ANAHEIM, Calif. (BP) – The Orange County Southern Baptist Association (OCSBA) will be hosting a gathering for children’s ministry leaders and volunteers during this summer’s SBC Annual Meeting in Anaheim.
The gathering will take place Tuesday, June 14th from 1-2 p.m., and will take place on Level 3 of the Anaheim Convention Center in room 303C. Registration for the event can be found here.
Joni Lum serves as the children’s ministry consultant for the OCSBA, and told Baptist Press the gathering will hopefully be an opportunity to encourage and connect with one another.
“Our motto as an association is that we are ‘better together,’” Lum said.
“We hope by giving time for kids’ ministry leaders to meet and chat, we will all be sharpened and encouraged to stay the course in ministering to our next generation of church leaders. My intent for this is just to create a space where they can be seen and recognized for their valuable ministry.”
The event will feature speeches from both Jana Magruder, strategic initiatives director of Lifeway Kids, and Chuck Peters, director of Lifeway Kids. During the meeting, Lum said the two will be giving a preview into some new material Lifeway is developing for kids ministry.
Lum, who also serves as the kids and family minister at Magnolia Church in Riverside, Calif., said the gathering will provide a unique opportunity to connect with Southern Baptists from all over the country.
She described California as approaching a “post-Christian mindset”, and explained having the chance to connect with ministers from different areas will be edifying.
“I am hoping that by interacting with each other, there will be opportunities to interact with people who are kind of a step behind us (California Southern Baptists),” Lum said.
“We’re having to deal with issues that maybe some leaders in other parts of the nation don’t have to deal with.
“We can learn from each other as we face different issues and understand what’s going on in different parts of our country. I think having everybody’s voice there gives us a chance to see the big picture, rather than just what’s happening in our own individual area.”
Regardless of geographical differences, Lum said the significance of children’s ministry extends beyond even the children themselves.
“We’re the ministry that helps keep families engaged with the church, and we get to share Christ with kids at young ages and we get to grow children into disciples,” Lum said.
“The impact that kids’ ministry leaders make is through generations. It’s not just with the child, but the child’s family and future spouse and own kids. It’s a multiple generation impact. We have to do all that we can while we have them.”
Lum closed by encouraging those involved in children’s ministry to come out to the event not only to experience fellowship, but also for strength to endure in the work.
“It will be so rich for Southern Baptist kid’s ministry leaders to known that they are valued and seen,” Lum said.
“And for them to be recognized as molders of people and of disciples that are going to yield fruit throughout the rest of their lives. It will a great chance to network and get to know each other so we can support each other in the upcoming years.”