At the Gen2 Conference some of our Champions bravely faced the 45 second challenge and shared a Top Tip or Key Resource. Here are those tips, plus extras from others who weren’t there or who didn’t fancy being got by the Nerf guns!! Thank you to them all – if you want to know more, get in touch and we’ll link you up. (each tip is a direct quote, with the author referenced below)
Get on Pinterest, so many great ideas on there!Deborah R
I’ve recently run “Experience Easter” with Our Associate Priest and found that worked really well with our two primary schools.Lesley T
My youth top tip would be karaoke! Make use of the church sound system, download some karaoke songs onto your laptop and have a karaoke session You can also use props like wigs, hats, glasses etc. Young people often feel braver to give it a go in small groups but it’s good fun and builds confidence. Also gets young people used to the idea of singing in church and may encourage someone to join a youthband/ worship group.Sarah H
I guess my big thing would be the value of doing family visits where I encourage parents to bring up their children to know Jesus and help equip them on how to do this. There is huge value in meeting up with parents 121 (in my case with the Dads) to read the Bible together and share lives/encourage each other/be honest etc…Nick L
1) Don’t look for or worry about being the leaders that fit the youth worker image, some of the best youth leaders I know have been the older ladies who want to make a cup of tea. They often are the most dedicated in prayer for the young people and overflowing in love.
2) Dont let fear get in the way of a God idea, yes we need to be practical before we start a new project, but remember in our weakness people see God’s strength. If God has given you a vision then he wants and wills it to succeed, your apparent weakness could be the thing that turns a young person to God.
3) if you have at least 1 young person engaged and feeling loved, cared for and valued in your church you are doing great youth work for God and his kingdom.Chris D
For me, children’s ministry is all about welcome. It’s being there for the children and families in your parish, young and old, and helping them to encounter the open arms of Jesus, regardless of their faith. It’s sharing the Good News Jesus has for them in an open and honest way; people are in need of love and acceptance; Jesus’ love will do the rest!Evie M
I am known as the cardboard box lady as I accumulate quality cardboard boxes of all sizes in our attic – they are invaluable! At Messy Church we have built boats, Batmobiles for superheroes, shelters for ‘travellers’, the walls of Jericho, barriers to seeing Jesus, etc etc. Dunelm are very helpful in supplying long cardboard tubes ( insides of material rolls) if you forewarn them and maybe collect on a Monday morning early. Mushroom boxes are handy for Easter gardens, the ‘sower’s’ fields in the parable, for holding supplies for craft sessions etc. Balloons are invaluable for indoor ‘physical’ games where space is limited.Lesley P
My tip would be about ‘getting’ into schools and the easiest way is often to ask if there is anything that a church person could do for them, i.e. reading with children, making cakes for the staff room etc. I do think that once you’ve got a foot in the door, most schools are open to accepting more.Anne Q
– When running a group make sure you are set up before people arrive; have someone on the door who welcomes everyone & always make sure you say goodbye to every single parent and child
– Inter-generational relationships are key to Sunday welcome… Grannies and Grandads are amazing volunteers & essential to the Sunday ‘warm welcome’ families need
– Take your sandwiches and eat them with the school staff at lunchtime or go with cake / biscuits at break time.
– Just because something worked well in one context and a book has been published doesn’t mean it’ll work exactly the same in your context – know your context, do your research, advertise and reviewPaula C
If you have an installed a/v system for worship, consider a photo-roll of children’s activities before the service. Using baptism family photos at a Baptism, is particularly appreciated, and there are opportunities in the powerpoint liturgy to slip in a cute photo or two.
No a/v? No Techy skills? No problem? I hadn’t either! We used portable equipment and learnt as we went along.
It has made a tremendous difference to our family worship.Sheila R
I’d recommend a book called ‘God and Me’ by Penny Boshoff : ‘A child-centred way of learning about God’s love’. It has 365 daily devotions based on familiar childhood situations. It’s great to use at home with children. It has a huge variety of subjects from sharing, feeling sad, caring for pets to parties and sunny days. Each page has a picture, a comment, a prayer and a bible reference. I also find it useful as a basis of ideas for ‘Teddies and Toast’ our pre-school children and carers weekday group.Bren H
Watch them! See what they like, see how they respond to God’s love and just how they are.
Jesus said we should be like them so we should ask ourselves how we can be more childlike rather than wishing they could be like us.
More trusting? More exuberant? More active? Noisier? Just watch them.Sue M
Faith at home is my passion especially as I have a 9 and 12 year old and the majority of our children at church are aged 7 to 14. Parenting for faith seemed a lot more natural and easier when they were under 7 but somewhere over the past 4 years they have changed our parenting has changed our lifestyle has changed. So my top tip is keep praying as prayer takes the confidence off ourselves and onto God and have faith God is watering our tweenagers as we try and work it out.Emma C