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'We want Sunday mornings to be the best part of the week for children and young people'
 

Duncan Reid introduces RaiseUPfaith.com – a new curriculum and resources platform designed to equip children’s and youth ministry leaders with high-quality, Bible-based multi-media content


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Dwight Moody famously said, 'If I could re-live my life, I would devote my entire life to reaching children for God.' Moody understood then the importance of discipling children, and to finding ways to communicate the Good News of Jesus in ways that captivated them.
 
Growing up in south west London I always looked forward to the Baptist Union Assembly, held, as it was then, at the Westminster Methodist Central Hall. Not because I had any interest the intricacies of the Baptist Union, sorry - as a teenager who was also a chorister in a Church of England church that wasn’t really on my radar. No, my interest in the Assembly had more to do with the chance for us to play host to my grandpa, the Revd W.H.Price, and Granny Ida. Together they would make the trek from their base in Penarth on the southern Welsh coast, and make our family home their base for the week.
 
The reason I looked forward to seeing them had much to do with my Grandpa’s incredible ability to communicate with young people. He was an excellent communicator to all ages, with a warmth, humour and love that underpinned his preaching. But it was his ability to relate, and engage with young people that was extraordinary. Young people for Bert Price weren’t a distraction, but they were the main event!
 
In fact he was well known in Baptist circles for his Tommy and Trixie stories which would captivate kids in the church. Not only that but he was also known as the writer of the Mr Wisehead comic strip that appeared in the very popular Robin magazine. Bert spent much of  his time and energy communicating the character of Jesus through his stories, and I am one of countless people who he communicated and demonstrated the love of God to.
 
Part of his ability to communicate with young people was that he himself always had a child-like quality. His keen sense of humour was endearing, as was his love of Christmas – the year he woke my brother and me at 5.30am on Christmas Day as he was so excited to see us open our stockings goes down in family lore, but that’s another story.
 
Communicating the gospel to children for us today is just as important as it was to Bert then, but the church today faces some significant challenges his generation didn’t:

  • 84 per cent of those professing to be Christians today came to faith before the age of 19, but 0-16 is the fastest declining demographic in the church today.
  • Research last autumn from the Evangelical Alliance showed 24 per cent of churches had reduced or discontinued youth work compared to pre-pandemic while 17 per cent had reduced or discontinued children’s work.
  • Volunteer numbers have dropped post-pandemic’ further stretching already strained church resources.


Life for children’s ministry leaders is further complicated as the pandemic accelerated an exponential trend towards multi-media teaching and learning. Multiple studies show children and young people today learn through multi-media experiences incorporated into face-to-face teaching. However, finding Bible-based multi-media resources week-in week-out is a further drain on the time of children’s ministry leaders, and sometimes falls outside their capability.
 
It was this context that provided the inspiration to develop and launch the new learning and resources platform RaiseUPfaith.com – an innovative curriculum and resources platform designed to equip and empower children’s and youth ministry leaders with high-quality, Bible-based multi-media content delivered through a user-friendly interface that enables the leader or volunteer to confidently deliver engaging Sunday School lessons.
 


 
Our motivation is similar to that of my Grandpa, We want Sunday mornings to be the best part of the week for children and young people. Added to this we want children’s and youth ministry leaders to be equipped and empowered to tell the timeless story of Jesus in ways that are designed to engage children today.

Whether we like it or not, young people engage through a variety of media. For Grandpa it was comics, for us it’s any number of new formats. In fact given the multitude of content options, children expect the quality of media content in church to be at the standard they are surrounded by every day. That is why we launched RaiseUPfaith; a cutting edge platform, combined with a library of original and curated engaging media-enabled Jesus-focused activities and lessons.

RaiseUPfaith gives children’s ministry leaders back the time they need to do the really important bit – building deep, lasting relationships with young people.
 
Bert Price helped nurture the gift of faith to me, and I hope that this new resource carries on that legacy for this generation, and for generations to come.
 
Try out RaiseUPfaith for yourself for free today.



[1] Evangelical Alliance/Stewardship/Eido Research “Changing Church” Autumn 2021
 

RaiseUPfaith.com offers hundreds of lessons with thousands of accompanying and related activities, including media clips, songs, prayers, crafts and games. RaiseUPfaith offers new ministry resources as well as using teaching from trusted partners such as New Wine, Spring Harvest, Cheeky Pandas and LZ7. 

Duncan Reid is Head of Digital Strategy at Wonderborn, the studios that have produced RaiseUPfaith


 

Baptist Times, 08/06/2022
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