In this blog, Jonathan Masters, Youth, Children and Families Missioner has shared some thoughts on the current situation and how it is affecting those that work with younger people. He also highlights a few great resources you might like to consider. If you need support, contact Jonny Masters directly:
Youth, Children and Families Missioner: Jonathan Masters
07595 069880 email@example.com
The world is different. Coronavirus has made a huge difference to every detail of our lives, including how our faith can be expressed in gathered worship.
As a Church we are moving into a new phase of existence. The Archbishops have called us to stop public worship. Instead we are “to serve all people in a new way” as we continue to be “characterised by the prayer and service we offer each day.”
Whilst the seriousness of Coronavirus should not be understated, as Christians we have a wonderful opportunity to live our lives faithfully in the way of Christ – to love and serve others with everyday faith. Another opportunity is to connect with children and young people – often called "the digital generation".
These opportunities are significant, and as part of the wider Church family we can find ways to support each other as we endeavour to love and serve our communities.
Technology offers free group communication around the world. This may seem inaccessible to those who do not frequently use it. If you feel like this, do not be afraid to ask for help – a phone call with someone talking through how to use Skype or Whatsapp, or another online service, could make isolation considerably less lonely.
Children and young people tend to be very familiar with technology. My three-year-old niece is used to chatting on a video call to a family member almost daily.
Social distancing has been in place a relatively short time, yet children’s and youth workers are already using technology to ensure the relationships they have with children and young people are not lost. Groups are happening digitally, and until schools were shut, some had done assemblies via a video!
Teresa, Children and Families Worker at St John’s Hartford, has made videos to share with the toddler group – so they can be part of it from home. Teresa’s first video told the story of Hannah and Samuel. Teresa said, “I did feel really daft doing it, but despite being technologically backward, it was actually quite simple to do and the feedback from Mums stuck at home with little ones has been great so far.”
If you want to see the two videos, they are on facebook and youtube. Teresa is planning on adding schools resources over the next few weeks on the youtube channel.
There are lots more resources out there, including free ideas from Illustrated Ministry.
Whilst the present situation is unprecedented, and can lead to anxiety, this is an opportunity for the church to grow in prayer, loving service, and connecting digitally with a largely digital generation. Let’s get to it!