More than 25 youth and children’s workers gathered in London during October 2015 for a consultation about their work with the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC).
Most who came serve in FIEC churches across the country, and the purpose of the consultation was to discover how the FIEC can best support ministry among young people in its churches.
John Stevens, national director for the FIEC, chaired the consultation and began by opening up Psalm 145. The psalmist wants the greatness of God to be proclaimed to all generations, so that they hear about his glorious majesty and mighty power.
Mr Stevens explained that the job of any gospel worker is to share this good news with people of all ages. Those present were asked for their opinions on what FIEC could do encourage and support youth and children’s ministry, before feeding back some of the challenges they find in this ministry.
It was agreed that the principles of youth and children’s work were the same as for adult ministries, but that often leading youth work was seen as a stepping stone to church leadership rather than a life-long calling in its own right. Concern was also expressed that churches will often employ a youth worker, but can miss out on the importance of a younger, children’s ministry.
Mr Stevens explained ways the FIEC might consider supporting youth and children’s work. He said, ‘Over the past five years, FIEC has undergone radical change to become a dynamic movement that is growing gospel-driven churches. We have made huge progress in training, church planting and women’s ministry, but we have neglected the importance of youth and children’s ministry’.
FIEC hopes to raise the profile of youth and children’s work and offer advice and expertise to churches, as well as highlighting good models of youth and children’s ministry in a variety of church contexts.