Did you know that 65-85% of those who will become believers do so before the age of 14? Children are open to the gospel in ways that adults are not.
Most of the churches in our conference have a ministry to children and their families, though only a few churches are able to have a staff member dedicated to children and family ministry. To support lay leaders and staff in their work with children and families, denomination and conference leaders have asked Annette Thomas at Fellowship Covenant Church in the Bronx and Pat Croasmun from Covenant Church of Easton, CT, to help churches strengthen their ministry to children and families.
This ministry is an opportunity to serve the individual local churches and encourage them to become a community of people who can be equipped to make and deepen disciples. We believe that the collective contribution of ideas, experience and practical information will create rich benefits. Our coaching ministry consults, encourages, and supports both staff and volunteers in the local churches. We organize gatherings for networking, sharing information and providing retreats. We create a line of communication for bouncing off ideas, addressing concerns and fostering relationships. This communication occurs by phone, email, and personal visits to churches. We carry out our purpose with joy and gratitude to God for allowing us to have a part in helping God’s children and their families to grow as disciples of Christ.
Providing practical help to churches is very important to us. We consider ways that children are given a chance to have presence, voice and engagement in the church and with the church. We can enjoy their efforts as they grow and as they bring their gifts to the church by reading scripture, singing for the congregation, doing liturgical dance, and moving the congregation through drama and presentations that glorify God and edify the church.
We can partner with our children to express the work that Christ does in our lives to move closer to Him and to bring others to that faith. Children must feel they have a valued place and an opportunity to express fresh insights and revelations that big people sometimes forget. We can watch with delight as a little child leads us. The Children & Family Coaches Ministry wants to be an agent in helping churches realize God’s awesome plan to bring discipleship to the world.
Coaches are available to discuss a wide variety of issues and topics, including:
- the importance of ministry to children (biblical and research support for ministry to children),
- supporting parents as the primary spiritual nurturers of their children,
- continuing traditional Sunday School or moving to other children’s ministry formats,
- maintaining discipline in a Sunday school classroom,
- incorporating children into the body of the church,
- caring for special needs children in your church, and
- using a variety of teaching activities in your lesson in order to reach children with different learning styles.