3-5 Feb 2012
Training Notes- Hand In Hand: Children’s and Families Ministry conference
Nurturing Faith in Children
Dont gossip about church infront of children.
Foundation- unordered- (pre-school)-> ordered (primary)- group faith- peers ->
choosing (secondary) – question, search, test, choose Rough guideline, can be
Pray for God to help families make the right decisions (Eg sport Sunday morning
but mid-week kids homegroup)- encourage, alleviate guilt
Give children opportunities to:
- Respond/ make personal commitments (in context of journey of faith)
- lead worship
- pray for the sick
- serve (refreshments/ sound desk/ projector/ fund raise/ band)- shadow
- listen to God (what would God say to you?)- feedback to church
part of body of Christ
Belong-> believe-> behave? Or believe -> belong-> behave?
Big bible challenge, buy Bible reading notes
Dealing With Disruptive Behaviour and Keeping Control
PMT- Pre Ministry Tension!
- Participation- Helpers/ puppets to watch behaviour and join in activities,
discuss triggers after, get children to tell you if other children deserve a
sticker etc, quiz/ challenge. Seating plan- Bad behaviour- give one: one
mentor, sit child next to you in circle (gentle touch). Quiet child- sit
opposite you in circle (Eye contact).
- Preparation- Relax, pray and read Bible first. Lengthen out well-prepared
activities, shorten ill-prepared ones. Concentration levels- 12 min max
(1min for each yr of age) TV images change every few secs. Brain breaks
eg pat tummy rub head/ simon says. Children- where are they at? Eg if
hyper, do active game first. Activity- interactive and visual eg put an
object in the circle, get children to be creative (what could it be?), look for
something in the story (Eg make a noise at a certain word/ who gets
angry?), vocal variation, quiet corner
- Positive- attitude (you, them, program) Ignore bad behaviour, reward
good (praise, teams and points, stickers, upfront roles) Be authoritative,
clear and firm but not cross eg ‘we don’t do that here’
- Prevention- reason for bad behaviour? Talk to parents (ask other parents
to), use a buzzer/ horn/ whistle/ clap/ hand in air/ finger on lip/ signal
and freeze to get attention/quiet, have object to hold when talking, have
‘share chair’ beanbag where children can offload
Rules, - simple eg (respect yourself, respect others, respect God), reasons, red
and yellow cards (older children)
Routines,- eg special needs, visual timetable, explain, turtle time- curl up and
listen to hymn/ talk to God- what do you think He wants to say to you? Listen
Relationship- know kids, use their names, home visits- include parents
Let children fiddle/ multi task
Reaching Out to The Community
Dream big. Hand in hand with God. We are God’s best resource, united together.
Pass baton to young volunteers- our ceiling of success is their platform of
Community- Research its needs. What is our community?
PICK- Matt 4 (invest in few, encourage)
REMEMBER- Purpose, how we felt as children
ACT- Purpose, focus and invest Matthew 28: 11
In Training for the Long Haul
Hebrews 12: 1-3- don’t stop until God calls you out
Persecution- world not worthy of them.
Children are church of the future and of right now! Equip them for the long haul.
Reflect- look back and forward not just immediate demands. Greater vision.
What hinders you? Throw off.
From Global to Local
‘Today’- Youtube- 50 percent of population (2.2 billion) is young. 1 third of
children in the world have never heard about Jesus. Less than 3 percent in
Sunday school. Vision is beyond our lifetime- they will do greater things than us.
Aim Lower- Youtube- Nothing is more important in the church today than
Empower children to reach out to others. In many countries- revival. Eg Africa
20000 church plants of children.
Rate of children increasing – unique period in history.
Focus- Jesus. God provides resources- He loves children more than we do! Eg
feeding 5000, boy is nameless- about Jesus!
Mothers Day government trial of parenting course- launch parenting courses.
John 27: 21- united church. Last 10 yrs- worst natural disasters of all time.
Releasing Children to Minister in All Age Worship
Individual gifts/ passions- Identify, ask God, parents and children
Teaching/ academy/ power pack groups- eg preach/ lead/ dance/ drama/
band/ heal/ plan service- gifted teachers for children, practise in children’s
groups before doing it in family service. Build character and confidence.
Double act- child and adult lead together.
Children’s prayer team- children come in and pray for adults.
