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Children, Young People and Families Round Table – March 2019

The Children, Young People and Families Round Table met in early March at BMS Birmingham. This national group aims to help our Baptist family join the dots between church, home and community. 

OverProject 8

The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him
The gathering began with worship led by Pete James (representing our London Baptist Association) and we reflected on Lamentations 3 as a Biblical starting point for our time together. ‘The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him’ are words we reflected on and prayed into. We were certainly hopeful and are full of anticipation for what God has in store. There have been many and encouraging developments for CYF ministry over the past year with much more anticipated.

How can we inspire through our Baptist values?


We looked at the values we share as Baptists Together: We seek to be a movement of spirit led communities; feel like one team; embrace adventure; inspire others; and share a hunger for God’s coming kingdom.
We then reflected on how the Round Table can speak into these values from a CYF perspective.


These were the thoughts and themes that came from that conversation:
Share a hunger for God’s coming kingdom
We need to give space for the children and young people to model this for us, have the ability to see from God’s perspective and share stories that foster imagination.  
Embrace adventure
We must be a prophetic voice. It’s about opportunities, confidence, permission giving. Show the way, share all stories, not just the good ones. It’s about the journey (process), not the end result (product).
Feel like one team
CYF understanding of group dynamics and an understanding of the role of power in groups. Everyone should have a voice. How can we listen and hear? 
Inspire others
Can we inspire others through stories? Invitation to join the adventure. Vulnerability is good and key. 
We seek to be a movement of spirit led communities
Challenging complacency, shatter stereotypes and sharing stories. It’s about being spontaneous, free flowing, not didactic in our communication and leading. What can be learnt? The need to listen and to speaking prophetically. 

Since last time
Andrew Ginn shared exciting developments from 1277. This alliance exists to develop and implement a National Strategy to support church-based toddler groups and their associated activities. Their vision is to see universal access to excellent, safe, Christian toddler groups which are demonstrating God’s love at the heart of their communities. They are looking to resource Toddler Group leaders in the ways they can support the mental health of parents and equipping them on the issues around family breakdown and domestic violence.
They are also working with the question – what can we learn from toddler groups to do church better? It's just the toddler group: Toddlers and Mission resource from the Diocese of Bristol is one helpful resource. 
Sian Hancock and Clare Hooper reported back on the Children’s Ministry Network which focused on Gender. They reflected on the title ‘A Gendered Practice: How understandings of gender shape children’s ministry’.Four theological perspectives on gender identity were well-presented and balanced. Case studies that churches may encounter were helpful.
UK CYF denominational Round Table has now started, and Pete James and Amie Buhari attended. For now, it is about building relationships and staying involved. 
Several members of the Round table reflected on the varied and positive conversations we are having with our Baptist Colleges regarding CYF. Both for CYF workers and as part of ministerial formation.

Hopeful anticipation…

During our time we finalised our plans for the networking day at this years Baptist Assembly. We are excited by the opportunities the new Assembly format provides in helping churches engage with CYF mission and ministry. It is in effect our national conference and we will be available in numerous ways during Saturday 18th May at Telford. Between 11am and noon we are offering a fast-paced, engaging set of presentations which we hope inspires all those who attend to embrace more CYF adventure:
  • Spirituality of the child led by Clare Hooper 
  • Relating to the values with our stories led by Andrew Ginn
  • Faith-full Play led by Sian Hancock
  • Hearing the voice of the young person and the child led by MaeveWhitchurch
  • Supporting LGBT young people led by Gemma Dunning 

We will also be holding a CYF surgery at the Network Zone between 10-5pm. During this we will be offering specialist advice in these areas:
  • Intergenerational worship- 10-10.30am
  • Getting rid of the God slot– 10.30-11am
  • Messy Church– 12-12.30pm
  • Schools– 12.30-1pm
  • Mentoring– 1-1.30pm
  • Godly Play– 1.30-2pm
  • Resources and training options– 2-2.30pm
  • Employing CYF workers– 2.30-3pm
  • Toddler groups– 3-3.30pm
  • The CYF Round Table and how we can help– 3.30-5pm 

Book your church in now. Bookings close 30th April. 
The group also developed a national strategy for CYF Mission and Ministry that will be presented to the Baptist Steering Group in April. Some of these priorities were as a result of listening to how other Baptist Associations are engaging with CYF. This included a conversation with Adrian Argile, the Team Leader for our Heart of England Baptist Association.
We closed our time with Communion, giving thanks and praying into the relationships we have with each other and with God.

CYF Round Table March 2019

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Key messages from the CYF meeting at BMS Birmingham
Key messages from the CYF meeting at BMS Birmingham
Key messages from the CYF meeting at BMS Birmingham
Key messages from the CYF meeting at BMS Birmingham
Key messages from the CYF meeting at BMS Birmingham