Articles

Minister To And Involve Children In Your Cell Group Ministry

by Daphne Kirk

The presence of children and young people announces the arrival of the next generation. It is up to us, the adults, to change their destinies and be the springboards that send them into their futures with fire and passion for Jesus to fulfil the great commission.

Ralph Neighbour says, "There is no further excuse for delaying the equipping of every saint for the work of the ministry." "Every saint" includes the children and young people. Now is the time to equip them to go and minister.

"Among our children and young people are workers we have prayed for, don't let them pass you by. Put the world in their hearts, and the weapons in their hands, protect them as they go and see the nations change, your nation, every nation" (Reconnecting the Generations).

Many people are confused about what resources they need to help them develop cell groups that will minister to the children. This article is designed to lead you to the right materials as you ask questions relating to What Shall We Do With the Children?. Many of the books can be of help in other situations, but it is hoped that these simple highlighted questions will lead you to the right resources for your answer.

Where do we begin as we take a fresh look at the place of children in families and in the church?

Reconnecting the Generations
This book is essential reading for everyone, as it takes a radical, Biblical look at the place of children and young people in the Body of Christ. It is a wake up call challenging us to see our personal responsibility for the next generation. There are practical suggestions, thoroughly grounded in Scripture that will revolutionise our relationships with the younger generations and release them to have a passion for Jesus.
• It will give pastors preaching material that can change the culture of their church so that the hearts of the fathers are turned to the children and the children to their fathers (Malachi 4.5-6)
• It can be used as a first step to start the process of changing values and getting a new vision
• Start here!

We want our children to be discipled. How can we go about this?

Hand in Hand
This is essential reading for pastors, cell leaders and everyone who wants to disciple or equip others to disciple a child. A cell can use it to prepare parents for this their most important ministry, either in a one-on-one situation or in a small group context. Wherever there are parents, whether in homogenous or intergenerational cells, this book will help them to understand their roles and the equipping track they can use with their children.
It gives:

  • Biblical foundations with essential practical steps to take
  • An understanding of the Living With Jesus series, how to use it, and how to answer questions that may arise

Tell me about the Living With Jesus discipling materials.

Living With Jesus (8 books)
These are the materials that simply and clearly take a child and an adult mentor through a weekly discipling time together.

They have the following components:

  • They open the way for communication and relationship between adult and child
  • They bring issues to light that can be resolved through the discipling relationship
  • They can be integrated into the existing church discipling system
  • They have Biblical foundations and change values
  • They are designed to challenge both the adult and child
  • The contents are for any age but the presentation is for children
  • They mirror the equipping track of Ralph Neighbour so that the adult and child are taken through the same process.

Have you any seminar or small group training that will encourage parents to disciple their children?

What Shall We Do with the Children? Module 9
This module is a complete training session that will inspire and help with the discipleship of children, it is particularly useful in encouraging parents in this role, and is complimentary to Hand in Hand. This inspiring seminar could be built into the church calendar gradually, encouraging and enabling all parents to attend.

I am not in a cell church but would like to disciple my child. Can you help?

Lets Grow!
This book is a compiled adaptation of Living With Jesus, suitable for discipling children in any church setting.

We want to transition our children ministry into children's cells/small groups. How do I do it and how can I train my workers?

What Shall We Do with the Children? Module 10
This module gives simple training for all those in children's ministry. It also shows how, with a simple model, children's cells/small groups can be implemented in most settings Brainstorms, group work and overheads are all included. Those training can be provided with material from the Trainee's handbook.
• The training can be given to all existing workers after which a colleague who has already gone through it himself or herself can take new workers through the training.

Module 3 of What Shall We Do with the Children? will help children's ministry workers understand a child's perspective of church, the place of parents and how they perceive God.

What material can I use in the children's cell meeting?

Resources for the Cell Meeting

  • The materials for the Kid's Slot in this book will provide 35 weeks of material
  • It tells you how you can implement prayer with children in an exciting yet meaningful way
  • The ideal answer is that the children hear a short word on the same theme as the adults. If the Senior pastor can give the children's minister:
    • The main Scripture (e.g., John 3 :16)
    • The title of the sermon (e.g., God Loves the World)
    • What he wants people to go away challenged by (e.g., Do you love the world as God does?)
      They can take this, develop it, and add some creativity for the children. The children can then discuss it in their cells/small groups as it applies to their own lives and minister to each other.

