And what should we expect of children?
Children are fellow disciples with us. It may be a bit of a cliché, but children are not the church of tomorrow, but the church of today! They have gifts and ministries to bring now. And we have things to learn from them. One of the ways this is happening in some churches is through all age prayer times, children praying for adults as well as vice-versa. All-age small groups are another example, recognising that children have insights to contribute.
Children also have service to give. Children and young people can share their faith with their friends as peer evangelists; they can serve the poor and support the weak; they can take part in worship and prayer; they can read the Bible; they can try to live their lives for God.
We have encouraged churches to hold ‘Back to School with God’ services. The thinking behind these services is
that children and young people who follow Jesus need to be encouraged and supported in following Jesus in school. The services are meant to say: ‘you are serving the Lord Jesus in your school; we will pray, you will go.’ If it is true that most people make a commitment to follow Jesus Christ before they are 20 then we need to be taking seriously the role of peer evangelists and peer disciplers.
Ultimately, nurturing children in faith is about sharing ourselves, sharing our experience together - not just our knowledge - and allowing children to share their lives and their faith with us.
Andy Bathgate Chief Executive
Andy’s comments were first shared at a Children in the Church Community conference in 2010. Find the complete text online at www.suscotland.org.uk/nurturingchildren
Last year we rebranded our well established leadership training and discipleship programme as COmMISSION. The programme includes Basecamp and LeadUP training events to help young people develop the leadership skills they need to work with children and share their faith with them, and opportunities to put those skills into practice at holiday and mission events.
In June 2010, I attended Basecamp at Kingscross, as part of COmMISSION. The week was spent with fantastic and challenging teaching from the book of Jonah; creation of life-long friendships; brilliant group times with great study and discussion of God's Word and how it applied to our lives and the placements we'd be going on; learning more practical skills such as how to lead worship times, Bible studies, games, meal times.
The week at Basecamp reminded me that God is always with us, and will never abandon us, and so we
have nothing to be afraid of, as it says in Joshua 1:9. This helped me through the weeks as a leader at a Lendrick Muir holiday and East Craigs Holiday club, and gave me much more confidence in telling people about the gospel. At camp (LM4c) I was able to use skills such as leading games and Bible studies in addition to having loads of fun with the campers and other leaders. The following week I helped out at the East Craigs Holiday Club which was also lots of fun but totally different, as instead of 12 and 13 year olds I was working with 6 and 7 year olds. The next stage of the COmMISSION is LeadUP in June, which I am looking forward to as an opportunity to learn even more from God's Word, learn how to become a better leader and have fellowship with other Christians.
More Online www.suscotland.org.uk/commission
@SU Spring 11 | 9
| Page 2
| Page 3
| Page 4
| Page 5
| Page 6
| Page 7
| Page 8
| Page 9
| Page 10
| Page 11
| Page 12
| Page 13
| Page 14
| Page 15
| Page 16