Children & Youth Ministry Report

Children & Youth Ministry Report
4/14 Window Movement Leadership Retreat and Asia Pacific Youth Congress in Bali, Indonesia Several Europeans participated in the leadership retreat and then joined with over 600 passionate youth leaders from 43 nations for the «Nurturer » Youth Congress. Together we faced the challenge and the call to be disciple-makers of younger children in our nations. We were reminded that to grow and keep growing you have to help others grow ! The strategic role of the youth and teens in helping younger children to grow as disciples is one of the forgotten keys to effective longterm / lifetime discipleship. “The only way to save this generation is to engage them in the disciple-making process, and partner with them in ministering within their communities.” Bambang Budijanto, 4/14 Window Movement Chairman Browse the 4/14 Window YOUTUBE PLAYLISTS to find video resources in your language. You can download the latest resources and read more about the Bali Congress, including the call for adolescent disciple-makers at:  No Plan B (Disciple-Making 3.0) bibleWatch a 2.5 minute animated video “No Plan B” that calls us all to be disciple-makers by CLICKING HERE Download your own copy of the booklet, “No Plan B” by going to: Watch a 2 minute animated video “We Grow By Helping Others Grow” by CLICKING HERE Masters course at Redcliffe  In May I began the first 2 modules of the European Contemporary Missiology Masters course at Redcliffe College, which is stimulating and challenging. Of the 5 people following the course, Evi Rodemann, Neal Goodwin and I are planning our final dissertations on issues related to youth or children in Europe. Keep an eye out for these as they become available. Jim Memory is the course leader who also edits “Vista”, Redcliffe’s quarterly bulletin on key issues providing research-based information on mission in Europe. This is a fascinating source of information and excellent reflection and can be freely downloaded from I recommend you sign up for the free pdf. What’s more, you can access all the back issues too. Reaching Europe’s Children recThe Reaching Europe’s Children Team had an excellent retreat and planning time in May as new members joined and quickly bonded with the others. Preparations are under way for another European Congress this time to be held in Kiev, Ukraine in 2017. “Let’s Talk Family” The national “Let’s Talk Family” Conversation in Bulgaria is being rescheduled to allow more time to prepare this with key church and ministry leaders and national champions for children, youth and family. The UK event has also been rescheduled for Spring of 2016. Some deep thinking and soul-searching has already been done in Australia following their pioneer event last year. You can get a head start in your thinking with key measures they propose to stop the “hemorrhaging” of the youth from our churches in Europe or wherever. The Here2Stay initiative is the result of a collaborative approach by some of the major denominations and organisations serving families and children in Australia. Our journey towards a solution begins with an acknowledgement that a large part of our discipling strategy has revolved around the imparting of INFORMATION. While the content of our curricula and programs is important, this strategy alone is not producing mature disciples. To this equation we need to intentionally add experiences that focus on FORMATION so that faith goes deeper. The result will be TRANSFORMATION. The result will be followers of Jesus who are Here2Stay. Discover the following 10 formational pillars in more detail on the website.
  1. Family/household nurture
  2. Serve in mission
  3. Big story of the Bible
  4. Encounters with Jesus
  5. Respond with compassion
  6. Positive peer community
  7. Generational connections
  8. Peak experiences
  9. Mentors and life coaches
  10. Anchors/Rites of passage
Some practical ideas shared for family faith reinforcement for you to try out over the summertime:
  • Run a “Parenting Course” at the same time as Kids Club/ Youth Group. Have child-minding for younger children.
  • “Carpark Ministry”: As kids come for Kids Club, provide coffee and conversation for parents when they come to do the ‘pick up’.
  • Provide interest groups for parents and their kids. Eg. “Dads and Lads Fishing Weekend”
  • Organise  “Parents Dinner” Nights, with child-minding; valet parking etc. Have guest speakers and topics for conversations about parenting. (Include nights for Single parents and Grandparents who have the care of children).
  • “Boxes for Baptismal Families”- when families bring children for Baptism have a special box prepared including a Bible; certificate and other items signifying the importance of Baptism.)
  • “Baptism Book” – during the Baptismal Service for a child, pass a special book around so that Parishioners can write a brief message of encouragement for the child and family;  a significant Bible verse; or a brief statement about what it means to ‘walk with Jesus’.
  • Whole age approach to learning with resources for each age-group included in the Church Bulletin.
  • Tools for “God Conversations” with children.
  • Reclaiming the family table. Give very simple and practical tips for how to build family times around a meal table.
  • Parents baptising their own children.
  • Help families develop a spiritual plan. Using the 10 pillars resources assess where the gaps are and how they can be more intentional in certain areas.
  • Formation can occur during the week and be celebrated together with God’s family on Sundays. e.g.Faith formation learning exchange. See Link)
  • Changing a culture of isolating ourselves and our families, encourage open homes.
  • family events – creating space where the family can play together.
  • Ministry to fathers so that the rest if the household will follow.
  • How to help men to be heads of their households
  • Bath time, car time, meal time – life app each month. A question each week that kids ask their parents
  • Marriage courses, Parenting courses e.g. Focus on the Family. See link
  • Emphasise talking – communication. Emphasis not just on spiritual conversations.
  • Families mentoring other families to implement some of these strategies. Cluster families together to do family to family support.
  • A bag of prayer points on the family table – very young children can pick out the prayers
  • Families listening to online radio stations with good Christian content.
  • Educate parents on technology/media issues
  • Stop asking adults to be so busy in the Church so they are free to be together as a family.
  • Messy Church creates a space where families can worship, play, learn and eat together.
  • Encourage families to serve together.
  • Each household in your church family is given an A3 sized piece of card. Household members create a montage/collage made up of photos, pictures and small physical pieces of objects that reflect the interests and story of this ‘family’. Don’t forget to add the name of your family. Ideally, these could be framed with simple frames and hung on a space on your church walls. Your church meeting space then takes on a ‘living room’ feeling for your wider family.

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