The PAOC is blessed to have a number of training institutions across our nation
The PAOC is blessed to have a number of training institutions across our nation whereby we train up pastors and leaders who then graduate and are released to teach, preach, and equip others for the work of the ministry (among many other things). One of these training institutions is Master’s College, located in Peterborough, Ontario. Click here to view all of our Colleges and Seminaries in Canada: https://paoc.org/family/who-we-are/bible-colleges-seminaries
Kathy Maietta, the Children’s Ministries Specialist for the Eastern Ontario and Nunavut District recalls a meeting of the Mission Canada Children’s Guiding Group held in the boardroom at the PAOC International Office. With large post-it note pages tacked to all the walls around the room, this group of passionate national and district children’s leaders brainstormed around a variety of themes that concerned reaching and discipling children. The group felt strongly that an integral part of this would be to strengthen the training at our Bible Colleges when it comes to the area of children and family ministries. Before long, conversations began and plans were put into motion for the children’s ministries track at Master’s College. This Saturday, April 30, marks the graduation of some students who have been part of this track since its inception. It’s exciting to see this dream move from a boardroom wall to a graduation stage! Congratulations graduates!
Check out Master’s College and view the Children’s Ministries training program they have in place (click on the image below):
One of those graduates, Heather Le Quant, shared the following as part of her recent Internship Reflection Paper:
"When I think about the things that I wish I had learned and known, nothing comes to mind right away. I believe that the professors who spearheaded the children’s ministry program at Master’s have gone far beyond what they have been required to do, or what I would have expected. Each one of my professors was open and willing to talk about anything. I feel like during internship nothing put me into shock because of this. If something arose, I thought back to what I had learned in class, and also the situations that the professors in my program shared with us. I feel like the only thing I had left was to experience it now firsthand."
Kathy Maietta, who now also serves Master’s College as their Children’s Ministries Director, was recently interviewed and shares her thoughts and insight around the need of reaching children in the 4-14 Window today, as well as the need to train workers and pastors who will also do so…
Q: What is it about children’s ministries that you love the most, and why?
KATHY: I love knowing that I am ministering to a demographic that will never again be more impressionable than during those childhood years! Realizing the importance of these years places an urgency in my heart for reaching children outside the church. I love building the foundation and watching children grow in their understanding and application of spiritual principles.I absolutely LOVE giving children the opportunity to EXPERIENCE God through His Holy Spirit, not just hear about Him!
Q: What do you find the most challenging in terms of reaching and discipling kids today?
KATHY: I find the "scheduling" of ministry the most challenging. I believe that relational ministry is paramount for transformation to take place. Often, children’s ministries today is led by a "once a month" commitment. We have a lot of teachers who are good at teaching LESSONS but don't know their KIDS. The personal relationship that helps you know what they need can be missing. Along with that, frequent changes in curriculums used can create an inconsistent and incomplete scope and sequence for children. They need the WHOLE counsel of God but they seem to receive bits and pieces according to what is the latest and greatest or easiest to prepare in terms of resources.
Q: What do you think is the greatest stress on the family today, and why?
KATHY: Busyness! Families are caught in the rat race of life. They are convinced that extra-curricular activities are necessary, and while they serve a purpose they can pull families apart. I heard it said on a secular talk show once by a child that he thought the ride TO the game with his dad was better than playing the sport itself! Families need to re-learn how to slow down and appreciate moments together!
Q: Why do you feel our Bible Colleges should train pastors and leaders in the area of ministry to children specifically?
KATHY: We have a responsibility to the next generation! We need theologically trained individuals who can oversee, interact and train others to minister to children. We need trained individuals who understand the developmental stages during these years so that they can passionately pass on to others the reasons we need to focus on the 4-14 Window of reaching kids when they are between the ages of 4 and 14 – the time when they are most receptive of the gospel message.
Q: What would be some of the gaps in our nation where we need to multiply our efforts in reaching kids for Jesus?
KATHY: Currently, the biggest gap that I have noticed is ministry to children with varying special needs, along with ministry to their families. Churches are allowing them to attend but have limited knowledge in how to engage the children spiritually. Many families stop attending church because they are expected to stay with their child. Marital stress is higher on couples who are raising children with special needs. This is an area of ministry that requires discussion for understanding, resources for assistance and training for implementation.
Lord, help us in our family lives to serve our children well. Keep us from that place of busyness when it becomes so much that it pulls our family apart, rather than drawing us closer together.
Help us as leaders to see the needs of children around us. We are living in a time when mental illness is on the rise, development challenges seem overwhelming, and often parents and teachers are struggling to know how to best respond. Give us wisdom for all the daily decision of life that pertain to our own children, and the children we serve in our churches.
Lord, we ask that you would guide and direct us as we seek to raise up godly leaders who are theologically sound, spiritually connected with you and obediently responding to the call you have placed on each of our lives. Help us to see the importance of reaching our younger generation, when they are most impressionable and receptive to Your message of love for them.
Help us to not be so busy or distracted by our own needs and desires that we neglect how you are wanting us to be involved regularly in reaching out to children and also discipling them in your ways. Give us a desire to be consistent in our commitment to serve well in our churches and also in our communities. Use us to impact the next generation so that we would see hundreds of children come to know you in each of our communities across our nation. May we also see an increased desire among Christ-followers to be grounded in God’s Word and engaged in educational training in our Bible Colleges. As we believe for more Christ-followers, we must also be ready to welcome this harvest in our churches and through our leadership.
God, please help us, so that all that we do and all that we are would be for your honour and your glory. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.