Our Equipped Training morning took place on Saturday 6th May in Randalstown Parish. The morning was a joint effort this year, organised by Connor’s Children’s and Youth Councils. We were therefore able to offer workshops for leaders working with Children’s ministry and those involved in Youth ministry.
We had 2 workshop choices in our first session, one led by Chris Neilands, Ross Jonas and Karen Webb and the other led by Christina Bailie.
Chris and Ross are from the Drama company Play It By Ear and Karen is a skilled puppeteer, so they joined forces to give leaders some ideas for doing drama activities with all ages as well as some basic skills to get started with using puppets /starting a puppet team in church.
One of the ideas from Chris and Ross was working in groups to do 3 freeze frame scenes from a well-known story or film that the others had to guess. This caused lots of laughter and showed how creative the leaders were in coming up with ideas.
Karen had everyone manipulating their puppet to sing along to a song by the end of her part of the session with everybody realising that holding a puppet up high on the end of your arm throughout an entire song was really hard work. One great tip was practise with your puppet as you watch the news.
Christina’s workshop dealt with how to work with rather than against your teens’ desire to be on their phones ALL THE TIME! Instead of fighting with them Christina shared some ideas on how to work things to your advantage! She also gave lots of practical tips on using technology to organise things such as sign-ups for trips etc. and much more.
We stopped for brunch after the first round of workshops and our thanks to Edith and Sandra who cooked us some delicious bacon and sausage baps. We also had fruit, yoghurt, granola and soda and wheaten bread on offer for the healthy folk but it must be said that the breakfast baps went down best!
During our second session, we had 3 workshops on offer led by Wilson Beare from Urban Saints, Andrew Neill, and Victoria Jackson/Jill Hamilton.
Wilson looked at some ideas for connecting with teenage lads and how to build those relationships and encourage them in their Christian faith. Andrew Neill did a session on games suitable for children and youth and got the leaders involved in trying them all out. Victoria and Jill Hamilton led a session on working with the Under 7s. The session was split up with ideas for babies and toddlers (0-3yrs), pre-schoolers (3-4yrs) and P1-3 (4-7yrs) with lots of practical ideas to try out in toddler’s groups, creches and Sunday school and children’s groups and organisations.
We really hope that everyone enjoyed the morning and found some useful ideas to take away with them.
Our thanks to Canon Derek Kerr for welcoming us so warmly and opening up his church and church hall to us to use for the training.