According to the EEA Newsletter, our Reaching Europe’s Children Facilitation team recently had a great group of leaders from 9 European countries who also came for the «Hand in Hand» Family and Children’s Ministry Conference in Eastbourne, UK www.familyministry.co.uk. Over the last 15 years this conference has been instrumental in inspiring others to organise similar conferences across Europe in their country. One such example is the Dutch children’s and family ministry conference taking place 7-8th February www.rondomhetkind.info/home
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New free Bible App for Children If you haven’t already heard about the Bible App for Kids, it’s a completely free app designed specifically to offer children a delight-filled Bible experience all their own. Launched in November, the Bible App for Kids is available for Apple and Android smartphones, tablets and computers and Amazon’s Kindle Fire. In less than two months, the Bible App for Kids has already been installed on more than two million unique devices! Download it now from https://www.bible.com/kids and be sure to recommend it to others.
Creative Ministry Models
There is no end of creative ways we can learn to grow as disciples of Jesus and serve God together as families and communities. Here are some examples of this in our European context involving all the generations together and where the children are also very much at the heart. We are seeing a growing number of intergenerational community service initiatives where Churches are getting involved in their local communities, helping those in need and being instruments of God’s love and compassion. 2 examples of this are:
The Fusion Youth and Community International movement which began in the UK in 2003. From youth cafes to “Open Crowd Community Festivals”, parenting courses to youthwork training – Fusion YAC seeks to work with groups of thoughtful, committed people who want to together help make a difference in their local area under the motto: “Together with Hope”. www.fusionyac.org
Jippi Choirs of children and youth started in Finland and have spread across the feb 2014 - Harrycountry to other parts of Europe and beyond. Many of the parents are involved in what is a great experience of learning, serving and reaching out together to crowds and communities in public places. Teaching, rehearsing, sharing and prayer are part of the preparations before going out together. The songs, teaching materials and ministry model are being translated into a growing number of languages. This is very much a “hands on” community discipleship program where families are going out together to share and demonstrate the joy and transforming power of the Gospel. Through a dynamic blend of songs and testimonies the choirs share the message while the parents with the same choir tee-shirts mingle with the crowds, distributing invitations, praying and engaging in conversations after the program. www.jippiimissio.fi
KidsGames and Family Games sports and games programs, with various forms of inbuilt Bible and discipleship teaching, also involve all the generations serving and growing together. They are great ways for all the generations to engage with families who have had little or no previous contact with Christians or the church. They are also wonderful opportunities for different churches from the same city or locality to learn to know each other and serve together, demonstrating more of the unity and love that should characterize those who claim to be Jesus’ disciples. www.kidsgames.com
Kings Kids International have exciting ministry models involving communities feb 14 - harry 4and families; parents, youth and children, ministering together. At every level they seek apply Biblical values and principals, leading each generation into a deeper relationship with God and proven knowledge of His character and His ways, learning to know His voice and to obey and confide in Him. Bringing joy to God’s heart is a key motivation and first objective in all their activities with the children. www.kkint.net
Discipleship concerns all the generations as a lifetime walk with Jesus in which we never stop learning, growing and helping each other in our discipleship walk.
Write to me and share some of the effective models you see in your country that we can share more widely with each other across Europe.