When children’s ministry workers gather together, it is a recipe for fun! And this was definitely true of the KidZ At Heart training, 7-8 September at Walk Thru the Bible’s Eikenhof LifeChange Centre, where 17 enthusiastic individuals were equipped. In addition to representatives from local churches and missions organizations, participants also included a group of caregivers from a project serving vulnerable children in the Limpopo Province.
Because of the interactive approach of the training, participants gained first-hand experience about the impact of creative Bible teaching. “It was great to be involved in the training, not just to be talked at, but to DO the things that were being suggested,” shared Richard Parker.
One participant said he would definitely recommend this training to others “because if more parents and teachers know how to teach children the Word of God the way we learned, I tell you our country is going to be one of the best.”
Another participant said the only thing she didn’t enjoy about the training was leaving.
More about the training…
On the first day, the training focused on how children learn and how to incorporate creative story-telling techniques, so that children will experience the truth of the Bible lessons and apply it to their lives. This first day covered the foundational teaching principles on which KidZ At Heart is based. And the participants recognized the importance of these principles:
“I most enjoyed seeing the creative and ingenious ways to visualize stories using inexpensive props and everyday items. We train teachers from churches in poorer townships and informal settlements, so we are always looking for more ideas to help them make the Word of God exciting without having to spend money.” – Lindsey Parker
“I enjoyed learning about the different learning styles and storytelling techniques. This will help me to teach others more effectively. Sometimes I minister the way I learn best, but I must teach in ways that different children learn so that no learning technique gets more or less attention.” – Sue Leckenby
“I never thought about children’s ministry in a way that teaches differently to children with different learning intelligences. From ‘the more active, the better,’ I moved to ‘the more varied, the better.'” – Anonymous
Participants formed groups and had the opportunity to practice presenting a lesson using the techniques they learned. This is always a highlight for the trainers, to be able to see the training put into practice! “Once again the students were full of enthusiasm and I could feel the love for Jesus almost on my fingertips – as if the print of Jesus was upon their hearts. They share, they learn and all these are crucial elements for a growing relationship with Christ our Saviour.” – Joan Hanekom, KidZ At Heart Trainer, South Africa
The emphasis of the second day of training was ministering to the spiritual lives of children, with workshops on leading a child to Christ and helping children pray – both workshops were well-received:
“I learned a new way to present the gospel to children that is effective in any language or culture and doesn’t require any materials. I will be sure to practice it and pass it on to the crèche teachers I train.” – Lindsey Parker
“I enjoyed the prayer session because it felt so real. I was so connected, it made me worship.” -Hilda Maake
“The part I enjoyed was where we practiced praying through LEARNER BASED – I thought I knew how to do it best, but your way was out of this world.” -Elias Mohale
“The session on prayer is always my favourite. A few days after the training I met one of the students and asked which session stood out for him and guess what his answer was? The prayer session.” – Lynnette Stander, KidZ At Heart Trainer, South Africa
“Our KidZ At Heart training on 7 & 8 September was really very special to me. I truly experienced God’s presence while teaching and I praise Him for His faithfulness. I think the highlight for me was when we taught on Helping KidZ L.E.A.R.N. to PRAY. There was just this awe and wonder for God. And the wonderful thing is that when we teach kids how to pray, God moves in their lives as well!” -Yolande Nunes, KidZ At Heart Trainer, South Africa
The most important part of any training is what happens after the participants go home! From the feedback received, we are hopeful that the KidZ At Heart training will continue to have an impact in the lives of the children’s ministry workers, as well as in the lives of the children they reach and teach!
“I have learned to be more practical and to have the children also experience God.” -Nerina Smit
“My children are going to take part in the whole lesson, not the teacher only.” -Elias Mohale
“The training meant a lot to me. Actually I’ve changed the way I used to think about teaching kids about the Word of God – I’m gonna give it my best.” -Hilda Maake
Please click on Toolbox Events to see when the next KidZ at Heart training will take place. To register, please visit the Walk Thru the Bible website www.bible.org.za, click on Toolbox Events and register for your chosen date. You are encouraged to invite your friends as well! Please register as soon as possible because there are limited places per session!