in sharing, illustrating, and practicing faith. Similarly, we welcome additional voices from teens to empty nesters to be part of nurturing faith in young lives.
We chose to have kids in our worship for much of our gathering simply because we want to have them worship, pray, give, and learn alongside one another. We welcome the occasional “joyful noise”. It is during our hospitality and teaching time that we excuse kids to a 45 minute kid-focused and experiential learning time.
Please contact Erin King (firstname.lastname@example.org) to learn about ways to help and serve alongside these young lives.
Kids at Tribes? Absolutely!
Tribes are another, smaller expression of church. We imagine these medium-sized gatherings (15-30) as extended-family groups as we learn to share and practice our faith together. The design of our tribes is explicitly multi-generational and meant to span all life stages. In addition to group and family ‘experiments’ centered around our Rhythms, we incorporate ideas from a book, God’s Big Adventure by Jason Byerly. In addition to a meal, we will have a separate breakout time for kids where they will get a chance to explore faith together.
As part of an on-going relationship with the teen parent program, we seek to encourage, empower, resource, and learn from teen moms. From gathering resources to mentoring relationships, we seek to make ourselves available.
Currently, we are organizing around a program called “Be Our Voice” - a childhood obesity initiative that promotes healthy lifestyle choices. Using simple teaching elements of this program, we partner with a local teen parent program at Del Valle High School. Since so much of a person’s health, particularly eating habits, is based on their socio-economic status, we feel like there’s a valuable opportunity to be a resource and possibly an advocate. (For more information about Be Our Voice, you can click http://obesity.nichq.org/solutions/be-our-voice.)
Class times are an interactive, relational, and informational. We introduce basic strategy for healthy habits and have fun brainstorming different ideas and introducing foods to try. Healthy habits starts with 0-1-2-5-7-9:
0 - sweetened beverages
1 - hour exercise
2 - hours screen time
5 - fruits and veggies
7 - days a week of breakfast
9 - hours sleep
Mothers Day celebration
If you have time during the day, an interest in health, are a foodie, enjoy being around some young moms, or just want to observe, email email@example.com.
If you can’t join us in the classroom, there are still ways to advocate and help. In the coming weeks, we’re encouraging Mission Hills to find friends and neighbors who want to share in this effort. Each Tribe can “sponsor” a couple of the weeks to gather supplies and resources. From children’s books to diapers, gathering gently used children’s furnishing and toys to planning a class party to celebrate Mom’s at the end of the school year.
We recognize some of the challenges with being a new cross-cultural resident – adjustment to a new culture, craving the familiar of home, the language and idiomatic expressions. We know there can be loneliness, isolation, cultural barriers and biases. We also recognize you can be a resident of a city but until you’re welcomed into someone’s home, it's hard to feel feel settled much less accepted.
Our goal is to offer simple hospitality and friendships to ladies of recent foreign immigration. Sometimes it means crafting (sewing, cookie, cake decorating, cake pops, paper crafting, scrapbooking). Other times, it means offering language helps and orientation to resources, neighborhoods, and goods.
We also have an opportunity with a group of recent immigrants to help them navigate the unfamiliar territory of a new culture. Often times they arrive with little resources, so we might partner with school supplies and educational support. With an eye on our Rhythm of Hospitality, we host parties to introduce kids and adults to aspects and nuance of American culture.
We also host regular "Have 2 / Share 1" weekends where we spend some quality time with people who’s needs are different than our own. In Luke 3, John challenges the people, “If you have two shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry.” To that end, we visit, encourage, and offer simple support (i.e. grocery, toiletry, and quality used clothing items). In practicing Hospitality, we don't want to make room for our friends but the strangers as well. And throughout scripture, God invites us to invites us to care to the foreigner.
For info about meeting times and opportunities, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Through our network of friendships, we have on-going relationships with children and families a part of the foster care system. We seek to celebrate families and children who are in need of encouragement, supplies, and resources. Our goal is to lift the load of those on the front lines of caring for some of the most vulnerable in our city. In some cases, we make birthday boxes for children within the CPS system. In another case, we have a growing relationship with a foster family thanks to our friends at Austin Angels. Our hope is to become aware of needs, see opportunities, and consider what resources we have to share.
For info about meeting times and opportunities, email email@example.com