15th June 2017

Have you ever thought that Bible study could be an exciting venture; one in which you not only gained key information, but had fun in the process? How about an evangelistic programme that our young girls can get involved with and invite their friends to? Well, unless you were present at the British Union Conference (BUC) Headquarters in Watford on Sunday 28 May you would have missed an excellent training session where the aforementioned was a new experience for those in attendance.

So what was on offer and what difference will it make to our churches and communities? Organised by Sharon Platt-McDonald, training on 2 key programmes, namely ‒ Creative Bible Study and 'Girls for Christ', was delivered by TED Director for Women's & Children's Ministries ‒ Clair Sanches. These initiatives launched in other European countries are already yielding positive results in their churches and communities.

Just to whet your appetites, here's a brief overview of each programme and what we experienced that made the event so rewarding:

Creative Bible Study:

For those of us present at the training I can tell you that it was the most engaging and enjoyable Bible study we have ever attended. Key aims of the training was discovering what makes us excited about God's Word and to identify our learning styles.

We undertook several activities such as analysing Bible passages through a reflective journaling process; undertaking focused group discussions, enacting Bible verses through skits, creating pictorial and crafts designs depicting specific scriptures and using 21st century language to explain popular Bible segments.

Key aims of the training was discovering what makes us excited about God's Word and to identify our learning styles.

Just think of the impact of engaging in this format of studying God's Word! This could possibly increase attendance at Prayer Meetings with more of our youth and community residents attending.

Attendees' evaluations revealed their level of enthusiasm reporting: "This programme has been more than excellent, educational, fun, and informative. We need to promote this well and execute it." "Engaging, informative, relevant!" "Has made me excited to go and do Bible study for self-improvement. Loved the creativeness of Bible journaling."

When was the last time you heard such an enthusiastic evaluation of a Bible study?

Girls for Christ:

Realising the importance of reaching out to our young ladies in order to nurture their spiritual growth, I feel that 'Girls for Christ' is an effective way of engaging them in a form of evangelism that is relevant to them. The Girls for Christ initiative is packaged in a format that will appeal to girls from ages 8 upwards.

The idea of empowering our youth (boys included) to take charge of their spiritual development by becoming involved in this as Clair Sanches explains the initiative further: "This is a mentoring programme for the local church. It is a club which is starting all around our Division. We want to keep our girls in church and to do that we need to invest in their lives. Become part of the Girls for Christ family as we embark on a new adventure together."

The programme is run as a series of sessions with associated materials over several weeks. The activities and materials are designed to reach the unchurched and postmoderns. An innovative aspect includes peer witness as young girls engage their school and community friends in the course and help to support their learning.

Some comments from evaluation forms included the following: "It was an excellent training which I am excited to start implementing straightaway to our young people." "The training was worth attending. I learned a lot which I can impart to others."

Representatives from the Conferences and Missions who were present at the training are now equipped to take these initiatives to their local churches and communities and will arrange for the dissemination of the learning in their regions. It is hoped that both of these programmes will be taken up across the BUC. We pray for God's blessings as we do so.


[Sharon Platt-McDonald, BUC Director for Health, Women's Ministries & Adventist Community Services]

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