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Gadsden church’s weekly KidStuf production teaches values to families through music, dramacomment (0)

October 25, 2007

By Brian Blackwell

Seven-year-old Seth Tunstall used to be a bashful child.

But ever since he began attending KidStuf at MeadowBrook Baptist Church, Gadsden, the youngster has never been the same.

"Now he wants more of KidStuf and asks me constantly how many days until he can again go to KidStuf," Jenny Tunstall said of her son, who even wears his KidStuf shirt to school occasionally. "And I’m sure I’m not the only one to have a child who has been greatly affected by this ministry. It’s so incredible, because KidStuf gets the kids involved and at the same time, reaches the community in a nonconfrontational manner."

Tunstall is one of more than 100 parents who, along with their children, attend KidStuf each Wednesday evening.

The 45-minute production encourages children and their parents to learn values through the use of storytelling, drama and music. KidStuf leaders hope the values learned will bring families closer together.

"Since we have kids and their parents together in the same room each Wednesday night, we are able to make sure both are learning the same information," said Katina Louderback, family production minister at MeadowBrook Baptist. "In turn, this hopefully will allow them to form more meaningful relationships.

"The most important thing we want to convey is for the family to be at church together," Louderback continued. "We want parents to be what they should be — an integral part of their child’s relationship with Jesus."

Pastor Randy Gunter echoed the thought.

"KidStuf is not for kids — it is for families," he said, noting one of its slogans, KidStuf: where kids bring their parents to worship.

"We would love to get families who do not know Jesus connected on Sunday mornings as well," Louderback said. "We want to get them to MeadowBrook through KidStuf and then keep them engaged though small group Bible study and worship on Sunday mornings."

While Gunter said the repetition of values through the elements of the KidStuf production is a great learning tool for children, children and parents benefit from the church’s Sunday morning Bible study, too.

"So learning on Sunday morning, learning at home through resources that we provide, learning through encouraged activities and learning by watching the weekly production are great ways to help kids grow in God’s Word and apply biblical values," Gunter noted.

Since KidStuf began in September, the Etowah Baptist Association church has reached 10 families who had never attended before.

To publicize KidStuf, Louderback said informational brochures were mailed to 20,000 homes in the Gadsden area and five billboards were strategically placed throughout the community.

"From what we can tell, no one around here has seen anything like KidStuf," she said. "Those who attend, especially the unchurched, are so upbeat about it because they can come to this without any pressure."

For more information, visit www.meadowbrookbaptist.com.

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