|Following up on children's holiday clubs|
|Monday, 06 August 2012 15:59|
Whatever we have planned this summer or in the coming months, we must take the challenge of follow up seriously, argues Ed Jones
As the props are finished off, the drama scripts frantically learnt and various crazy games concocted, as the countdown to this year's summer holiday club is almost over, ending months of planning and hard work; are we in danger, as churches, of simply running great clubs and that is it?
Whether we choose to 'supersize' our meal, go for 'express delivery' or decide on the car model that has all the 'necessary gadgets', optional extras seem to be presented to us in more and more ways these days.
They are just that though: optional. We can take them or leave them. I wonder whether many churches take the same view where it comes to the summer holiday clubs they run and the whole area of 'follow up'?
Packed full of games, craft, songs, drama, the Bible and a whole load of foam pies, many churches will once again be running a variety of clubs, events and activities for the children of their communities.
The Church Holiday Club isn't something solely allowed in the month August though. Half terms, Christmas and Easter holidays are utilised in the same way by many church communities as an opportunity to put on an event for children that shares something of the difference knowing Jesus can make in their lives.
But how often do we put an extreme about of time, energy, enthusiasm and hard work into such an event, only to reach the end of it and then think about what's next? I don't believe it's necessarily intentional, but is that any excuse?
I believe if we seriously think we can put on an event that seeks to share Jesus with the children of our community, for them to have a great time, be challenged and to set before them the new life on offer; and that be it - we're mistaken.
Yes there may be regular activities we run they could join, yes we may be limited in terms of team, yes we may be shattered having worked to make the holiday club into all it was - but is that enough?
Whatever we have planned this summer or in the coming months, we must take the challenge of follow up seriously - it needs to be part of the ministry we are delivering.
We have to be thinking through how the children, who have perhaps come along for the first time, will be able to continue to question, engage and develop their journey of faith in a safe and supportive environment. We should be thinking from the start how the children will be able to grow and develop as disciples of Jesus.
Let us help children meet with Jesus in a new and amazing way, see their lives transformed forever, deliver superb, fun and exciting events - but not leave it there.
Some thoughts to consider for your summer holiday club or other 'special events' throughout the year:
Ed Jones is a Baptist minister based in Basildon, Essex, and is the executive director of Arise Ministries
By A Web Design
It's time to reject masculine and feminine stereotypes in favour of men and women becoming more Christ-like, writes Sarah Fegredo
Five different types of church which are attracting young adults have been identified in a new study
Many of Jesus' parables were about the realities of money. What does he say about loans, tax and financial rewards?
Lynn Green has been elected the next General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain
Regular updates from the Assembly - click here for a full list of The Baptist Times coverage
The May edition of Baptist Voice is ready to download
The Baptist Times produces weekly news round-ups. Click here for more on these free emails.
A new section highlighting how the Baptist Union of Great Britain is changing its way of working.
BMS World Mission
News and views from around the world
Download the latest monthly audio magazine. Produced as a ministry to those who are blind or have impaired vision.
The church planting arm of the Baptist Union of Great Britain
News and views from the 18-30s - the website of the Baptist Younger Leaders' Forum
Baptist Times link on your site
Connect your church website to The Baptist Times by adding this button.
By Plimun Web Design