Recruiting and Training Volunteers
Together Everyone Achieves More
Team building, empowering, encouraging, clear communication
Recruitment- exciting, invite, opportunity to invest in precious children-
privilege and joy, important and valuable ministry (commission volunteers),
personal invitation, see try decide
Challenge- recruit men (include technology/ sport), all ages, people not already
involved, people have low confidence and don’t want to commit, people have
lower view of childrens ministry
PRAY FOR MINISTRY
Train and support- prevent burn out- make sure fed as well as give, be clear
about time commitment and give opportunities to step down each year- pray
about if its right to continue, learn on the job. Vision. In house- equip through
skilled people (teachers etc)/ external- eg child protection/ first aid, list of extra
ideas/ filler activities
Appreciate leaders- all staff thank and encourage volunteers, vicar visits
groups, small gifts, annual meal, cards, personal interest
Information trap- connect with God not just know about Him- experience
God is interested in children! WHY not HOW- Bible
Teach children to pray- it isn’t bothering God. Don’t rush or prompt. Model
chatty style. God loves every word and is close. Ask- when did you feel God close
to you this week?
Images of God- Distant/ overly happy/ angry/ mysterious/ headmaster God/
buddy Jesus. Try to present all sides of God to children (eg justice, jealousy, love
Teach about cycle of sin- God doesn’t reject you, not like friend but parent
(unconditional love) Sin is like child in dirty sandbox, child happy but making
her sick in the sand, father wants her to come out but she wont. Father is sad and
hates the sand. God hates sin because it makes us sick. We should run to God
when we sin and say sorry. Father happy and takes child away from danger.
Preparing Yourself to Teach
We are God’s best resource/ Living epistles- kids remember us not lessons.
Personal relationship with God through Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Rely on God not yourself. Write and memorise your testimony in a language
children understand. God has called you- accountable to Him. Why are you
teaching? Motivation. James 3: 1 Responsibility. Shapes future and present of
church. Conversion, Consecration (Christ as first in life). 1 Peter 1: 14-16.
Spiritual check up.
1- Do I speak the truth? Am I strictly honest?
2- Am I pure in thought/ word/ deed in my relations with the opposite sex?
3- Am I known as a Christian where I work? What kind?
4- If I have concealed my discipleship is it because Im ashamed of Christ?
Does my life match my profession?
5- What am I like at home?
6- Do those who know me best respect me most?
7- Do I criticise the church/ Christians in front of others?
8- Do I acknowledge God with grace before meals wherever I am?
9- Do I live day by day in conscious dependence upon God, alert to what
10- Do I make time each day for personal Bible reading, prayer and listening
11- Do I prepare my heart and mind before going to church?
12- Can I work easily with others? Can they work with me?
13- Do I dominate/ want God to advance or me to advance God’s cause?
14- Can I hear other Christians being praised and sincerely enjoy it? Do I
15- How much of my income do I give to God?
16- In what ways can I see myself growing as a Christian?
Commitment (drop other commitments so you can prepare). Conviction (rely
on Holy Spirit) 2 Timothy 3: 16, Hebrews 4: 12- Choose a verse to motivate
you. Love children- visit, cards, pray, relationship, include in church
services/ leadership. Cooperation- prayer partners (leaders pray for
children and have someone pray for them), share childrens work with
Faith Begins At Home
OT- Family was in clans which were in tribes- community, today is smaller.
OT- Home life- Bible stories and God were in culture, geography, heroes and
everyday life- natural. Today our culture is global media, TV and Internet. How
can we learn from Santa Claus myth (invaded media and culture)?
Leviticus 1-7- sacrifice a sheep/ child, Jesus is our sacrifice (visual, ketchup!)
OT- children part of worship, Sabbath (fun not just what not to do), New Year
and festivals (Eg Succoth camp outside in huts with families), today- how can we
Qs: What is most meaningful in my life? What significant things happened last
OT evangelism centripetal (people drawn in through witness), today it is
centrifugal (outreach), Neither work we need to go back to OT family model and
find a new way.
GOOD CHILDHOOD Report 2012 childrens society- UK 4/5 people think family
more important than friends, but consumer pressure. 43hr average working
week, 23.5 percent of earnings spent on childcare, 1 in 5 struggle to make ends
meet. 64 percent of parents think they need to take more responsibility. Highest
percent of teen mums. Under 20 percent of most disadvantaged families have a
married couple heading them. Most children with behaviour problems come
from disadvantaged backgrounds. 85 percent of parents believe parents
responsibility to bring up children but only 10 percent do- too busy.
Sweden/Spain easier to set boundaries for children- 4 x less on childcare, no
GEORGE BARNA- ‘when a woman comes to faith only 7 percent of families follow
her lead whilest for men it is 93 percent’! 2009 Grove booklets.
