This month, Three Worlds is excited to host a team from County Line Church (Auburn, Indiana) to lead seminars in Paris and Rome on Children and Family Ministry. The team includes Nathan Tatman, 3W Roundtable participant and Mission Advancement Pastor, will be joined by Mary Ellen Rayle who is County Line’s Kids Ministry Pastor, and Chelsea Buckwaler who is the Kids Ministry Assistant. The team will present the seminar at the Church of God congregation (Eglise de Dios) in Paris on March 21-22, and then again for Italian Church of God congregations in Ostia on March 28-29.
Joining the presentations in Paris will be Ken and Keli Oldham, 3W Middle East. The EDD in Paris was planted by Michel Fegali, a Lebanese graduate of the Mediterranean Bible College, and it consists largely of believers from Lebanese, Egyptian, and other Arabic speaking backgrounds. The congregation worships in French and Arabic each week, but their children’s ministry is offered only in French. The EDD pastoral ministries have recently been handed over to a young Lebanese born believer, Samir Salibi. The Oldhams have been getting to know and encouraging Samir via Skype video conferences over the last year. With the work the Oldhams are doing with congregations in Egypt and Lebanon, and the weekly children’s ministry program they offer to Egyptian children in English, this is a great opportunity to begin creating relationships for future partnership and mutual support between the Church of God in France and the Middle East.
We asked each of the County Line team to answer a question about the upcoming seminars for this post; here are their questions and answers.
Nathan, as a Missions Advancement Pastor who has been actively supportive of the approach of 3W in Europe and Middle East, what excites you most about the future of the Church in our region?"I am very excited for this next season of ministry and church life within the Europe and Middle East Region. Over the last four years I have seen exponential increase in connectivity amongst churches and leaders, a hunger for partnerships with pastors and churches in Europe, Middle East, and North America, the next generation of leaders adding a voice to the local church, and health beginning to permeate in these congregations. The church in North America must take notice of what is happening as we are in the midst of seeing God do some amazing work in and through His people and the local churches. I believe the foundation has now been laid for these next years to see these once struggling churches and isolated leaders to flourish in the gifts, abilities, and ministries that God has designed for them."
Mary Ellen, your approach to Children's Ministry is family-centered; what are one or two things you hope to encourage or inspire the congregations in France and Italy to do as they minister to the next generations?"One of the best opportunities the Church has to reach more people for Christ is through children and families. I am looking forward to meeting with the congregations in France and Italy to share my passion about the great power we have when the family and church unite in shaping faith development and nurturing spiritual growth. I want to encourage them to think about creative and meaningful ways to include children in their worship and church life. I hope leaders will consider prioritizing ministry to children and families in their planning with the potential of impacting more people for Christ. And ....we hope it is fun! We are bringing some engaging ideas for Bible stories, memory projects, crafts and games that will help all of us, kids and adults, learn to look with fresh eyes and listen with understanding ears."
Chelsea, you are the youngest on the team presenting next week; what are you most looking forward to experiencing as you interact with Christians in these different cultures?"I am so excited for this opportunity and eager to see how God brings everything together. I can’t wait to meet and build relationships with the people in France and Italy. God has placed on our hearts Bible stories, activities, and teaching methods to share about Children’s Ministry. Although we are coming to share with other church leaders from different cultures, I know that we will be learning from them how they do ministry and interact with each other. I am very thankful and honored to be a part of this workshop and look forward to sharing my heart for family and children. I have grown already through preparation and prayer over the last several months. God is amazing and doing great things and I can only hope to be a light to the people we meet in Europe."
Three Worlds is so thankful for the partnership and support offered by congregations like County Line. We are hopeful for the seminars in the next two weeks, and we want to invite you to pray with us for the equipping and inspiration that will take place in each location. Pray also for the Church throughout the region to intentionally, creatively, and powerfully work to pass the faith on to the next generations.