Start here: Faith on the run
Q: We live busy lives. We need to be better at doing life and faith on the run with my kids. How do I do this?
In every moment of every day God is present and gifts us with grace. The challenge is recognising and celebrating these moments. Such outbreaks of God’s can be recognised at meal times, drive times, bed times, chat times, in conversations and in our fun & games. Phil’s experience as a children and family worker, parent, teacher and pastor means he has more than a few ideas that may work for you.
Q: What does faith for a child look like? Or for me for that matter?
Explore some ways of understanding faith formation.
What forms faith in someone? What helps others like me? Why isn’t faith education (Sunday School) the whole picture? The journey of life long faith formation is one we can be on WITH children.
Toolkit for growing great kids
Q: How do I grow great kids
Tools exist under this topic for helping parents, teachers, instructors and children’s workers in their vitally important roles of guiding and training children towards self-discipline. What we’d love to see one day are young adults standing in the world having been well apprenticed in making healthy, helpful choices for themselves based on a broad set of understood and applied values flowing out of loving and respectful relationships with themselves, others and God. Bring it on!
How do I help my child make sense of what’s going on in the world, both good & bad?
Discover ways of asking questions in order to relate to others’ world views. Understand and grow Godly, healthy and helpful values. Learn how to recognise and celebrate the good stuff. Practise building resilience; dealing with grief; answering the big questions. Explore prayer. Question our role as individuals, households and faith communities in the world.
The Bible App.
Q: How does the Bible help make sense of our lives? How does it all apply?
Let’s engage with God in the Bible! Especially as we work all this out with our children, let’s look at how ‘Three friends’ do it and journey with them. What we would love to see is faith to grow as we respond the God’s Big Story.
God’s Big Story
Q: What are the different ways of digging deeper into the Bible with children?
We aren’t all the same. We need different ways of climbing into God’s Big Story, finding and telling our own stories along the way
Variety is also important and fun! Besides each of us learning in different ways all help to unlock different aspects of the story’s meaning with children. So let’s use drama, clowning, story, puppets, visual arts, music, words, research, video, photos, building projects. By the way, the purpose of all this is ‘transformation’! Fun is one thing, but unless it is evidenced in transformed lives, we need to learn how to evaluate what is happening and introduce change.
Q: How does the idea of children gathering ‘intergenerationally’ with others as part of a church actually help?
A biblical and Christian view of what the church is and does is vitally important to grapple with because the way we view the idea of ‘church’ makes a difference to how children are either intrinsically involved or ultimately excluded from it and ‘taught’ to leave.
Q: What are some of the ways of being church WITH children that are worth exploring … because we don’t want them to leave.
Herds and tribes
Q: Why do kids need to gather and network in different ways?
Understanding today’s children, their world and the world we all live in is important here. There are different ways of gathering children for different reasons. Why gather? Is it just for fun and to learn something (faith education)? As important as these two elements sometimes are, what are the other essential ingredients?
5 Keys for effective ministry with children and families
Q: Will our children still have faith in 5, 10, 15, 20 years time? What can I do now to make a difference?
Sometimes all we feel like we are doing is entertaining them until they are 12 or 13 when they leave. They’ll always remember the stories we are concentrating on, but is this enough?
Q: What are some of the fundamental keys for helping children keep faith for life?
It’s probably worth exploring how to host or run a 5Keys cafe. It’s a way of gaining the ontribution of ideas and strategies from those who are already amongst you.
Windows on faith and life
Q: If discipling is important, how do I get a handle on it all? What’s the big picture?
Explore the complimentary ideas around faith, mission and ministry and how children can play a part in all that.
It’s probably worth considering how a variety of theological views impacts on our life and relationsips with children. Research into a range of topics, reviews, ideas, opinions all help towards forming our own understandings in this area … 5 circles, 3 circles, 6 windows, 3 Friends & mission. Start digging for yourself or book a consultancy with Midst for a little help.
Milestones & transitions
Q: How do I make the most of the good times and help in the tricky times?
Discover how creating the memories and rituals around the important times in a child’s life will not only help them sense they belong, but will help to cement them into the ‘fabric’ of the faith community. Partnerships in this area between the home and the church are vitally important in order to maximise the strengths, mutual support and effectiveness of each.
Q: What helps a child most?
A parent or children and families ministry leader committed to the long haul!Q: But how do leaders sustain that passion and commitment to the vision we share as a church and with parents?
Discover the assets that encourage and build a leader for the long haul. You have already achieved one of them … thinking about the right questions to ask!
Q: Hmmm, it’s all very well to talk about all this but I keep running into brick walls! How can I work to get the change we need?
Discover some of the essential ingredients in providing the best environment and possibility for change. Working out if any change is actually making a difference and make adjustments is also a part of ongoing change management.