Seeking God & avoiding cream pies
Bex Roberts shares her summary of the Children’s Workers Track at the Elim Leaders Summit 2018.
Elim Leaders’ Summit is a highlight of the year for many leaders and ELS18 did not disappoint! I was privileged to be involved in the new track for children’s workers which saw children’s workers from all around Elim join as ONE for the very first time. This momentous opportunity has ignited something fresh in children’s workers from all around Elim.
“This week at ELS, The Lord really spoke and gave me a fresh vision for the children’s ministry here at City Gates... I believe the Lord wants to take the children to the next level.”
The sessions included inspiring teaching about helping children to hear God for themselves and included practical advice about the inclusion of special educational needs (SEN) children, envisioning team, administration tips and safeguarding advice.
You can listen to the sessions online at elimleaders.org.uk/talks.
Here’s an ABC summary of the sessions:
A is for An available generation
I love it when God turns up and speaks a clear message in different forms. We heard Boyd Ratnaraja share at the Summit that: ‘Generations are not determined by age; generations are determined by mindset.’
It is true that our children are growing up in what is arguably one of the most Godless societies the UK has seen - but even if our nation is trying to forget God, God has not forgotten our nation. God’s message was clear and reoccurring for the children’s workers at ELS18; the Holy Spirit wants to pour out on our children…
“Let’s press in and hunger for more and be intentional about allowing our children, to not just learn about God, but to encounter Him in worship and prayer and release them into all that’s happening.”
Spirituality is not something that begins in adulthood but is an innate human quality from birth. Even the youngest child can experience the presence of God; John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit before he was even born (Luke 1:15). God is ready to move, our children are ready to receive… the challenge is, are we ready to let God ‘disrupt’ our kids’ sessions with some Holy Spirit chaos?
B is for Believe for something more
Great things can happen when children pray and seek God, as they speak to God with expectant hearts. God wants us to anticipate something more than just stories and colouring sheets in our children’s ministries.
He also wants us to see beyond the practical efforts of toddler group set up and craft preparation. We should pray and plan with an expectation for Him to move in our kids’ ministry and our community groups too.
“We need to believe that whatever we invest in is going to grow and bear fruit”
In the Greco-Roman world children had a low social status and were virtually powerless, I guess the adults back in these NT times held a similar view to the saying: ‘children should be seen and not heard’.
It is therefore remarkable that Jesus offers them a paradigm for involvement in the Kingdom of God (Matt. 19:14; Mk 10:14) and instructs His followers to not despise the little ones but to bring them close to Jesus (Matt. 18:10).
“God’s heart is for us to remove all worldly and visible barriers that stop these children from having a relationship and interacting with God.”
Restaurants may offer kids-sized portions but God offers full-sized portions; the same Holy Spirit that works in us as adults wants to move in the lives of our children. The only limit to what God can do in and through our children is the limits we put on them, and ourselves.
C is for Cream Pies
Children’s workers know how to have fun. We had timed opportunities for Elim Sound, Lift the Lid, Children Can & Inspire Schools to share what they can offer to support children’s workers. Most managed to avoid the creampie by sticking to time, but one faced the consequence.
“LOVED every minute of it- especially seeing the passion of so many people for God’s children. God has already begun to do more than I imagined and I look forward to what he’s going to do next.”
There was a real excitement as the 86 children’s workers at the Summit piled into Queens Suite 1. Many of who had taken annual leave from work to be there. This opportunity to be together as children’s workers was precious and valuable: friendships where made, prayers were shared and God has ignited a deeper desire for more of Him in our children’s lives.
Thank you so much to Chris Cartwright and the NLT for supporting the children’s workers track at ELS18. We are already really excited for this next year and the children’s workers track at the 2019 Summit. In the meantime, we are expectant about what God is stirring up across Elim and praying for God to move in and through our children.
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