“But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14.
“Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.” Matt 18:3-5
ELLEN WHITE’S COUNSEL:
“It is still true that children are the most susceptible to the teachings of the gospel; their hearts are open to divine influences, and strong to retain the lessons received. The little children may be Christians, having an experience in accordance with their years. They need to be educated in spiritual things, and parents should give them every advantage, that they may form characters after the similitude of the character of Christ.”—Desire of Ages, p. 515.
“Children of eight, ten or twelve years, are old enough to be addressed on the subject of personal religion Do not teach your children with reference to some future period when they shall be old enough to repent and believe the truth. If properly instructed, very young children may have correct views of their state as sinners, and of the way of “Those who love God should feel deeply interested in the children and youth. To them God can reveal His truth and salvation. Jesus calls the little ones that believe on Him, the lambs of His flock. He has a special love for and interest in the children. . . . The most precious offering that the children can give to Jesus, is the freshness of their childhood.”—Reflecting Christ, p. 373.
MISSION STATEMENT: To Nurture Children into a Loving, Serving Relationship with Jesus
WORLD POPULATION 5/14 YEARS OLD
(Luis Bush, Raising Up a New Generation from the 4-14 Window to Transform the World, 2010).
TOP 10 COUNTRIES
|Total (Top 10)||709,595,962|
|Total (Other Countries)||508,921,404|
WORLD POPULATION UNDER 15
- 40-50% of kids below 15 are in Africa and Middle East
- 30-40% of kids below 15 years old are in India, Indonesia, Mexico and west of South America
TRENDS OF WORLD POPULATION UNDER 15
- Millions live in the 10/40 Window.
- Millions live in huge cities.
- Millions have not heard the name of Jesus or have friends who are Christians.
TRENDS OF YOUTH LEAVING THE CHURCH
(Kinnaman, You Lost Me; Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church and Rethinking Faith).
- Barna’s study shows 60% of American youth, ages 15-29, left the church after high school (Kinnaman, You Lost Me; Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church and Rethinking Faith).
- LifeWay Research data shows that about 70% of young adults dropped out of church. Of these, 10% are in the 16-17 age group, 14% in the 17-18 age group, and 13% in the 18-19 age group (Christianity Today, May 2014).
- The exodus of youth may be an indicator that they were not fully grounded in their faith as children.
TARGET CHILDREN’S GROUPS:
- Children in the cities
- Special needs: visual impaired; hearing impaired; physically, emotional and mentally handicapped, etc.
- Adventist children
- Refugee children
- Children of incarcerated parents
- Street children
STRATEGIC INITIATIVE: REACH A CHILD, REACH THE WORLD
- Revival & Reformation
- Believe in His Prophets
- United in Prayer
- Comprehensive Health Ministry
- Mission to the Cities
- Special Needs Ministry
- Total Member Involvement
REACH UP to God through Bible study, prayer and reading of the Ellen G. White’s writings will foster strong spiritual growth in children as they develop a personal relationship with Jesus and live a lifestyle as His disciples.
Objectives/Key Performance Indicators: That every child will:
- Engage in TAG (Time Alone with God) through Bible study and prayer.
- Study their Sabbath School lesson.
- Read Ellen White books adapted for children.
- Keep a prayer journal.
- Participate in family worship and church worship.
- Practice the principles of healthful living.
1. Provide Resources to Involve Children in Bible Study and Prayer.
- Provide and Develop Resources to Enhance the Understanding of Ellen G. White.
- Bible Adventures; Bible studies of the 28 fundamental beliefs, by Charles Mills.
- Day by Day with Jesus Annual Bible Reading Guide—GC Children’s Ministries.
- 777 Prayer Fellowship Cards, from GC Children’s Ministries.
- My Quiet Time with Jesus Prayer Calendar and Journal, by Karen Holford and Linda Koh.
- Making Jesus my Best Friend, Review and Herald.
- Jesus in My Heart Radio Spots, by Charles Mills.
- Singing and Learning for Young Praisers, Vol. 1 and 2, by Saustin Mfune
2.Organize Prayer Activities for Children & Teens
- Organize prayer conferences on the union and conference levels to inspire and motivate children to learn more about prayer.
- Encourage churches and schools to organize prayer groups and prayer partners to involve children and teens.
3. Provide and Develop Resources to Enhance the Understanding of Ellen G. White.
- Michael Ask Why, by Sally Dillon (Children’s Great Controversy).
- In the Footsteps of Jesus (Children’s Steps to Christ activities &n music), by Saustin Mfune.
- Michael Ask Why Activity Book, by Sally Dillon & Virginia Smith.
- Step by Step, by Jerry Thomas (Children’s Steps to Christ).
- Ellen White felt sets.
- Ellen White Visionary, by White Estate.
