Through the broader role of St Bart’s, Toowoomba as a Resource Church, St Bart’s Kids is partnering with a growing number of ACSQ parishes to support their children’s ministry programs. No two partnerships look the same, and each is focused on supporting in a way that is most helpful for that parish. This may be through sharing of curriculum resources, family discipleship resources or consultation advice – or any combination of these.
Currently, we offer two different types of resourcing:
- Informal and ongoing (such as The Parishes of Springfield and Allora-Clifton).
- Online self-service (such as parishes and ministries who discover our resources and then download whatever is useful for their own context).
We assist with enquiries from our Diocesan community and beyond, and we have had conversations with churches in the Philippines, Canada and the USA seeking permission to use resources we have developed. We are currently upgrading our curriculum template and website so that resources are more functional and accessible to others.
As a further outreach to help resource other parishes, St Bart’s Kids has compiled and produced items for a series of resource boxes to help equip new or growing parish children’s ministries. We currently have 10 free resource boxes to give to interested ACSQ parishes. It is hoped that these resource boxes will initiate new partnerships with parishes seeking to intentionally nurture their children’s programs. A full inventory of included items is provided below.
These boxes are comprised of a combination of in-house produced resources, as well as purchased items that we use weekly in our Sunday program. Included are children’s Bibles; prayer resources; family discipleship resources; a full curriculum program for the Gospel of Luke (chapters 17-24); and, language communication picture cards that are available in five language versions.
The importance of children’s ministry programs is widely acknowledged. When considering the shape of such programs, it is helpful to consider the multiple ways that they can be executed, ranging from entertainment ministry to Biblical formation. However, if we’re seeking children’s ministry in our parishes that is intentional and effective, we must constantly re-focus our attention on the goal that we wish to achieve. That is, our goal is not necessarily numerical growth (although this is a wonderful thing to celebrate), but rather making and maturing the faith of each child as a disciple of Jesus.
Placing this goal at the centre of any planning for children’s ministry fosters greater intentionality. It becomes less about activities and more about relationships. And, less about keeping kids occupied and more about encouraging them to deepen their understanding of God’s love for them and how they can best serve Jesus in the world today. When children see the purpose and structure of what we do, not only do they want to be there, but they are often the ones in the family prompting and prioritising attendance and inviting friends along, too.
Serving in children’s ministry and teaching about Jesus are incomparable joys. Time and again I am constantly amazed at kids’ maturity of thought and capacity to consider the big questions of life and faith. It is humbling to be able to foster their faith and point them to Jesus in a ministry space.
For more information about the children’s ministry resource boxes or to enquire about one for your parish, please complete this form or email Bettrys Lowe, Children’s and Families Minister at St Bart’s, Toowoomba: firstname.lastname@example.org
Children’s ministry resource boxes contents:
- My first read-aloud Bible (x1 – for toddlers)
- Jesus Storybook Bible (x1 – for early years)
- NIrV Adventure Bibles (x3 – for primary age)
- Coloured prayer cube
- Wooden prayer cross
- Prayer sticks
St Bart’s Kids resources
- Children’s program curriculum for Gospel of Luke (17-24), with accompanying Lego Creator Devotional (curriculum appropriate for Lent)
- Gospel of Mark cards (x10 sets)
- Book of Daniel prayer cards
- 12 Days of Christmas discipleship cards
- Language picture cards (English and Dinka/Korean/Spanish/Mandarin)