Friday, August 13, 2010

Training Meetings Recap

We've had multiple training sessions over the past few weeks, where hundreds of volunteers heard our vision, learned what our expectations are, and connected with others.  Thanks to all the volunteers who participated, and especially our volunteer Coaches, who took the lead in our breakout sessions.

We also know that some people were not able to attend any of the sessions (such as those who just this week joined the Children's Ministry team).  For their sakes, and for the sake of review, here is an outline of what presented:
  1. Welcome & Introduction.  And at each meeting, we gave away some recommended books, including What Did You Expect?; Different Children, Different Needs; A Gospel Primer for Christians; and StrengthsFinder 2.0.
  2. Key Passages from I Corinthians
    1. Chapter 3, verses 7-10 --> Paul was disheartened to hear that there was division in the church.  He reminded them that God is the source of life, and it is a blessing to be used by Him.  Only the Spirit can make us grow in holiness, though the responsibility to make an effort is on us.
    2. 4:16 & 11:1 --> Paul called the church to imitate him, not that he was perfect, but that he was moving towards Christ.  Likewise, children will imitate us, so we need to grow in Christ.
    3. 15:1-4 --> After rebuking the church for a number of issues (the core issue being that they were concerned for themselves instead of others), Paul reminded them of his love (calling them "brothers") and of God's love, as proven through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son Jesus.  No matter what struggles and sins are in our lives, we need to always come back to the basic message of the Gospel.
    4. 15:58 --> Paul encouraged the church to stand firm and work with enthusiasm.  Though we may not always see the short-term effects or rewards, God honors any work we do for His sake.  We quoted Stacey Wieland, a volunteer on whom we put a short biography on our website.  She reminds us that, despite the fact that Children's Ministry may sometimes feel like babysitting, we "are planting a seed of faith in these children's hearts."  Discipleship is a long-term process, and the blessing for us is to be a part of what God is doing.
  3. Mission & Vision
    1. You can read more about our mission here.
    2. We discussed the focus for our curriculum (read it here).
  4. Expectations.  We expect volunteers to . . .  (read more details in our training packets)
    1. Prepare for the weekend
    2. Execute the programming
    3. Grow for a long-term impact  
  5. Other
    1. You WILL have an impact for God if you serve in Children's Ministry.  The question of how big an impact is proportional to how much you grow.  You cannot lead others (including children) in a direction that you are not heading in.
    2. We need you to recruit.  We have over 750 volunteers, but we are lacking in some key areas.  You have to talk to the folks you know, to share with them the blessing of being a part of an awesome work that God is doing through Grace Children's Ministry!
    3. We are thankful for the huge number of men who are leading.  When men are engaged in playing, teaching, doing motions in Big Group, etc, all children (boys and girls) notice and follow.  God created men to lead.
    4. We are also thankful for the number of students we have that are serving.  It gives us (staff and adult volunteers) the chance to equip two generations for a life in Christ.  For the students, it gives them a chance to submit to authority, to love, and to sacrifice for the sake of Christ.
 We're looking forward to another great year in Children's Ministry!

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