Growing Young Disciples returns for 2017! This is our flagship day of training for anyone involved in youth and children's ministry with their church, whether you are a volunteer or fulltimer. This year we are celebrating the privilege of having the Best Job Ever as we focus on the joy of knowing God for ourselves and being involved in His work sharing that joy with the young people we serve.
Martin Salter (Grace Church, Bedford) will encourage us together in our main sessions by reminding us to enjoy the personal relationship we have with the Almighty God, and helping us to be thrilled at the prospect of working with Him as we engage in the task of Growing Young Disciples.
There'll be age-specific Seminars to help you think through the implicatons of teaching young people to enjoy God for themselves, and a host of practical workshops to help you in your task as a leader.
New for this year will be a longer lunchbreak with some optional avenues to explore: we'll be running a Q&A panel to try and tackle any issues that the day raises, and we're also going to make some timeslots available for individuals to sit and chat for a short time with an experieinced practitioner about anything at all. The detailed program can be found below:
Session One: Keynote Address
Martin Salter – Enjoying God
Session Two: Seminars
Enjoying God with 0-4s
Enjoying God with 4-7s
Enjoying God with 8-11s
Enjoying God with 11-14s
Enjoying God with 15-18s
Lunch: Q&A Panel, and opportunity for 1-2-1 consultation with experienced practioners
Session Three: Practical Workshops
‘The Joy of . . .
1) . . . stacking chairs’
Some parts of the job are not the most thrilling or enjoyable – often there are considerable practical requirements that have to be met in order for any event to take place. This workshop will help you to find joy in practical service by focussing on the bigger picture.
2) . . . having a wide age-range’
Many smaller churches do not have the luxury of splitting into age appropriate groups every Sunday morning or during the week, and the task of looking after everyone from 0-18 in one room can be daunting. This workshop will offer practical advice on how to manage such a group, but also demonstrate that there are some unique advantages if you are in this situation to be joyful about.
3) . . . working with special needs’
For many of us, the thought of working alongside young people with particular special needs is a scary one, because we just don’t know what we’re doing. This workshop will give helpful practical advice and also highlight the joys of being equipped to work effectively in this area.
4) . . . serving parents’
The responsibility for child-rearing in the Bible lies with the parents – our youth and children’s programs are there to help them as they do this. This workshop will look at the joy of being involved in the lives of families and how to best supplement the work of the parents, and encourage them in their task.
5) . . . outreach clubs’
It can be relatively easy to attract unchurched young people into your building – but how can you use that opportunity effectively? Often the young people might be disruptive and disrespectful, and it can seem like there is little or no fruit from a lot of hard work – this workshop will help you to find joy in keeping going and persevering when the short-term gains seem minimal.
6) . . . mentoring’
One of the most effective ways to disciple young people, particularly teenagers, is simply to meet regularly in a 1-2-1 situation to share life and study the bible together. It can be a pain to organise, plan, and to think through the child protection implications, but it’s totally worth it for the joy of being so closely involved in the discipleship of young people.
7) . . . preparing a talk'
Working out what we are going to say each week from the Bible can sometimes feel like a chore - but we know instinctively that it should be a highlight of our work. This workshop will look at how we can face the task of talk preparation with joy as we uncover firstly what God has to say to us, and then secondly what we can say to our young people.
Session 4: Final Meeting
1515 – 1600
Martin Salter – Enjoying working with God