We lose 1000 children a week from church.
Practical Ideas for Families at Home
Nurture family life:
- share meals (made by God)
- playground (act out Bible adventures eg Jericho)
- vegetable patch (experience creation)
- family collage
GOOD THINGS LEAD TO GOD THINGS- Belonging. Closeness
- ask God about decisions
- Bible reading notes
- Bedtime prayers
- Games (eg hunt the sheep not the thimble)
- Personalize Bible story, put yourself and your family in (eg in car
- What happens next in Bible story? Eg what was Adam and Eve’s first
- make new creations from playdoh and name them
- Bubble prayers float up to God
- Symbols/ actions for prayers
- Walk in park- collect treasures for nature table
- Visit zoo/ farm
- Invent new worlds and name them
- Draw what the world would look like if God hadn’t made some things/
what couldn’t you live without?
- Throw ball and thank God for things/ pray
- Draw where you like to go alone
- Build a shelter for a sheep from lego
- Pray: God made…. And it was very good. Thank you God. Each
- Discuss fav Bible versions
- Discuss how Bible stories make you feel
- Play charades/ Pictionary with Bible characters
- Watch Bible DVDs and discuss how different from Bible and why
- Pray after reading the Bible
- Change words of nursery rhymes- eg Ring a Ring a Roses Round the
Walls of Jericho
- Draw things to say sorry for on balloons, pray and pop
- I Spy thanking God for things
- Colour prayers- draw your thanks
- Ask God what He wants to say to your family, draw or write
- Special place to focus on God together
- Mix up senses eg how does God’s love sound?
- Pray eg thank you, today was good because… today was hard because..
- Prayer whiteboard- praise word for the day/ family prayer for the week
Releasing Children with the Gospel
Matt 28- Possibilities are endless! Fill and funnel children. What difference does
knowing Jesus make at school? Simon Says- followers of the way, apply to
yourself then children.
Psalm 30- tell others about God, know God. Daily Bible and prayer.
Children- consider priorities, learn to talk to Jesus, practise evangelising to
friends, scenarios, learn to monitor language and behaviour and thoughts, learn
to pray and minister. What news have you heard? What have you
communicated? How many times have you told someone about Jesus this week?
We live in a broken world- not everyone knows Jesus, dangerous church
Reaching Unchurched Children
Motivation- identity, purpose, love, hope of eternal life
Spiritual hunger/ openness this Christmas more people at churches
No Bible knowledge explain jargon
See need, respond, pray, vision, team work, equip team, God equips you
Obstacles: Time, business, concerns over safety/ hidden agendas, age range
Trial and error, stop/ change if not working and relaunch something else!
Delights: Children open, inquisitive, fresh, Gods footprints- share with
congregation and thank Him for what He is doing, plan, pray, ask God, inspire,
Often don’t see effects of seed planted.
Mid week can be church!
Work with other churches
Serving God and Following Jesus
Psalm 97. Ministry defined by faith not other way round! Put God 1st.
Who am I? Most important- child of God.
Reflect- where am I at? EG fiery furnace Bible story with 7-11s, idolatory.
Ask God how He can be no 1 and model to children.
Spirituality and Under Fives
OFSTED- must have spiritual element. Awe and wonder.
Under 5s experience it more than us- 1st experiences
Spiritual paths- provide for each
1. Intellectual (stories)
4. Corporate worship
6. Contemplative (silence, fasting)
7. Creation (God made it, show it!)
Childrens dreams are vivid but they don’t know how to talk about them/ think
they are important. Rebecca Nye- childrens spirituality connects to God.
Einstein- learning is experience everything else is just info!
Testimonies- explain eg if scared of dream, God can help us
Ask parents what their children have been doing and include in group
Throw childrens questions back at them to encourage critical thinking
Thank you arch- children go under and say thank you for something before
Relate childrens books to God eg Marvin wanted More Prodigal Son,
Talk to children- engage at their level
The Power of Sports as a Language for Children
Sport is global language. Partnership with other churches. Continue all year.
Pull against eachother exercise, count fingers game.
Paul- ‘cloud of witnesses’, focus on Jesus, run race before us
Clip- 1992 Olympics father helps son
Involve men and boys in sports, church set up feminine (listen and talk not do)
Cairo 10 wks kids Olympics 40 percent continued in church
Liberia- churches disarmed child soldiers with a football!
Youtube- global sport video
Keep running the race, ends when Jesus returns, starts with Gospel and Peter.
Cloud of witnesses, need new generation of runners.