Now more than ever before we are being challenged to know what we believe. And not only must we know it, our teenagers and children must have it deeply rooted in their hearts and minds. "But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." - 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV) As you look through this issue, ask yourself if you could give answers to these questions...
Does absolute, universal truth exist?
Can we know that He exists?
How can we be sure that the Bible is trustworthy?
Is He really the one and only Savior?
Why does a supposedly loving God allow suffering in the world?
Even further ask yourself if you are giving the children you minister to each week the tools to answer these questions.
The local church is called to share our faith and to make disciples of those who receive the message of salvation. Acts 2:1- 4 provides the empowerment for the church to accomplish the task and Acts 2:42 - 47 provides plan for implementation. To assist the local church in making disciples the Discipleship Ministries Agency has developed the Acts 2 Process. It is built around five Biblical foundations, Worship, Connect, Grow, Serve and Go. This is not a new program but a life long process of growing in Jesus.
Rev. Alton Garrison, Assistant General Superintendent of Assemblies of God, has written a book to introduce churches to the Acts 2 Process. For further information concerning the Acts 2 Process, please contact our office or the Assemblies of God Discipleship Agency.
There are many resources for those involved in Children's Ministry. There are magazines, internet sites, conferences and many others. However, the greatest resource we have are the people who are doing Children's Ministry. We are blessed here in Southern New England with many outstanding children's pastors and I am blessed whenever one of them lets me know what is happening in their ministry.
I recently received an e-mail from Danielle Christy, Children's Pastor at Mount Hope Community Church in Burlington, MA. She has an article published in the on-line magazine of International Network of Children's Ministry. The title of the article is Pregnant Pastor. She writes about being pregnant while ministering full time.
Junior Bible Quiz
The 2009 - 2010 Junior Bible Quiz season has come to a close. We want to congratulate the winners from the District Finals, which were held on March 27 at Bethany Community Church in Mendon, MA. In the "A" League Mendon - Company A was the top team and Katie Burke of Mendon - Company A was the top quizzer. In the "B" League Chicopee was the top team and Carlie Gonzalez of Mendon Christ Crusaders was the top quizzer. We want to thank all of the adult who worked with our children to help them in learning God's Word.We want to thank Bethany Community Church for hosting the quizzes this season. We especially want to thank Bill Hildreth, the District JBQ Coordinator, for his dedication and hard work in making JBQ the wonderful ministry it is in our District.
If you church is not involved in Junior Bible Quiz we encourage you to get a group of children together and join with us next fall. For more information concerning JBQ, please contact the District office and we will get you the information you need.
Boys and Girls Missionary Challenge (BGMC)
"BGMC is the AG missions program for kids that instills a heart of compassion to reach the lost through praying, giving, and going. All funds raised through BGMC go to meet critical needs around the world such as feeding programs, water wells, Bible schools, curriculum, and whatever else a missionary needs in their part of the world."
I want to thank the churches of our District for their faithful support of BGMC. The SNEMN churches gave over $33,000.00 in 2011. This is 33.5% ahead of last year's giving. This is the eighth highest increase in giving in the nation. Your faithful giving allows us to meet the needs of missionaries around the world and to provide help to our home missions churches. If your church is not involved in BGMC we encourage you to get involved. Your church will be blessed, your children will be blessed and missionaries at home and abroad will be blessed.
How many times have you ordered material that you thought would work great in your church only to have it fall flat? As those of us who minister in New England we have found that very often programs that work well in other parts of the country do not seem to work as well here. We want this section to be a place where you can come and find ideas that have worked here in our District. We invite you to share with us programs that have worked for you and we will post here so others can benefit from your experience. Also, if you have tried something that did not work, we would like you to share that with us also. While it may seem embarassing, you may be able to help others from making the same mistake.
Here are a couple of programs that have worked in our churches.