Frequently Asked Questions
The following are common questions we hear in Mars Hill Kids. If you have a question and find that it’s not addressed here or on our other Kids pages, or if you’d like to request additional information, we invite you to contact us or stop by one of our Kids Welcoming Centers on a Sunday.
What do you believe/what do you teach kids?
We believe that God has revealed himself through history and is working within history to fulfill his purposes for all creation. The Bible tells the story of God’s work in the world: how he created the world, how he made humankind in his own image, what went wrong with humanity, and how, through Jesus Christ, God set out to restore people and all creation to himself. Mars Hill Kids tells God’s story and invites kids to enter into it: following the way of Jesus and joining the work that God is doing in the world. [Essentially, we teach a kid-friendly version of the Mars Hill Narrative Theology.]
When does Mars Hill Kids meet?
We meet during Mars Hill Gatherings on Sunday mornings: specifically, from 9am-10:15am and from 11am-12:15pm in the Kids hallways at Mars Hill. Our Kids areas are open beginning 30 minutes before each Gathering, and due to the high number of participants in our programs, we encourage parents to arrive and check in their children early.
What's your program like on Sundays?
Through relationships with volunteers and age-appropriate programming, in Mars Hill Kids children learn the way of Jesus. Kids of all ages engage in both small- and large-group activities where they learn that their identity is in Christ, that they have belonging in the Church, and that they have a role to play in God’s mission.
What measures are taken to keep Mars Hill Kids a safe place?
Our check-in and check-out procedures, including a parent/child wristband system, are in place to ensure that no child is removed from the Kids areas by any person other than the one who dropped off the child. Background screenings are also required for all staff and volunteers serving in Mars Hill Kids. Along with this, since our volunteers serve regularly, their familiarity with Mars Hill families often serves as an additional safety measure. Find out more by checking out our policies and procedures.
Must I register/enroll my kids ahead of time?
No. While you are welcome to contact Mars Hill Kids in advance of your first morning with us, we will be able to register your child[ren] on Sunday when you arrive. Allowing yourself a few extra minutes to fill out a short form for each child is all the preparation you’ll need.
On Sundays, where do I drop off and pick up my kids?
Entrances to all three Kids areas are located in the North Hallway at Mars Hill—easily accessible from all main entrances. Large signs indicate entrances for Babies and Preschool as well as for the Elementary drop-off and pick-up hallways. Should you have questions upon arrival at Mars Hill, feel free to visit the Mars Hill Welcome Center located at the convergence of the East, West, and North Hallways.
If my child needs to be picked up in advance of check-out time, how will I be notified?
If during the Kids program our staff and volunteers determine that a child should be picked up early, the parent/child wristband number will be flashed on a small red screen in the Shed. The parent/guardian with the matching wristband will then be permitted to enter the Kids areas and pick up the child, and the number will be taken down from the Shed screen.
What about fifth graders?
Fifth graders are a part of Mars Hill Students, making up half of Fifty6, which meets on Sunday evenings in the South Hallway and one Sunday a month at 9am and 11am in Room 403 [South Hall].
Why do you practice child dedications and not infant baptisms?
Child dedication and infant baptism are practices in which parents make a solemn commitment to raising their child in the faith. While the meaning of infant baptism varies somewhat among denominations, it often involves parents baptizing the child as an infant, then when the child grows up and decides to follow Jesus, the child makes a profession of faith. We believe that water baptism is a sign/symbol of a person’s professing faith, and as a result feel it is confusing to perform water baptism on infants. Instead, we practice child dedications on infants and young children, and when a child makes the choice to follow Jesus, they have the opportunity to declare their commitment to Jesus through baptism.
Can I dedicate my child at Mars Hill?
Yes! Child dedication is available to any parent or guardian who wishes to declare their intent to raise a child to know Jesus as the only hope for bringing reconciliation between God and humanity. [Although most often it is infants who are dedicated, dedication can be done for older children as well.]
How old must a child be to be baptized at Mars Hill?
There is no age requirement for baptism at Mars Hill; however, a child being baptized must understand what baptism means and must be able to declare their intention to follow the way of Jesus. Each year in the spring, children who wish to be baptized are invited to attend a Kids Baptism Class—here, Mars Hill Kids Staff teach the significance and meaning of baptism, and children are prepared for the experience of baptism at Mars Hill.
Can I let my child(ren) participate in communion?
Celebrating the Lord’s Supper is central to Christian practice. We come to the table to meet Christ, remembering his sacrificial death on behalf of all creation and looking forward to the great wedding supper to come. If parents are raising their children in the way of Jesus and helping them understand the beauty and mystery of the Lord’s Supper, then we welcome children participating in communion under that parental guidance. We do not feel children must have a particular level of understanding as long as parents are committed to an ongoing dialogue with their children about what it means to celebrate the Eucharist and to be a living Eucharist—following the way of Jesus as we are broken and poured out for the sake of the world.