'It was a privilege to lead them'
Children at this year's Baptist Assembly were encouraged to think about how God communicates with us, as well as what it means to be a Christian in their lives
In sessions that explored the story of Noah through a combination of talks, discussion and accompanying craft, not to mention some high energy dance and worship and lots of fun and games, the programme led by iSingPOP seemed to strike a chord with all involved.
'It's been fantastic,’ said Shell Perris, who led the day’s activities. ‘The children have really engaged.
'They had a real opportunity to ask questions and think about the reality of being a Christian, which they did, and I think they've gone away with a deeper understanding of what it means to be a Christian in the real world.'
There were three talks across the day, all based around Noah. Small group discussions followed the talks. The children were split into groups of six, each with a leader to explore at a deeper level the themes highlighted in the talks.
The first talk looked at how Noah heard from God, and was all about 'helping the children understand how God speaks to us,’ said Shell.
The second talk was about God’s rescue plan for us. This was a sensitive, gospel-orientated message, linked to why Jesus died on the cross. There was an opportunity to make a personal commitment, or a recommitment to God.
‘We asked them why they'd made the choice,’ said Shell. ‘We received some incredible answers. One boy simply said, 'I want to follow Jesus.'
‘Another girl had given her life to Jesus aged seven, but felt it more strongly now, and wanted to make a recommitment.’
The third talk was all about doing what God has asked to do. ‘We were trying to bring a bit of reality here for the children,’ said Shell. ‘Noah was asked to build an ark – it was crazy, but he did it anyway.
‘There are things in life God asks us to do that we don’t understand, but it’s important to trust him.’
There were lots of craft activities – a Noah Ark-themed pencil case; a foam mosaic, a Noah’s Ark made out of matchsticks or lolly sticks.
They also watched Veggie Tales, while iSingPOP, which is a primary school music project that brings together school, church and community to help children create their own album, used their own songs and routines.
The day was punctuated with lots of personal testimony. Shell and the team brought a ready-made ark with them, which became a ‘testimony ark’. It was a place where the leaders shared aspects of their own walk.
They day ended with the children making a rainbow out of handprints, on which they'd written messages about how God had been with them or simple messages of thanks.
Shell had three main hopes ahead of the day; that the children engaged with God and experienced God in the venue; that they experienced growth in their personal walk with Jesus; and they deepened their sense of what it is to be a Christian in real life, to feel empowered to be a Christian in the real world. She felt they had been fulfilled.
'I felt like we took them on a journey. It takes time to build relationships. Some were quite shy to begin with, but even by the end of the morning session they were engaging, singing the songs and worshipping God.
'It was privilege to lead them.’
iSingPOP is a primary school music project that brings together school, church and community. Thousands of children will be given the opportunity to record their very own album and perform a live concert in the local church.
For more visit https://www.isingpop.org/