Children’s Ministry Conference

Last weekend we went to the Children’s Ministry Conference. A great weekend of teaching and thinking. We were able to take a couple of key volunteers with us this time which was great for them to have the chance to be inspired and do some thinking on their ministry. Had fun with our accommodation but that is for another post. I will try and post some summaries of the sessions.

Hectic but alive!

I’ve been really hectic recently with going to the Children’s Ministry Conference at the weekend, some big events at youth groups and trying to organise the spending of our grant money. I’ve felt quite frustrated about my lack of blogging but as Hannah, my wife, said it is from the busy times that you get good things to reflect on. Let’s hope that is the case next week!

More funding

A while ago I posted about how we were going to put a bid in to The Youth Opportunities Fund and Youth Capital Fund which had something in the region of £60,000-70,000 available. I received a phone call last night saying that both our groups that applied have been successful. While some funding was knocked off from their bid they have still received a considerable amount. We should hear the confirmation of the figure on Monday, so I won’t post the precise figure till then.

Youth club trip out

Tonight was the first trip out of the New Year. We took our two monday night youth groups to the Rayleigh Megazone . It was a great night – the kids always enjoy the laser tag. We had an entertaining start with the smoke alarm going off within minutes of us entering the building. On one of the coldest nights it wasn’t great to be standing outside but they got it sorted really quickly. The first game was just the twenty young people we took, the second game included twenty younger children from another group which was good although quite difficult because everywhere you turned someone was shooting at you.

Always a good night out so if you are in south Essex do pop along.

It’s arrived

Over the weekend our grant cheques from the county council arrived. It is really fun looking to spend £6000 and the joy that it will bring to the young people. Had some great conversations with some really helpful companies, looking to give discounts and provide some quality advice on picking the correct products. If their service continues to be as good I will put some plugs/comments up here.

Children’s Ministry Conference

Looks like I am off in a couple of weekends to Eastbourne with a couple of my volunteers to the Children’s Ministry Conference. It should be a really good weekend with over 60 seminars and workshops which will be grouped into 5 streams: Children’s ministry leadership issues; Outreach beyond church; Working with under 5s; Working with 5-9s; Working with tweenagers. I am excited about sharing this with others, I hope it really encourages, energises and inspires them in their work. Give me a shout if you are going to be there.

Office move – not easy

Recently there has been some talk and thought about me swapping offices with the photocopy type office. But at the moment it all seems to be getting more complex. The theory was that it is a nicer room (actually has proper windows), more space, and a bit farther away from the noise produced by our coffee bar and people playing badminton. However, I have found the one of the walls has a whole load of electrical piping on it so putting shelving on it while possible will require a lot more thought, and that the internet connection is a lot weaker in that room. I guess I am just going to have to try temporarily working there and see how the internet goes. If it isn’t upto scratch then I will either have to look at the possibility of a booster for the signal or just give up on the whole process. Frustrating hey!

Thank you

Tonight we said thank you to our Associate Minister, Colin Hunt. Colin has been a non-stipendiary minister (i.e. he doesn’t get paid a salary) here at the church for the last twelve years helping the church through two interregnums. It was great to be able to have a big tea for those who were able to come and share saying thanks to him as he officially retires from the ministry. As everyone knows he will still be involved – just on a lesser scale, hopefully allowing him to really enjoy his retirement now. Anyhow a big up to Colin!

Year plan

I have finally got my year planner up-to-date and back on my office wall. It looks like it could be a fairly busy year – lots of exciting things happening including taking volunteers away to Children’s Ministry Conference and Youthwork the Conference, the possibility of running a residential for some of my older young people, summer camp with PACT Activity Holidays, a week away with year 6 pupils from a local primary school, and church lessons followed by visits to the church by nine year 7 classes, as well as all the usual weekly activities of clubs, groups, lessons and assemblies.

I hope that having the plan up in front of everyone means that I can become more discerning at saying no. So, for example, in May, before the half-term, I have a month of very hectic schools work, so I need to ensure, as much as possible, that other things don’t get added during that month. Let’s hope it works!

Busy times

I seem to be very busy at the moment, lots of great youth work stuff going on at work, and lots at home, especially with trying to move home and all the paper work that goes with that. Hannah seems to have masses of work at the moment as well so I guess it is just that time of year when everyone gets busy. Probably means that blogging will continue to be a little slower for the next week or so as I continue with lots of school assemblies, some meetings about community work, starting planning for holiday club and summer camp, and continuing thoughts on how we do work with families.

Middle-class syndrome

I am running a session next weekend on reaching the middle-class syndrome. How do you show a young person that they need God when they have three i-pods etc. I am planning on throwing out some big questions for people to discuss and share ideas but I don’t know if anyone has any pearls of wisdom on this topic. Someone recommended The Road to Whatever: Middle-Class Culture and the Crisis of Adolescence by Elliott Currie. Sounds like an interesting read so will probably end up buying it to look at, give me a shout if you know of any useful literature or have read the book.

Some things around the web …

Some things from around the web:
Justin Taylor highlights how BibleMap.org integrates Google Maps and the ESV text to create an interactive Bible atlas. He refers people to the ESV blog for more information.

Out of Ur, the online side of Leadership Journal, has a series of posts on resolutions and how in several sittings over a one-year period, Jonathan Edwards drafted 70 resolutions by which he governed his life and ministry.

Josh Griffin has posted a series of youth work training videos, each a couple of minutes long, on his blog and you tube. Check them out and pass them onto others – well worth keeping an eye on.