COURSE OVERVIEW

Jesus called the little children to come to him. In doing so, he set an example for us in churches, to create welcoming spaces for children to come and meet God. This course will explore how to nurture in children faith that will last them their whole lives, not merely to entertain or educate them. 

This course will take seriously Jesus' command to care for children and to look to them as signs of the kingdom of God. It will provide both practical and theoretical tools for ministry. Students will explore ways to nurture the spiritual lives of children within the church, home and community.

COURSE INTRO VIDEO

THIS COURSE AIMS TO:

  1. Examine a biblical and theological basis for ministry to children. 
  2. Develop an understanding of the faith formation of children. 
  3. Explore ways of connecting children with God: spiritual styles, sound biblical engagement, prayer with children, and participation in the worship practices of the church. 
  4. Develop strategies for helping children to grow in their relationships within the church family: through mentoring, intergenerational church culture, peer relationships, family and whanau support. 
  5. Investigate how to develop a vision for church based children's ministry that includes the choice of curriculum, style of programme, safe and educationally sound practice. 
  6. Investigate how to develop a vision for community based children's ministry that includes a biblical understanding of evangelism.

LECTURER | ANNETTE OSBORNE

I was born and raised on a dairy farm in a small rural town called Kaukapakapa. I grew up surrounded by family, who made up the majority of the small Brethren church I attended. These are the things that shaped how I think about faith, church and community. I love the outdoors, having spent my childhood up the back of the farm building huts and swimming in water holes. I believe in church as family, because that is what I experienced. I knew, even as a child, that I belonged. The Bible and communion are central, because those are the things my church treasured.

I have worked for Scripture Union in New Zealand for over 12 years, as a children and families worker. My role involves training children's ministry leaders around the country, as well as resource writing, camps and schools work. My training is as a primary school teacher. My love of the Bible led me to complete a Masters in Theology, looking at how Paul uses family language to describe how the church should operate. What gets me excited is helping equip leaders to explore the Bible with children, in a way that will develop deep faith, not just head knowledge.