Roger started off with some challenging questions:
· How are you at reacting to things? Do you look at how things are or how they could be?
· Do you believe in the idea of serving God and giving your life for something that will last forever?

His theme for the session seemed to centre around the idea that we shouldn’t allow distractions to get in the way. As Thomas H. Green says ‘As the cost of loving escalates we settle for less than we dreamed of.’ We need to keep that big picture.

It isn’t about doing more, but being focussed.

1. We need to serve children with a spirit of expectation
Luke 15:20 – the father always expects children to come home. Have we got lots in store for the children:
· Relationship with them is more important than responsibility to them.
· Helping young people to realise that their presence matters more than our programme.
· Introducing them to God rather than gimmicks or gadgets – if we’re not careful we can lose the plot.

2. Secure leadership of support for children with spirit of encouragement
We have a lack of leadership support because of a lack of encouragement to our present leaders. People don’t do it to be thanked but it would be nice if they were noticed. Encouragement is one of the most important gifts, especially allow children to encourage. Linked to this as we choose new leaders allow the young people to be involved in picking the leaders.

3. Seek church blessing to be inclusive with a spirit of engagement
The biggest issue in churches is congregations. Inclusivity in a congregation is incredibly hard. To improve this we need to be multi-directional in our relationships:
Upwards accountability – tell them the good stories of what is going on
Sideways – we need to share our worries etc.
Whole church – show its importance to the whole church, and include a drip feed of the good things, don’t be afraid to include celebrating young people’s deciding to commit to Jesus.
The most important thing is to keep the feed going – drip feed it, don’t blast it.
We should stop asking God to bless what we’re doing and we should start doing what God is blessing.

Married to the amazing Sarah and raising Jakey, Daniel, Amelia, Josh & Jonah in our blended family. Passionate for Jesus, social work & sport.

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