Everything we do for our children and families is designed to help them grow in their relationship with God and each another. Children are an essential part of our church family and we love working with, and learning from, them about how to live for Jesus each day. My heart for the children who come through our doors – and who access church online – is that they feel welcome, have lots of fun, and leave knowing more about the person of Jesus and His love for them.

Lockdown has shown me that our vision to be whole-life disciples has never been more important, and that church, discipleship and worship must be able to continue from home. It’s been challenging at times, and this whole experience has reminded me that we’re made to be in community; we need those points of connection and those shared experiences and spaces that we previously took for granted. We at Ps & Gs have been fortunate to be able to run various events for our children and families back in our building, which has met some of those needs, as well as provide events and services online.

Kids love it

One of the ways we seek to nurture and encourage faith and worship in the lives of our children is through our Sunday groups, where they gather together to pray, sing and to grow in their relationships with God and each other. As part of our primary and pre-school curriculums, we have termly Shout Out Sundays’, where we invite some of our worship band to come and lead sung worship with the children. Here, we teach children that worship is our words, our actions, the way we live our lives, as well as our songs of praise. In our most recent session we looked at specific passages that reveal why we worship, including to celebrate who God is and what He’s done for us (Psalm 100:1 – 5), because He commands us to and is worthy of our worship (John 4), and so we can draw nearer to Him (Psalm 22).


I love that, for our various ages and stages, church and indeed worship means something unique. Our children connect with God and worship in individual and very specific ways. One of our little girls, who recently came with her mum to Parents’ Group, said, I’m so excited to be back at church!” It was a Monday morning not a Sunday, and we had our pre-school toys out on the red chairs for our services, but I just love that for her this is church – the familiar space, the toys, the volunteers she knows so well, the welcoming atmosphere.

In the same way Energise, our monthly event for primary 5 to primary 7, is the biggest highlight of church for some of our older children. We had a surprisingly high turnout for Energise when we ran it on Zoom during lockdown – you’d be amazed how well quizzes and murder mystery nights work on Zoom. But it’s been a blessing to run this back in our building. Events like Energise are a great way for our children to invite their friends who are not yet Christians along to church. We ask a big question’ as part of the evening, which is an opportunity for all the children to engage in discussion about a particular topic or theme, and it generates great conversation.

Parents love it too

A big part of what we aim to do at Ps & Gs is equip and empower our parents to nurture and encourage faith and worship in the lives of their children. During lockdown we shared some Faith at Home devotional videos, made firstly by my husband and I, and subsequently by other families in the church, but these did not last long.
We ran them for a few weeks and found the viewings were low and families weren’t keen to sit and watch a devotional online. They wanted to discuss thoughts, challenges and questions with each other. I guess this makes sense, as each family’s devotional will look different. In light of this, we ran the Bible Reading Fellowship Parenting for Faith course online as we recognise there are many great resources out there that we can encourage families to tap into, without trying to reinvent the wheel ourselves.

The course isn’t about how to do perfect family devotionals; it’s about being whole-life disciples with our children. Our parents were able to sign up on the course website to access the films then join fortnightly Zoom discussions hosted by a couple from our church to share their thoughts, challenges and questions with other Ps & Gs parents.

Can-do attitude

One of the biggest challenges we’ve had to overcome during lockdown is around communication. It’s really highlighted how essential it is to communicate well with our families and teams. Parents are extremely busy; they need time and every opportunity to hear about what’s going on. At the moment, much of what we do is a trial run, so it has never been more important to get feedback from our teams, to share ideas and to reflect together on what is and isn’t working.

I’ve also learnt not to hold on too tightly to the plans we make and to stay adaptable. We’ve got teams and risk assessments in place to ensure things are being done safely and in accordance with the guidelines. But we realise we need to make a conscious choice to ask what we can do rather than what we can’t in order to work with the number of children we’re allowed in the building, and get creative.

The buzzword of lockdown has been unprecedented’. Indeed, we are working in
unprecedented circumstances; however, in children’s ministry, we have the unique privilege of working with children for whom there is no precedent when it comes to worship. The ways and means in which God interacts with children, and in which they
experience Him, are boundless and unlimited. I started by saying we love to learn from our children; I hope that as we enter a new year, we will allow our children to teach us to encounter God where we find Him, like they do, rather than where we expect Him to be found.

Did you know?

Only 18 per cent of churches are running in-person children’s work weekly.

The Evangelical Alliance’s Changing Church: autumn survey has revealed that children’s
ministry remains one of the most significant areas of hesitancy for churches amid
the pandemic. How might churches navigate the challenges and continue to reach families, Christian and non-Christian alike? Hear from children’s ministry leaders online on Monday, 11 January as they share experiences and ideas: eauk​.it/​c​c​-​c​h​i​l​d​r​e​n​s​-​m​i​n​istry