The Children’s Ministry Network organised its first European Congress in Barcelona 2013 under the name « Reaching Europe’s Children » and a second Congress will be held in Hungary 7-12th May 2018. This is for leaders or key persons from Christian children’s ministries, from every nation in Europe. For information and registration go to www.reachingeuropeschildren.com
National « Let’s Talk Family » conversations are being proposed to national EA’s as an initiative in partnership with national children’s ministry networks. Both the UK and Bulgarian Alliances hosted gatherings in 2016 followed by conversations in Czech Republic and Kosovo in 2017. These brought together children’s, youth and family ministry practictioners and denominational representatives with a view to learning together and serving the church and families more effectively together within their nation.
God’s design is that through the intentional ongoing interaction and partnership between the home and the community, lifelong faith will be nurtured and lived out. Family ministry is not just a ministry to families and ministry for families. Family ministry is ministry with families and ministry in families. Faith is formed and strengthened when more opportunities are developed for the family community to experience life in Christ together.
The PRESENT SITUATION:
- Families are the building block of our societies yet so often the strength of families is missed and many families are suffering.
- We live in a broken world filled with broken families and broken hearts. Too many families are struggling to find the ‘life to the full’ that Jesus talked about.
- Families come in all shapes and forms today and, regardless of the definition of the term ‘family’ that may be used, people living in households in this nation are being challenged on many fronts.
- Rebuilding nations and communities begins through the transformation of families and their children – restoring hope and life.
To gather influential Christian leaders to begin a conversation and a shared journey towards a better future for families.
- This is a first CONVERSATION not a CONFERENCE
- Be creative in how to capture people’s thoughts so that every voice can be heard
- No logos, no product promotion, no hidden agenda
- This is a listening process – to each other, to the ‘voices’ of our community, and to God – let us dream together and strive together for a better future of families that moves beyond words and vision to practical outcomes.
- Leaders are invited to speak from their passion, experience and expertise, so as to develop long term, practical possibilities for change.
The POSSIBLE OUTCOMES:
While the conversation will lead towards some expected outcomes, some will be unknown – bringing people together and allowing the Spirit of God to convict, inspire and direct. However, some of these may result…
- a clearer understanding of the urgency and priority of the need to support families and their children
- More awareness of the vital role of families and society
- New connections and networks formed
- Collaborative initiatives (across political, social, economic, spiritual…)
- An audit of resources currently available
- Contribute to the global community for the sharing of stories, ideas and practical strategies
Many churches have some form of provision for children in the life of the church but may have no outreach to the child whose family do not attend church. Children often have a low priority in mission, but a healthy mission strategy in the local church will have children’s work as a high priority. Today we are being told that as many as 4 out of every 5 of our youth are leaving the churches!
Jesus said to preach the Gospel to every person (Mark 16: 15) and to make disciples of all nations (Matt.28: 19-20). Deuteronomy 6 & Psalm 78 tell us to make God known to the next generation so that they will faithfully pass it on to the generation after them. The Church is NEVER more than one generation from extinction!
What is our vision for each new generation of children?
- The vision needs to be big – there are 2 billion children in our world and they are not just ‘souls to be saved’ but children created in God’s image who deserve to become all that He intends them to be.
- The ideas need to be simple – so simple they can be shared and implemented wherever children are. They may be simple but they are not simplistic!
The key questions still remain: How do we effectively disciple children for a faith that will fit them for life now and as they grow older?
Since we cannot apply a ‘one size fits all’ approach, what are the simple discipling ideas worth sharing because they have proved useful in the variety of contexts where children are found? There is no end of creative ways we can learn to grow as disciples of Jesus and serve God together as families and communities. Discipleship concerns all the generations as a lifetime walk with Jesus in which we never stop learning, growing and helping each other in our discipleship walk.
Coordinator: Harry Bryans
Check the link to access and download some excellent videos and free resources for parents and anyone working with children and youth.
Childrens Ministry resources:
- Sally Lloyd-Jones on Christian worldview for kids
- How is technology changing the lives of kids?
- How do you tell if a child is ready to begin a relationship with Jesus?
- Free Easter resources from Friends and Heroes
- 10 Things You Need to Know About the Young Families You’re Trying to Reach
- 7 elements that will take your lesson to the next level
- 6 Cell Phones Apps for Christian Kids
- Big vision simple ideas
- There are no unreached children
- Ethics and cautions in missions with children
- Creative ways for children to grow as disciples
- Child Evangelism
- It’s Time to Take Children and Youth Seriously
- Child, Church and Mission
- The “4/14 Window”
- The 4/14 Window Golden Age of Opportunity Brochure
- A Vexing Problem ww25feb2013
- Childrens ministry resources Cape Town 2010