The vision for the work of the Coordinator of Education for Children’s & Family Ministries is that there will be a well-trained and supported network of people, both professional and volunteer, engaged in children’s and family ministries in BC Conference.
We seek to provide:
- A multi-level educational and training opportunities for people ranging from a certificate program for those interested in professional work to workshops, events and experiences for more informal learning.
- leadership training that which leads to committed, knowledgeable and skilled leaders.
- Access to helpful information, advice and networks of colleagues.
- Radical Hospitality. God’s gift of children to the church is so that God may be known (Luke 9:46-48). A holy welcome (dechomai) involves the radical practice of hospitality that includes providing service, nourishment, safety and inclusion.
- Prioritization of Children and their Concerns. Jesus requires of his disciples to make children a priority. (Matthew 18:1-5) Our learning and practice must be designed so that the well-being of the child is of prime importance.
- Inclusivity. God calls the Whole People of God into relationship. Children are called into purposeful participation in Divine action in the world. They are not only participants in the church for faith formation in hopes of future participation. Children are called to be full participants now in the church and in its mission in the world. Children have the responsibility, power and ability to think theologically, problem solve and act.
- Quality Programming. We strive and are called to a standard of excellence. Christian education/faith formation with children and youth is a responsibility of the church. It is also our responsibility to support parents/caregivers in this work. In other venues, such as vacation Bible schools and camps, we are called to create a program where children can encounter the fundamental elements of the Christian faith in a way that honours their own experience and heritage, invites exploration and questions and is fun, faithful and engaging.
- Evangelism. Sharing the story is not about proselytizing children into the faith; it is not about coercion or other forms of disrespectful communication or behaviour. It is about giving children the opportunity to hear, see and experience the Good News that we as Christians find life-giving and transformative.
- Seeking Justice and Advocating for Children. The church is called to act with and on behalf of those who are most vulnerable – which means children and youth.
- Community-Building. The well being of all generations is tied together. The strength of these bonds is fortified by shared experiences of learning, play, work and worship.
- Vulnerability (Risk-Taking). We are called to be a community of love – which, in its essence, includes putting ourselves at risk, even in harm’s way. In times of uncertainty, the church may be tempted to abandon reaching out to groups who cannot financially assist the institution. The church may resist innovative ways to meet the needs of children and families. We do not know what the church of the future may look like so we may have to risk failure as we seek to be faithful.