CHILDREN AND YOUTH SHINE AT NEC CAMP
7th July 2017
Whilst the adult programmes where well supported and spiritual needs catered for next door to the adults in the main hall the children were meeting under the guidance of Pastor Patricia Douglas and her small army of helpers. Made up of teaching staff from Harper Bell School, pastors and pastors' wives enthusiastically led children to understand in what way Jesus was their light. Young Elijah, aged 8 told that his favourite part of each morning was making things and that he really enjoyed singing, 'Make me a servant' every morning. Bethany from Bradford Central, who is slightly older, enjoyed the craft work as well. Her task was to make a puppet figure which even some adults had found rather fiddly to construct. Bethany found that to be rather easy to complete!
The Earliteens had been shepherded across the way to a modern room next to the camp restaurant. Enticing smells did not distract Miyarah South, who wrote this section of our report, from concentrating on the events and giving us her view on her week at Southport.
"The teens had a fun and uplifting time at this year's NEC Camp Meeting with tailor-made programmes that catered well to the age group in attendance. The main speaker was Pastor Sam Gungaloo from the South England Conference, his messages centred around the theme of being 'Born for More'. The teens were challenged to reflect on their identity and purpose and were taught that sometimes being different is good. The services were accompanied by a lively praise team and band comprised of young people from around the Conference. In addition to this the teens were benefitted by morning devotionals given by a variety of ministers.
"There was also time given to take part in various activities such as go-karting, football tournaments and swimming. The week was a blessing and the teens left with many spiritual lessons and positive memories." Pastor Douglas, when asked why so much effort was put into the Children's Ministries programme pointed out the logic of putting thought, prayer and good hard cash into Children's Ministries. Early emphasis placed in the mouldable early years would be repaid in less effort reclaiming lost youth in the later years. She suggested that at least 25% of a church's evangelism budget should be directed towards the church youth. Effective Children's Ministries, Patricia says, "is not an optional extra."
Thus, the Sabbath afternoon children's showcase was presented as far more than a display of the children's talents. The programme was designed to reveal how exciting and wonderful children's worship is. Adopting the regular form of a worship service the children sang, prayed, presented sketches, displayed their handiwork and revealed how God was at work in their young lives.
Towards the end of Sabbath afternoon, Charles Bramble revealed with a degree of justifiable pride, that the two offerings in the week had raised a remarkable total slightly higher than that collected at the previous week's Conference in Prestatyn. With even more pride the congregation were told that 10% of that offering came from the teens and youth, who made up much less than 10% of the total congregation. The youth and teens had been generous.