Kids Ministry Task Force
The mission of the Kids’ Ministry Task Force is to speak up for kids. Our goal is to support Vineyard Churches as they reach out to kids by creating a body of peers who can provide support, encouragement and problem solving ideas.
Have you ever heard of the 4/14 window?
In 1990 a Christian mission strategist came up with a phrase to help people see a part of the world where the need for sharing the gospel was the greatest. He called this part of the world the “10/40 window”. This name came from the countries being located between 10 and 40 degrees latitude on a globe. For the past 20 years missionaries and churches have been focusing on sharing Jesus with the people who live in these poor, under resourced nations.
Recently Luis Bush, the man who coined the phrase “10/40 window”, has come to realize if we want to have the greatest impact in reaching people with the good news of Jesus’ love for them, we need to narrow our focus to the “4/14 window”. This window doesn’t have anything to do with where people live. It is about people between the ages of 4 and 14 years old! According to Wess Stafford, President of Compassion International and friend of the Vineyard, “The vast majority of people who make the decision to become Christians do so while they are children, between the ages of 4 and 14. This window is the bull’s eye, the very heart of the harvest. Not only are children the most receptive group to the gospel, they are uniquely positioned to be a powerful kingdom force—even today, as children.”
We, in the Vineyard, love to do what the Father is doing. God is speaking to people all over the world about turning their focus to reaching and equipping children. Not in the ways we have done so in the past. He is asking us to come up with new ideas and paradigms to see the kids experience personal transformation that leads to becoming agents of global transformation. To do this we have to address every area of their lives—not just the spiritual, but relational, emotional, economic, social, mental, and physical issues they face. We need a holistic approach to ministering to the kids around us. We need to provide kids with ministry opportunities in which they are able to exercise their God given gifts and that allow them to reach their God given potential in ways that honor God and advance His kingdom.
The Vineyard here in the US (and also some leaders from Canada) has an opportunity this September to strategize with leaders from Compassion International to seek God for a corporate vision for Vineyard Kids in America. Can you imagine what we could impart into kids if we had a vision from God for who we’d like to see our kids become in 30 years?
Compassion International has been on the forefront of learning about and understanding God’s heart for kids. They have a clear theology of what the Bible says about kids. They are committed to a Christian holistic view of kids. They understand about the 4/14 window. They believe that God’s plan to reach kids (and their families) is through the church.
We will be meeting in Canada September 19–22, 2011. It will be a small group of pastors, some of our kids’ task force leaders, some Canadian kids’ task force leaders, and some leaders from Compassion. Please pray that God will be there with us speaking his heart, giving his vision, and imparting the power of the Holy Spirit to follow through with what we hear and learn. This is just the beginning!
A Collective Kids’ Ministry Resource compiled by the Vineyard Kids’ Ministry Task Force
Vineyard Resources has offered a FREE copy of Start Smarter to every Vineyard Church! Be sure you get your copy by responding to the email sent out by Vineyard Resources. All we ask is that you pay the $5 shipping and handling fee. If you didn’t receive your email, check with your church pastor it was probably sent to him/her, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This resource is full of packed full of helpful ideas and “how-to’s” as well as materials you can photo copy and use in your own church. It is combined wisdom from Kids’ Ministry leaders who have been leading successfully for many years. Additional copies of the manual are available from Vineyard Resources for $28.99 each.
- Becky Olmstead
Task Force Director
- Connie Thieman
Western Regional Task Force Leader
- Debbie Wichman
Greater Rocky Mountain Regional Task Force Leader
- Linda Heselton
Great Lakes Regional Task Force Leader
- Jody Kingston
Southwest Regional Task Force Leader
- Cheryl Cecchini
Eastern Regional Task Force Leader
- Mary-Margaret LeRoy
Southeast Regional Task Force Leader
- Jean Street
Midwest Regional Task Force Leader