Done In A Day is an annual training event for those who serve children and their families in ministry offered by the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church. This is one training held simultaneously, at multiple locations, across the conference offering nurture, and support for those in ministry with children; either as pastors, staff or volunteers. There is about 1.5 hours for the training material which includes places for conversation and group sharing.
We’ve offered training for connecting children in worship, in mission, and in Sunday school. Last year we offered training in using Holy Listening Stones to engage in sacred and every-day conversations with children in multiple settings by Leanne Hadley.
The theme this year is “Creating a Discipleship Pathway (Plan) for Children.” The video presenter will be Rev. Kathryn Pittenger. She serves as the Children’s Initiatives Coordinator in the Michigan Conference and author of Developing an Intentional Discipleship System for Children offered through Discipleship Ministries. She will be presenting the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ to prepare a plan for discipleship for children in your context. Ken Willard offered training for a Pathway for Discipleship last October here in North Georgia sharing we must propel disciples of Jesus to make strides to become more like Jesus through intentionally offering next steps in resources and experiences. As he reminded us, the goal and mission of the local church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. It is not church growth. That’s the job of the Holy Spirit. I recall him speaking about offering a certain amount of high chairs in a church nursery. We can’t keep adding high chairs for Baby Christians without a plan to move disciples in their relationship with Jesus through the spiritual disciplines of the saints of the yesterday and today. There’s more about my take-aways from that training here.
When we speak about children’s discipleship, are we event coordinators or disciple-makers? Disciple-making doesn’t just happen. We must have an intentional plan if our job is make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Even the little disciples. BUT….. What is developmentally appropriate for children? What is helpful for parents? What is realistic, measurable, and intentional? When we bring our kids to soccer, baseball, and dance on a weekly basis, our children have coaches. Those coaches guide their practice so their skills at the end of a season are better than they were at the beginning. Can we offer anything less for our kids when it comes to their ‘soul training”? We are those coaches!
The question I hear all the time is, “Who’s got time to lay out a plan for discipleship that is developmentally appropriate when Sunday keeps coming, VBS is in a few months, and don’t even ask me about the Christmas play?” I know you want more than just to survive a calendar of events, get through a season, or decorate another bulletin board. Let’s get together and help each other come up with a plan. I’ll be at the McEachern Memorial UMC location and our facilitator with be the fabulous Kate Morris of Acworth United Methodist Church. Will you join us this year for Done in a Day at night? Register here today.
“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8