Leadership in Lockdown

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Youth & Children’s Work in Lockdown (Webinar)

A webinar and Q&A on the theme of continuing youth and children's ministries in churches during lockdown and planning for the future.


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With schools closed, churches not meeting in person, and summer camps cancelled, it's important to think through how to continue youth and children's ministry during this time of lockdown, and how to plan ahead for when in-person activities are possible.

In this webinar, John Stevens, FIEC's National Director, is joined by Michael Tinker, from Walton Evangelical Church in Chesterfield and involved in the Contagious summer camps, and Michael Williams, from Gunnersbury Baptist Church in London, to explore the Government guidance on out-of-school settings, and how to continue youth and children's ministry in lockdown.

00:00 - Bible teaching: 2 Timothy 1:5, 3:15 (John Stevens)

04:49 - Overview of guidance for youth and children's work in England (John Stevens)

15:34 - Children's ministry in lockdown (Michael Tinker)

30:30 - Youth ministry in lockdown (Michael Williams)

46:52 - Q&A: Youth and Children's Work

  • How can we avoid having live streams for children and teens taken down?
  • What microphone do you recommend?
  • What good, biblical content is there that has come out of lockdown?
  • What can we be doing for youth on Sunday mornings?
  • What do you do when parents don't respond to emails about online youth activities?

54:45 - Q&A: Government guidance

  • Why can we have different numbers meeting indoors and outdoors?
  • Do you think guidance will change when schools start again in September?
  • Is there any way to make creches work in church services?
  • Should we change rotas for youth work to be consistent for each group?
  • Should siblings stay together in groups?
  • Should we change the time/order of Sunday School groups in church services?
  • Are Bible studies for young people permitted?
  • Is there any way midweek baby/toddler groups can continue?
  • Could we meet midweek for prayer meetings?
  • How can we make sure safeguarding is in place for activities online?
  • Can under 5s mix from September?
  • Can youth and children's ministry meet in a larger number outdoors?

Key updates and comments

  • Under 5s must be supervised by parents or guardians at church and cannot mix with other households - so no baby rooms or midweek baby/toddlers groups are permitted;
  • Over 5s can meet in groups of up to 15 which should stay consistent and separate from other groups;
    • Groups of over 5s should not engage in contact games, live performances, singing or shouting, sharing food or craft resources, or stay overnight for residential trips;
    • Deep cleaning, strict hygiene (washing hands), and social distancing is needed;
    • A risk assessment for activities with children should be undertaken and communicated publically to parents, who should give consent.
  • Use of video online in children's ministry can have many benefits:
    • It is more accessible for those who can't usually attend or who have learning difficulties or special needs;
    • It takes the Bible into the home where it might not normally be opened;
    • You can engage well by asking for things to be sent in and shown;
    • Maybe video could be integrated with your future ministry when you can meet in-person again.
  • Teenagers have suffered a loss of key milestone moments in lockdown, and are experiencing physical, academic, emotional, and spiritual lethargy;
    • Our ministries should aim to address these losses (within appropriate guidelines).

Further resources

  • Church of England guidance: Mission and Ministry with Children, Young People & Families in a Church Setting (churchofengland.org);
  • Baptist Union guidance: Children, Young People and Families (baptist.org.uk);
  • “Virtually Keswick”: A whole set of online resources put together by the Youth Team at Keswick (keswickministries.org);
  • “Contagious Ministries: Things to keep you Fed”. A page on the Contagious website that gives you resources to look up (contagious.org.uk);
  • All Souls Youth Services. For those who love the tone of Contagious and Word Alive meetings, they’ll find a lot to like in All-Souls’ Sunday afternoon services (allsouls.org);
  • “POW Online”: the early Youth Group online content from Gunnersbury Baptist Church. Feel free to steal ideas from it or ignore it completely! (youtube.com);
  • Rode Com­plete Studio Kit (microphone and interface) (thomann.de).

You can listen to more past webinars and sign up for future webinars on the Leadership in Lockdown page.

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