All the Things You Wish You Knew

 When I began serving in children’s ministry, I was very young. I often look back on my years serving as a children’s director and think, “Wow! There are so many things I would do differently if I knew then what I know now!”

I grew up a covenant child.  I grew up volunteering at VBS and in the nursery from the time I was too old to be in the children’s ministry myself.  I loved children and I had a heart for them (I still do!), yet I lacked the knowledge and skills to lead a ministry to children.  I’ll never forget sitting down with Sue Jakes, CDM’s Children’s Ministry Coordinator, before a regional training conference.  I was eager to hear wisdom from her, to know I wasn’t alone in my struggles, and to be encouraged that it really was worth spending my life investing in the next generation.  I walked away from our time together and the training conference excited to hop back on a plane to New York City and continue on the journey of children’s ministry.  I needed that encouragement.  I needed to be surrounded by others doing exactly what I was doing in churches of all sizes around the country.  That weekend was a launch weekend for my continuing to partner with CDM and learn from them.

Several years later the Lord moved my husband and me to Atlanta where I began working full-time with CDM.  I spent much of my time there helping to develop a training program for people like I had been who serve in children’s ministry.  Not only is this training program geared to encourage the hearts of those serving, but it is designed to provide very practical training in all areas of children’s ministry.

Many of us love serving in children’s ministry but have so many questions about the practical aspects of it: how to recruit a volunteer team, how to come alongside parents, how to develop a special needs ministry, how to train our children in worship, and more. And though conferences, retreats, and trainings are extremely encouraging, traveling around the country to them just is not an option for everyone. This is the beauty of the certification program!  Not only do you receive a full year of training on a variety of children’s ministry topics, but it can be done entirely from your own home or church.

We have now had more than 120 participants in our certification program, and it has been incredible to see and hear the impact this program has had not only on the children’s ministry leaders being certified, but on the hearts of the pastors, elders, and families in the church.  Although this program takes only one year to complete, its impact will endure for many years to come!

Anyone who is serving with children in the local church can benefit from the certification program.  You will learn more about children and ministry, grow in your faith and understanding of God and the Church, be connected to others doing ministry around you, will have the opportunity to be mentored, and, in the end, make a difference in your church to reach all generations.  Upon completion of the program, you will receive a certificate from CDM stating that you are officially certified by the PCA in children’s ministry.

Will you consider joining us for the 2022 certification class?  We know in many ways it is a sacrifice―of time and of resources.  There will be topics which may challenge or stretch you in ways that are new or different, but we have seen in the lives of those in the program and of those they serve how the sacrifice is worth it!  It is worth it to participate in this training, to connect with others, and to make a lasting impact in your church.

You may have thought of lots of questions as you’ve been reading. We want to answer those questions.  You can visit our certification webpage to read FAQs and learn more about the program.  If you are interested in applying, please note all applications must be in by October 1, 2021.  The program will start in January 2022. If you have other questions, please contact our certification administrator, Natasha, at cdm.certification@pcanet.org or our children’s ministry coordinator, Sue Jakes, at sjakes@pcanet.org.

There wasn’t a certification program like this when I was a children’s director, but if there had been, I would have loved to participate.  Don’t miss this opportunity!  We hope to have you be a part of our 2022 class!

Comments from past students….

What I learned in certification is becoming foundational to children’s ministry in my church. From covenant theology to why (and how) we include children in corporate worship. EVERYTHING I learned has made a difference in how I approach children’s ministry and how I encourage others in my church to think about children’s ministry. Excellent marriage of Biblical, covenantal theology with practical theology.

‒ Mindy Robinson

I benefited from so much but loved the relationships with people. We are a valuable resource for each other in Children’s Ministry and have the opportunity to learn so much from each other. The Zoom calls were so helpful for hearing about other ministry contexts and opportunities.

‒ Katie Flores

Certification is a giant gift from God.  Walking the road of children’s ministry can be bumpy, confusing, and disheartening when you don’t know what you are doing or why.  Certification gives you the tools and support to walk the road with joy and confidence, trusting Jesus every step and bump of the way.

‒ Brea Duty

Bethany Belue works on the CDM team as the Communication Coordinator for Children’s Ministry. Before transitioning into this role she helped develop and administor the certification program for children’s ministry.  Prior to CDM she was the Children’s Director at 2 large PCA churches, Redeemer presbyterian in NYC and Oak Mountain PCA in Birmingham AL.  She currently lives in Mobile, AL with her husband, son Patterson, and daughter due in December.  

2021-08-18T21:23:42+00:00August 18th, 2021|Blog, Uncategorized|

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