Despite the challenges of navigating 2021, our children’s and youth ministries were able to continue to gather children and youth together in community to share the great news of Jesus with them. Throughout 2021 we:
- Relaunched our Friday Night Youth programme under the new name – Amplify. This captures our vision of wanting to amplify the fun and community on Friday nights, but also amplify the name of Jesus in the lives of the Youth who attend. Each week we have around 15-20 youth attending.
- Continued to develop our SPARK kids club programme – and work closely with Eastwood Public School to organize a walking bus from the end of School to our SPARK programme. Throughout the year at SPARK we had around 15-20 children attending.
- Restructured our 9:30 Sunday children’s programmes – we now have three children’s groups running on a Sunday morning – Sprouts for creche age and preschool children, Explorers for Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2, and PKs for Year 3, 4 and 5. We’ve also worked on a combined time for our Explorers and PKs groups, so they begin their time together with a short talk and a song every Sunday.
- Started a new 11am Children’s programme for our Korean and Cantonese service. This group, coordinated by Jo Lum, was also able to be joined by children who had parents attending some of the Mandarin service fellowship groups meeting at the same time.
- Sent a group of high schoolers and leaders to the Katoomba Youth Convention (KYCK) in April.
- Continued our commitment to SRE at Eastwood Public School, and we also began sending teachers to Epping Boys High School, Cheltenham Girls High School, and working with St Mark’s Ermington to coordinate their SRE at local schools.
- Ran Amplify on Zoom in the 2021 lockdown as we did through the 2020 lockdown, and also began a new Kids Zoom that ran before the 9:30 service on Sundays. It was great to be able to connect with the children and youth of our church through this time, and to still be able to share God’s word with them even while we could not meet in person.
- Put on a revamped outdoor Christmas Eve afternoon family service. Despite some lower attendance due to the Omicron outbreak, it was great to share in the story of Christmas with some audience participation, and then have dinner together after the service concluded. Our new giant board games were a big hit at this event!
- Ran Full On Youth Camp at Blue Gum Lodge in January 2022. Dylan Hood spoke from the book of Job, and camp was a great success – despite some particularly rainy weather and the uncertainty that was January of this year! We had 26 students attend camp, and 11 members of our church on the planning and leadership team for camp.
There’s a lot to be thankful for in the year of ministry we have had, and I am particularly thankful for the many leaders who serve across our different ministries. They have a great heart for the children, youth and families of our church, and a great passion for bringing them the truth from God’s Word. I particularly want to acknowledge those who are stepping out of our ministries to focus on new opportunities in ministry – Helen Faggion and Lana Adams who are moving on from Friday Friends, as well as Anna Hoole, Matt Reichardt and Naomi Reichardt who are moving on from Amplify on Friday nights. Thank you for your ministry in your groups, and you have all made such a great impact for the kingdom in the lives of children, youth and their families. I know God will continue to great things in your next step in ministry!
Into this year we’re looking forward to a renewal of our children’s and youth ministries. Plans are underway to:
- Spend more time across our children’s and youth ministry teams with intentional training and time in prayer
- Start a new mixed Year 6-8 group on Sunday mornings at 9:30
- Run a Senior High Group for bible study and leadership training on Sunday afternoons at 5:30
- Relaunch our playgroup ministries
- Attend KYCK again in the April School Holidays
- Run Vacation Kids Plus in the July School Holidays
- Run Confirmation classes for students in year 9 and up in Term 3 and 4.
- Investigate other options for training our high schoolers in leadership – including attending a leaders in training camp in the Spring Holidays.
Children's and Youth Minister