Who Are Children Matter?
We are a coalition of people and organisations who are passionate about children and family ministry.
Together we major on three core emphases:
Inspiring the UK church
Informing children’s workers
Influencing Christian leaders
All to make a difference in the lives of the next generation.
Together we have four principal aims:
1. Empowering Advocates: Growing the confidence of children’s workers and others to speak up on behalf of children
2. Equipping and Informing: Providing easy access to training, experience and resources through a wide variety of media.
3. Encouraging networks and partnerships: Developing and supporting the growth of local and specialist networks.
4. Enabling strategic thinking: Pursuing cohesion in national initiatives.
Out of our principle aims we have facilitated successful projects in the past that have empowered, equipped, encouraged and enabled children and family workers and Christian Leaders.
FaithFull Generation: Lifelong faith formation for children in families, churches and communities.
Last year we embarked on a new project, titled ‘Faithfull Generation’. The aim over several years is to seek out resources, create new partnerships and release materials, insights and workshops for use in churches across the nation and beyond. The hope is that together we might open the door to resilient faith formation for the next generation, in every sphere of life.
The UK Church is not alone in facing a challenge ahead. Congregations are typically getting older, patterns of life are evolving and parents are often lacking in confidence when it comes to addressing faith at home.
Do our own children persevere in their own faith?
Are we reaching children outside our Sunday community gatherings?
Yes and no is the answer to both questions. But the answer is ‘no’ much more than we would want it be. Drawing on the excellent Sticky Faith research from Fuller and the hugely helpful Here2Stay initiative from our friends in Australia, Faithfull Generation invites people to reimagine how we might set about faith formation with children. Asking the questions; How can we help children have a ‘sticky faith’? What are the strategies and practices of sticky churches? What do they do to help encourage a faithful generation? The conversation will hopefully gather some momentum over the months and years, and we can issue updates on anything significant that come out of those conversations. For now, the starting point focuses on 5 themes that all of us might find helpful to reflect on across our ministries.
These five themes are:
• Community: Helping the church to thrive as a growing, intergenerational faith community, whilst supporting the family as a key place of spiritual nurture.
• Encounter: Creating opportunities for children to connect with the big story of the Bible and space where they can encounter the living Jesus for themselves.
• Dialogue: Encouraging faith to be both talked out and lived out, within peer relationships and supported by mentors and the wider church family.
• Milestones: Enabling peak experiences in the lives of children and celebrating key moments and anchor points in their life and spiritual journey.
• Action: Allowing children to contribute as active participants in mission and giving them the opportunity to respond with compassion to the world around them.
These themes have been unpacked on our website www.faithfullgeneration.com, but through our principle aims we want to work in cooperation with others who are already working in these different areas and facilitate opportunities for strategic thinking on and around the themes.