Hands On Leadership Experience

Running a mothers and daughters camp; starting a weekly radio show run by children; helping Christian children living in a slum in Rio share the gospel with their friends; training children and teens to run a sports outreach event and creating a Ministry Internship course are just some of the amazing ministry projects being done around the world by the participants of this year’s Leadership Experience (LE) course.

The participants are part of a yearlong course collaboratively run by a team who are part of the Global Children’s Forum. The aim of the course is to provide quality leadership development for experienced children’s ministry practitioners from local churches to global organisations. After the five week residential course in South Africa from February to March this year, the participants went home to commence their ministry projects, engage in online forums while being mentored by a local leader. Exciting news of what the LE participants are up to in their local ministry contexts is being shared regularly via the lively Whatsapp group formed. Below is a just a sample of some of the hands-on ministry projects underway.

Pablo, Brazil
While at LE Pablo learnt about the free ‘Best Secret Ever’ cards (available on www.max7.org) that help children understand and then share the good news of Jesus with simple questions, stories and puzzles on 14 illustrated cards. On his return to Brazil in spite of initial difficulties, as he moved regions and started in a new ministry position, he translated the cards from English to Portuguese and found a partner to print 70 sets (980 cards) of the very first Portuguese Best Secret Ever cards. Pablo trained the leaders of a partner church before he moved to his new city. They plan to present the cards and their message to 50 non-Christian children living in one of the most dangerous slums in Rio – Cidade De Deus (The City of God). Pablo’s mentor said he “plans to follow up the leaders’ work with the children from a distance and also hopes to visit some time during the development of the activities.” He then trained a new group of leaders in his new ministry setting. It was encouraging to Pablo “that ten leaders of the church decided to take the training as they think the project will respond to their needs. They also have children who are very interested and eager to join the project,” wrote Pablo’s mentor.

Hanna – Estonia
Hanna in Estonia went home with her heart set on creating a camp especially for Mothers and their daughters. Messaging the LE Whatsapp group after the camp she wrote: “Dear friends. I wanted to thank you so so much for the prayers! God truly came through and last evening at the camp was so amazing! I just have no words! It brought tears into my eyes to see and experience what God was doing in the lives and hearts of moms and daughters. So many stories to remember. One mom came to me yesterday and started to cry, saying her daughter loved the camp so much. And the mom was just happy seeing her daughter happy. We had 15 moms with so different stories from all across Estonia, 20 girls and one baby-boy. Many moms were very broken. But God’s spirit was present, healing and restoring all of us. My heart is full of joy and I’m so grateful you prayed and stood beside us in the spirit.”

Samson, Ghana
Inspired by a weekly KidsHub radio talkshow run by children and their leader at TopRadio in Morogoro, Tanzania; Samson went home to Ghana to involve children in a similar weekly children’s program at Bishara radio. Samson continues to reach out to local children through camps in different regions, with many giving their lives to Jesus for the first time. He asks that we would pray for them as they endeavour to follow up these children and connect them with other believers

Faustin, Togo
Faustin has been training a team of children and young teens to help him run a KidsGames event in September this year. Meeting with them regularly the youths are being discipled to be leaders themselves.

Brendan, Australia
Inspired by the LE course itself, Brendan is designing a children and families ministry church-based internship for Scripture Union to run next year in his home state of Victoria. Interns will do ministry in their own churches but will then come together for regular learning and peer support. It will have lots of similar content and structure to the LE course.

The above stories describe only five of the seventeen diverse ministry projects initiated by the gifted and inspiring LE participants of 2018. And their influence continues with three current participants and five alumni from the 2016 course attending the Global Children’s Forum gathering in Budapest in May this year. Several of the 2016 alumni also returned to South Africa this year to help as course facilitators and continue as part of the team preparing for the next LE in 2020. Stay tuned! These LE participants are hands-on leading children everywhere to walk with Jesus.