NCCM: Working together to cater for children

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RealDeal was invited to the first National Council for Children’s Ministry (NCCM) workshop held at Shikwaru in Limpopo last weekend (24-26 October).

Initiated by Reach a Generation (RaG) and aimed at all parties involved with children’s ministry, the NCCM aims to create a shared platform for discussing, sharing and collaboration with the goal of a heightened level of efficiency and excellence in children’s ministry.

“We are at a place where we have to do something to lead children,” Jacques van Bommel, director at RaG South Africa, said.

According to Sam Ndoga, dean of students at Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa(BTC), approximately 2/3 of homes in South Africa has an absent father figure, pointing to a major gap for a stable home and identity development.

Helen Zille, premier of the Western Cape, also pointed to this problematic statistic at theOneLife Together gathering in Pinelands earlier this year.

“Fathers are becoming an endangered species,” Sam said

According to Karen Tewson, national co-odinator of court preparation at the National Prosecuting Authority, there are approximately 10 000 children per year who are aided in testifying in court in sexual abuse cases.

“We need to become the face of God for the broken children,” she said.

Ministry to children should be preparatory rather than just mere storytelling, the NCCMbelieves.

Current listed gaps include the ‘inferior’ labelling of youth pastors, the lack of children prioritisation and outdated or weak programs.

The emphasis on partnerships gave way to shared participation, driven by commitment to a common cause.

“It’s not about redefining the mission, but about realigning vision,” Josh Parker, program and research co-ordinator at One Hope, said.

Core values of the NCCM include agreement, belonging, contribution, dependability and excellence.  It will serve as neutral space where standardisation, collaboration and a marketing place for skills and resources can be developed.

Children, as the focus of the council, will be taken seriously.

“If something is worth fighting for, can we use relationships to back it?,” Jacques challenged the selected crowd, requesting interactive sharing rather than promoting of individual agendas.

Participants were divided into groups to discuss the greatest opportunities, challenges and strategies for improvement in the areas of material and media technology, asset mapping, training and screening, leader development and policy making.

The lack of quality training and needed adaptations for youth and (South) African cultures*, rather than using adult or American-produced material were pointed out as areas of improvement, amongst others.

Darius Bothes (13), the only youth representative present, said: “The children needs to lead the church back to Jesus.” He explained children needs to be equipped better in order to truly live the face of Jesus.

Your Life – One Journey and Amazing Reis, were introduced as Bible-based discipleship resources, adapted to suit age- and cultural-specific groups for feeding spiritual growth in a close relationship with Christ with relatable material.

Other ministries represented at the workshop includes Doxa Deo, Scripture Union and Awana.

*Editor’s note: RealDeal is currently working on cultural adaptations of its resources.  If you are interested to become involved, please email nanine@realdeal.org.za

 

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