17th May 2019
Friday, 22 March, 2019 marked the date of the North England Conference (NEC) Children’s Ministries Training Seminar. Organised in collaboration with the NEC Health Ministries and Disabilities Ministries department, this much anticipated feature of the annual calendar took place at Manchester South Seventh-day Adventist church. Pastor Michael Simpson, NEC Personal Ministries director, began by presenting the devotional, a heart-rending plea for us to take Children’s Ministries seriously as a means of saving our children, harnessing their natural giftedness and mobilising them in ministry. He even advocated that churches create a cycle of evangelism especially for children.
This message set the tone for the day, as Pastor Leslie Ackie, British Union Conference (BUC) Children’s Ministries and Family Ministries director challenged parents to realise the great opportunity that God has given them in impacting the lives of their children for the good. Deuteronomy chapter 6 affirms this, by calling on parents to be intentional in the spiritual formation of their children. Grace Walsh, NEC Health Ministries and Disability director, emphasised the necessity of a healthy diet and exercise for growing children if they are to experience optimum health.
Delegates also engaged with other professionals and were challenged to assess the current practice of Children’s Ministries within their local church. Presenters included Mark Palmer, an educational social worker, Satish Paul a lecturer, with specialism in Autism Spectrum Disorder and severe learning difficulties. Ayola McKenzie a professional working with British Sign Language with people who are audiologically deaf, Pastor Sam Gardner and his wife Roxan Gardner who is a qualified counsellor presented Smart Love training. Janet Taylor a family in crisis practitioner, Jennifer Munroe-Dinham and Sharon Pryce experienced early years practitioners, whilst Joel Pryce is Pathfinder co-ordinator within his local church. These people collectively desire to raise the standards high, by God’s grace initiating transformation in the way that we perceive and engage in Children’s Ministries.