Others have also written very good cell lessons for children.
These include:

  • Families Learning Together by Karyn Henly, a set of four books that walks children through the life of Jesus.
  • Following the Cloud by Holly Allen, material that leads children with the Israelites as they leave Egypt.
  • Wisdom from the Book of Proverbs by Angela Minnis, 26 lessons, each highlighting a different proverb.

We want to have Intergenerational cells. Can you help us?

Heirs Together
Chapters 2 and 3 will give you the biblical foundations and new values to understand the impact of church and family on children and young people. It will revolutionise the way we play our part in raising the next generation.

Chapters 4 and 5 give practical suggestions for the way forward.

Chapter 6 answers many of the questions that will arise.

Do you have any training for our members and cell leaders for intergenerational cells?

What Shall We Do with the Children? Modules 1-7(trainers manual)
These give comprehensive training for cell leaders and cell members alike. Brainstorms, group work and overheads are all included. Those training can be provided with material from the Trainee's handbook.

What materials can I use for the intergenerational cell meeting?

Initially, it is good to use material that has been tried and tested so that you get the idea of how to pitch the meeting so that every age group is challenged.

Resources for the Intergenerational Cell Meeting.
This book will give you 35 week of materials for the cell meeting including

  • Handouts
  • Kid's Slot
  • How to run a prayer night together

Others have also written very good cell lessons for children in an Intergenerational cell group. These include:

  • Families Learning Together by Karyn Henly.
  • Following the Cloud by Holly Allen.
  • Wisdom from the Book of Proverbs by Angela Minnis.

After the initial period, I recommend using the same material that is used in other cells, with minor changed made to accommodate the children.

The children's department may pick up the responsibility of writing a Kid's Slot each week, in line with the adult's theme. This can then be circulated to all intergenerational cells.

What Shall We Do with the Children? Module 6 gives guidelines for writing Kid's Slot material.

Do you have anything that will help us understand about children in relation to baptism and communion?

When a Child Asks to be Baptised
This book will give the Scriptural basis for Children and Baptism and help you understand the role of parents and the cell.

Children, Communion and Baptism
A single tape looking at the Scriptural relationship of communion and baptism so that pastors and parents can make informed decisions about their children's participation in both.

As a pastor, are there any particular issues I need to address at the senior leadership level?

What Shall We Do with the Children? Module 8
This is specifically written for pastors to go through with their senior leaders. It will help you to consider policies, vision and strategy as you start to include the children in the transitioning process.

We would like to have an Intergenerational Celebration. Can you help us?

What Shall We Do with the Children? Module 12
This module will help to evaluate the way forward and give valuable discussion points for leaders and worship leaders of an Intergenerational celebration, with help for those preaching on such occasions. Your leaders can be provided with discussion papers from the Trainee's handbook.

Can you help us to pray with our children?

What Shall We Do with the Children? Module 11
This module helps evaluate the potential for praying with children and gives ideas for making this time effective and creative. Brainstorms, group work and overheads are all included. Those training can be provided with material from the Trainee's handbook.

Can you tell me more about the Training Manual and Handbook for trainees called "What Shall We Do With the Children?"

This is comprehensive training material clearly set out in 12 modules with brainstorms, group work, overhead materials and teaching points.

The Trainees handbook of "What Shall We Do with the Children?" is also available for photocopying so that those attending the training can have the relevant section to work through and make notes.

The manual and handbook are available with audio tapes.

I am already using the Equipping Journey developed by Dr. Neighbour. How can children's discipleship be integrated into it?

  • At the Second Camp (The Encounter God Retreat), the Scriptural basis for parents discipling their children should be inspirationally given. e.g., Psalm 78 1-8, Deuteronomy 29 : 29, Deuteronomy 6 1-9, Joel 1 :2
  • The spiritual father (who should be already discipling his own child) then takes the young man through Hand in Hand when they meet during the following week.
  • After this, the young man begins Living With Jesus with his child while having the support and accountability of his spiritual father.

Is this all I need to know?

No…but it will give you a good start! Later we will be able to help you with other things like Children's Encounters.

If I still need help, what can I do?

Daphne Kirk is available to help in any way she can. She can be contacted via email: daphnekirk@hotmail.com