Church Spotlight 8
Glenview Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas
Glenview Baptist Church in Fort Worth, TX ministers to more than 250 children every week. Zach Zettler serves as the Children's Minister there.
My name is Zach Zettler and I have been at Glenview for a little over two years. Prior to that, I have served on church staffs in Tennessee and Texas. I have been involved in Children's Ministry over the past seven years, five in a full-time capacity. God led me to Children's Ministry through experiences in serving as a missionary to Montana and other mission trips, where children were a central focus to the church.
I grew up in a Christian home where I had the privilege to accept Christ at the age of seven. My family modeled for me the importance of having Christ and the new life that He can only give. Through experiences while a youth and college student, God led me to full-time ministry at the age of eighteen. After a life-changing experience in Montana, I pursued a degree at Dallas Baptist University that would allow me to continue [serving] in Children's Ministry. I went to further my education at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. As soon as I graduated from seminary in May 2004, I went to serve on staff at a church in Tennessee. During my time there, I met my wife at Crosspoint Children's Camp in Maryville, Tennessee. She was serving as an interim Children's Minister at Calvary Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and a faculty member at the University of Alabama. We were engaged on December 31, 2006 and married on July 7, 2007. She joins me in serving in the Children's Ministry by leading in our 6th grade girls Sunday school class. Other than my salvation, she has been the greatest thing that has happened to me. I am thankful that I have a wife that loves Children's Ministry as much as I do!
Prior to coming to Glenview, I served on church staffs that used the same curriculum. In looking at what our goals were for our Children's Ministry, I took a deeper look into the curriculum we used at the time. I found the curriculum did not give me a clear understanding of what an age group needed to learn and continued to use the same stories to teach the same lessons to the children. As a Children's Ministry, one of our goals was to equip our children with the knowledge of the Bible, how to use it, how to study it, and learn from it. My desire is that each of the children entering our Sunday school would be able to systematically learn and study God's Word. DiscipleLand proved to be just what we were looking for. I discovered DiscipleLand from one of my teachers as a way to reach our 5th and 6th grade children. We started using DiscipleLand with our 5th and 6th graders and had such a great response, we decided to take it a step further and implement it into all of our Preschool and Children's Ministries, birth-6th grade.
Effects of DiscipleLand
The leadership enjoys DiscipleLand curriculum for a variety of reasons: 1) they get to reuse and reteach the same material they used the year before; 2) they get to see the "Children's Pages" without having to take home a child's book; 3) they enjoy the format and how easy it is to use; 4) they are excited that they are not duplicating the lessons throughout the year; 5) the teachers are excited that there is enough material to have two hours worth of activities and learning opportunities for the children; and 6) they are absolutely enthusiastic that they have the ability to go online and get further resources from Discipleland.com or engage the kids in DiscipleZone.
Our students and leadership absolutely LOVE DiscipleLand. They are walking in eager to learn more about God, how to use His Word, and how to understand what He is saying through Scripture. Specifically, the 5th and 6th graders have been most affected by the new curriculum. Several of our 5th grade girls come in eager to understand and know more about how to discover God's truth from the inductive Bible study. All of our children are engaged into the Teaching Pictures and to the lessons. Our goal in the Children's Ministry is to prepare our children to enter the Youth Ministry ready to go even deeper with their relationship with God. DiscipleLand's curriculum prepares them all the way from babies - 6th grade to grow stronger in their relationship with Him.