- Online card game about Ellen White and the pioneers (collaboration with White Estate).
4. Provide Resources to Strengthen Children’s Understanding of the Church’s Fundamental Beliefs.
- What We Believe, by Jerry Thomas.
- Creation Case DVD, by Richard Aguilera.
- God Loves Me 28 Ways, by Charles Mills & Linda Koh
- Learn About God’s Love Activities, by Adriana Femopase
- Sing About God’s Love, by GC Children’s Ministries
- Creation Case DVD, by Richard Aguilera.
- Little Songs for Little People, by Saustin Mfune (songs to build faith, love, trust, etc)
5. Provide Resources to Encourage Children to live a Healthy Lifestyle
- CELEBRATIONS! Healthy Inside Out! by Shawna Vyhmeister and Sonia Krumm
- A Musical Journey; Pro-Active Kids Adventures at the CELEBRATIONS Castle, by Saustin Mfune
- Healthy Inside and Out Radio Spots, by Charles Milles.
6. Provide Activities to Nurture and Develop Faith
- Organize Bible camps, stewardship camps, nature camps, Ellen White Emphasis camps, and other activities to develop and foster faith of children.
- Involve parents and families in faith-building activities and events to obtain greater effectiveness.
- Use social media and electronic devices to promote Bible study, reading of Ellen White’s writing, etc.
REACH IN to both the young and the older members of the church helps to build unity and community. Encouraging the younger members to be actively involved in Christ’s mission and serving in the community will help nurture life-long disciples.
Objectives/KPI: That every child will be able to:
- Get involved in mission work at home, at school and in the community.
- Participate in regular community service projects.
- Discover their spiritual gifts and use them for serving the church and the community.
- Participate in church worships, especially intergenerational worship.
- Obtain training in leadership and decision-making skills so as to take on leadership roles in the church.
- Attend Adventist schools as much as possible.
1. Provide Leadership Training Programs for Kids
- Encourage Children’s Leaders on the Various Levels to Plan Service Projects
- Organize Kids in Discipleship Training (KID)
- Encourage unions, conferences and local churches to organize training programs to equip children and teens with leadership skills.
- Develop guidebooks for training children and teens to be preachers, song leaders, presenters of health talks, junior deacons, writers and reporters of church news, etc.
- Administer a spiritual gifts inventory to help children discover their specific gifts and then place them in those areas of service that would utilize their gifts.
- Work with churches to involve children during the celebration of Children’s Sabbath.
- Collaborate with Youth Ministries to utilize training package for leadership training for Pathfinders.
2. Encourage Children’s Leaders on the Various Levels to Plan Service Projects
- Plan service projects in the community on a regular basis.
- Involve the children and teens to participate actively in service to others.
- Work with pastors to organize intergenerational worship in the churches.
3. Organize Kids in Discipleship Training (KID)
- Provide KID training for CHM leaders on all levels of the church.
- Encourage conference directors to motivate families to join the KID training as they get alongside their children in their discipleship journey.
REACH OUT to many others who have not heard the name of Jesus is an urgent need today. Millions of children and youth live in the 10/40 Window. Moreover, many live in huge cities where Adventist presence is minimal, or where there is no Adventist presence at all. Jesus wants us to tell the good news of salvation to these children who are most receptive to the gospel at this age.
Objectives/KPI: We want every child to:
- Participate actively in the mission of the church.
- Witness to their friends of other faiths.
- Win one friend for Jesus.
- Reach out to people in need and to those with special needs.
1. Provide Resources for Outreach Activities
- Provide Resources for Outreach Activities
- Encourage Children’s Leaders on All Levels to Organize Programs to Reach Community Children in the Cities
- Develop resources to teach children and teens how to witness to their friends.
- Collaborate with the Publishing Department to produce a Missionary book of the Year for children to share with their friends.
- Develop a witnessing package for children and teens to use in sharing Jesus with others in the community.
- Collaborate with the study centers to develop materials for reaching children in the 10/40 Window.
2. Encourage Children’s Leaders on All Levels to Organize Programs to Reach Community Children in the Cities
- Health EXPO
- Vacation Bible School
- Stewardship EXPO
- Messy Church
- Sports Day
- Children’s Camp
- Children’s Music Festivals
- Puppet Ministry
- Mobile library/story hour
- Friendship Day for the Underprivileged
- Drug Prevention programs
There is much we need to do to help our children Reach Up to God on a daily basis so as to develop a close relationship with Him; Reach In to the young and older members of the church to involve them actively in the life of the church as they use their gifts to serve the church and the community; and finally to Reach Out to share the gospel with hundreds and thousands of children living in the 10/40 Window.
We are faced with a huge and challenging task, but we believe that through the power of the Holy Spirit, when we:
Reach a Child, Reach the World!