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Introduction to Children’s Ministry Manual

Welcome to the Young Resources Children’s Ministry Manual!

Everything in these pages is here as a result of my personal practical experience in children’s ministry. In my earlier years of active involvement in various churches, I gained experience in teaching and leading Sunday school, children’s clubs, family services and holiday Bible clubs.

Then in 1987, when working in church planting with Ichthus Christian Fellowship in south east London, I was asked to lead the children’s programme at Canterbury Christian Family Conference. Having at that time become more familiar with the working of Holy Spirit gifts in my own life and in the life of the church I was part of, I wondered how far such things could be experienced among children. At Canterbury, I experimented to see what might happen, and found that the children were very much at home in such an environment, and that the Holy Spirit was clearly happy to give the children a growing experience of His power and gifting in their lives. This coincided with a prophetic message being shared at that conference by Jean Darnall, that in coming revival in the UK and beyond, children would be having special experiences of Jesus being revealed to them, and would also be used in Holy Spirit ministry.

I was thus “diverted” to concentrate on children’s ministry with the simple thought, “If God is going to be using children, then we should get them ready.” That began the flow of teaching which is contained in this manual.For several years, in “Ichthus East”, an area church with 12 congregations, I led the children’s ministry, and with a team from the 3 area churches I had responsibility for developing the children’s work throughout the fellowship of approximately 2000 people, about 500 of whom were children. The aims in the “Church Experience” section were those we implemented at that time.

My approach to helping children to be ready for what God wants to do through them led to opportunities to share with a variety of churches in England, and teaching at children’s ministry conferences took me on visits to Denmark, Germany, Romania, Finland, South Africa, Australia and different parts of England and Scotland.

Leading the children’s programmes at various holiday conferences provided the setting to experiment further from what had begun at the Canterbury conference.

It is from those three settings – church life, children’s ministry conferences and children’s conference programmes, that the teaching in this manual has developed.

While these pages contain condensed teaching notes, the stories of what has happened when these things have been put into practice are contained in the Young Resources book, “Spying out the Land.”

If you find that there are things in this manual which you feel require further explanation, or you have questions related to the issues covered, I would be glad to hear from you to have the opportunity to encourage you in your ministry with children.

As most people are, I too am susceptible to encouragement, so if you want to let me know how anything you read here has proved helpful, I would be glad to receive a short letter or email.

I hope that you will find things in this manual which encourage, inform and excite you in you adventure with children in Jesus’ Kingdom. It is because that has happened to me that these things are here.

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