by Kara Kistner on May 7, 2014 in education and discipleship
In August 2013, Michelle Chan, minister to children at Kowloon International Baptist Church (KIBC) in Hong Kong, attended a children and family summit at Dallas Baptist University. Here she felt her understanding of the roles Sunday School teacher and children’s minister were renewed and refreshed.
“I was more aware of my role and vision as a Children’s Minister and it is more than just a job behind the desk that deals with lots of administrative works,” said Chan.
After the Summit, Michelle was burdened for her Sunday School workers back at KIBC. She desired for them to share both the experience and training she received during the training workshops.
“Our people are hungry to learn how to impart God’s Word to the children, and to bring families to a closer relationship with God,” said Chan.
In January 2014, her church began to use Dr. Tommy Sanders’ Jumpstart Workshop material. Through this DVD training, many of the Sunday School teachers have been positively impacted, but KIBC wanted more.
KIBC is a very unique church. It is an international church attracting English-speaking people to worship there. At the same time, many local families or people from Mainland China bring their children to Sunday School classes, with the intention teaching and training English. Their church welcomes all people and has a strong children’s ministry.
“We know full well that God is able to sow the Gospel seed into this congregation of such a diverse people,” said Chan.
Conversations for training in Hong Kong with two churches, Kowloon City Baptist Church and Kowloon International Baptist church, began last October 2013, and plans were finalized in April of 2014 for Diane Lane, Preschool and Children’s Specialist, and her husband, to travel to Hong Kong to provide training for both churches.
Leadership training for Kowloon International consisted of Preschool and Children’s leadership, plus training for parents and teachers of special needs children. Both churches invited other churches from mainland China and other denominations, creating a total of 11 churches that participated in this training. The purpose of the training was to equip and prepare those serving in children’s ministry.
“It is purely amazing to me to see how the people seek out the information to see what is happening,” said Lane. “People come to see what it’s all about. It makes them feel complete.”
The leadership of these churches are willing and ready for their preschoolers and children to have a closer relationship with God in different ways. Lane said that it was ease to communicate with them, even with the language barrier. “When everyone has the same goals for children, the language is the same.”
During the training, 100 people attended each of the four sessions and 300 attended the last session. Many parents were eager to take part in the, ‘The Importance of Christian Education at Home’ session.
“We could see all the participants understand the grace of God and the fruitful results that the training provided,” said KinMan Kwok, Children’s Minister at Kowloon City Baptist Church.
KIBC felt there were many benefits in having the training. For one, Diane Lane has had many church-related experiences with children. She not only offered her head knowledge, but she taught the congregation real-life experiences and hands-on information applicable to their Sunday School settings.
“As an international church in Hong Kong, we are not exposed to many Children’s Ministry conferences in Asia,” said Chan. “This was a great opportunity to have Diane come from Texas to train and disciple our people.”
Throughout the training, the attendees took the opportunity to ask questions such as, “How to use Bible skills to stimulate preschoolers,” and “How to help children receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior?”
“Serving in KIBC has been very different from any church experience we have stateside,” said Harry Lucenay, pastor of KIBC. “We have been consistently encouraged in seeing people who had never heard of Jesus come to faith in our Savior. It is a blessing for this preacher to know he will see people who have never been in any church sitting in the pews for the first time almost every Sunday, from little children all the way to elderly.”
Since God opened the eyes and hearts of the people in KIBC’s congregation and surrounding neighborhoods to receive His calling, they understand the importance of Christian education at home and what the church would and should do to support the family.
“We are surely looking to continually move forward and implement and administrate the activities, curriculums, and team building throughout our congregations and communities,” said Kwok. “And we shared with Dr. Diane Lane, if God grant us to do more in our church, we would love to see her and her colleagues again in the coming years, or even maybe take another trip to Dallas!”