Tag Archives: families

The Church Sticking Together – The Vital Role of Intergenerational Relationships in Fostering Sticky Faith


Another article seen in the Aim Lower Journal:

It turns out that intergenerational relationships are one key to building lasting faith in students. Silver bullet? No. Helpful if we want students to live their faith beyond high school? Absolutely. Sadly, many high school students lack these significant relationships. In our effort to offer relevant and developmentally appropriate teaching and fellowship for teenagers, we have segregated (and we use that verb intentionally but not lightly) students from the rest of the church. In interviews and open-ended survey questions, participants shared reflections like this one: “The students seemed to be very separated from the rest of the congregation. Maybe fixing that gap would help unite the church.”

This article was adapted from Sticky Faith, Youth Worker Edition, by Kara Powell, Brad Griffin and Cheryl Crawford (Zondervan 2011) and originally appeared in the Sep/Oct edition of Immerse Journal. Reprinted with permission.

Read more here.

11 stats highlighting the importance of children’s, youth and family ministry

TheResource_Logo_Col_Transparent-e1412953305620Ali Campbell of The Resource says this: I have often been asked about stats related to children’s, youth and family ministry – sometimes they are hard to find or ambiguous, or just er, made up!  So, I have pulled together what I consider to be the most reliable stuff (and these are all based on UK research).

Some of these are self explanatory, some would naturally go with others – use them, mention them, shout them from the rooftops etc.

Click here to access the information.

Messy Church Conference 2016

messy church conference 2016

Celebrating and learning with the worldwide family of Messy Church

When: Monday, 16 May 2016 – 12:00pm to Wednesday, 18 May 2016 – 2:30pm

Where: High Leigh Conference Centre, Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, EN11 8SG. UK

An unmissable opportunity for all those involved in or interested in developing Messy Church to come together to share good practice and discover the latest developments in the fields of Messy mission and discipleship. Most importantly it is a chance to meet the Messy Church team and other practitioners from across the world. For all of us it will be a joy to seek God’s help with the way forward in our different nations and to make sure that, as it grows, it remains a global interdependent network based on godly friendship and mutual respect.

Messy Church is the most commonly used example of a fresh expression of church, with around 3000 registered examples across about 20 countries. What is being learnt in and through Messy Church is of benefit to anyone involved in other forms of fresh expression or more traditional church ministry.

Who is it for?

Particularly those with a strategic missional role locally, regionally or nationally such as:
•National and Regional Coordinators of Messy Church
•Mission Enablers and other church leaders who want to explore the possibilities of Messy Church in their country or region
•National or local Fresh Expressions Coordinators
•Leaders and teams of local Messy Churches from countries outside the UK
•Leaders and teams of Messy Churches in the UK

Click here for full details of what’s on, price and how to book

Connected – children’s group materials

Elaine Webster

Elaine Webster has experience as a youth and children’s worker of many years standing, and she’s written a curriculum for churches to use on Sunday or mid-week for discipleship with children and teens.

Connected will help children and young people develop hearts that are connected to God, each other and the community around them. They will explore who God is, their identity in Him and develop a relationship with a living God who loves and treasures them. Connected covers what it means to be powerful and free, how to develop two way conversation with God, healing, compassion, generosity, risk and much more.

What’s included?

There are 14 flexible sessions in every term, designed to be delivered straight off the page. There are teaching notes to help you and your teams develop new skills and letters for parents so they can continue faith development at home. It includes an all age worship sessions for every term and social ideas so that your young people have the opportunity to grow in community and build relationships.

Once you sign up for a term or a year, you’ll also have access to an online feedback centre so you can let Elaine and others know how you get on with a particular session. They also want to know what God did in your session, what you learned or adapted so that they can share that blessing with future users.

Click here to access sample packs.

Stretching Your Thinking About Ministry With Families – 7 Must Read Articles

family with house

Dave Roberts of the Aim Lower Journal gathers 7 key articles into this guide to recent thinking on ministry with families:

  • Three Models for Intergenerational Faith Formation
  • The Family Matters Series
  • What is the Context of Biblical Discipleship?
  • Grandparents and Faith Formation
  • Intergenerational – It needs to be more than a program, it needs to be a culture
  • Adoption Doesn’t Fix Kids
  • Snowballing Culture – Creating a church with an intergenerational culture

You can access the articles here.

Messy liturgy – now there’s a thought!


Posted by Martyn Payne on the Messy Church website recently:

I was interviewed this afternoon by Radio 4. The topic: what’s the point of The Prayer Book? The question: does Messy Church use The Prayer Book and does it have a liturgy? It’s hard to judge how well the interview went – it all was over in 10 minutes! – and anyway they may not even use my contribution, but it did get me thinking.

Now among the many Messy Churches I have visited, I have not yet come across one that uses The Prayer Book!! No surprise there! However I do wonder, particularly among those churches with a liturgical tradition, how much some leaders may have been unconsciously influenced by Cramner’s phrases and patterns in how they help their Messy Church congregations come close to God. And there’s nothing wrong with that!

However, when it comes to liturgy, that’s a broader question and of course it depends what you mean by liturgy. There is certainly structure and order to most Messy Church services or sessions as they move, noisily but purposefully, from welcome to creativity, from gathered story, prayer and songs, to shared meal and on to a farewell. You could perhaps argue that Messy Church is worship at its most interactive, conversational, intergenerational and hospitable best; but is this liturgy?

Where, you may ask, are the usual milestones that are found in The Prayer Book – namely bidding, confession, absolution, collect, scripture reading, sermon, intercessions and blessing? Are we missing something; or doesn’t it matter?

You can read the whole article here.

Lego (or Duplo) Prayers

lego prayers

This prayer activity is suitable for groups of children or even a whole congregation as long as you have enough bricks!  Have an adult or child to lead the prayers for each group, however big…

You will need: One Lego or Duplo brick per person

Hold your brick.
Pray for yourself.  Thank God for the things he has given you.  Ask Him to bless you and to help you to bless others.

Count the bumps on your brick.
For each bump on your brick, pray for a different person- friends or family members.  Ask God to bless them this week.

Find someone who has a different colour brick to you.
Thank God for making each person special.  Thank him for the things that are different but special about other people.  Pray that we will learn how to celebrate and understand people who are different to us.

Find someone with the same number of bumps on their brick as you.
Thank God for families and friends and all who care for us.  Pray that He will help us to be friends to those who are lonely.

Swap your brick with someone.
Thank God for the person you swapped with and ask God to bless them this week.

Put all of the bricks together and build a structure or tower with them.
Thank God for the church and the communities we live in. Pray that He will help us to include others and to help people know that they are loved and valued.

Have a look at the Flame Creative Children’s Ministry website for this and other brilliant ideas

Scripture Union: Talking with children about war and terrorism

Scripture union logo

In the event of war and acts of terrorism, the media depicts graphic scenes of devastation and destruction, with images of dead bodies, weeping survivors and heavily camouflaged military personnel. Parents often wonder if, when, and how to explain to their children. Their questions are likely to be tough to answer but, as with all important discussions, being honest and keeping communication lines open and is essential. Some concerns won’t get settled quickly so be ready to revisit previous discussions as events unfold.

You know your child, their individual personality and temperament. Some children are naturally more prone to be fearful. Such fear may manifest itself in stomach-aches, bad dreams, poor sleep patterns, unusual clinging, irritability and so on.  Graphic news reports may heighten feelings of anxiety. Some children will simply not pay much attention. At the other extreme, some children can get overloaded and become numb due to the repetitive nature of the reports.

Visit the Scripture Union website to read more.