Shadow Of Victory

Sunday, 10 March 2013


What better day to write a blog entry about Children's Work than on Mothers Day.! This blog entry has been simmering slowly in my spirit for weeks and yet haven't got round to writing it but feel today is as good a time as any to tell you about the incredible group we have in church every Sunday.

I am serving in Konstruction Krew ( ages 5-11 ) as part of my Academy Year. I have worked with children for decades and always avoided serving in this age group at church ...kinda thought that if I had them Monday to Friday that Sunday was my day off.! When I interviewed for Academy I chatted to several different leaders looking for the right place for me to serve and pretty much made the decision as soon as I talked to Yvonne Scott who is the Children's Pastor..that Konstruction Krew was for me. Those of you who know Yvonne will know she has a passion for bringing the full gospel to children of any age and I caught her vision early on in my year. Yvonne is outstanding as both a leader and a pastor. The team thrive on her leadership and I am amazed that at her age (!) she has the energy to serve at both morning meetings week after week and still work full time and still get to evening meeting and still help at Alpha.YIKES..I have a hard act to live up to. I also have the privilege of calling her one of my closest friends and know that a fair number of the team would agree with me that she is outstanding.

The team deserves a huge round of applause as they serve each week....some of them cover both meetings and some even serve two Sundays out of four. We have a youth worship band who come and lead the children once a month and then get stuck in leading the groups as well as leading us all in some amazing worship times. I think the average age of Revolution band who serve us is about 15 years old....I am gobsmacked at the talent and gifting they have and the heart to serve the children is such a blessing. In this life the "world" offer up role models who are nothing more than empty shells and its so great that our children get to see role models who base their lives on Jesus and live it out in front of them.

Every member of our teams deserve an accolade and I know there is probably a huge round of applause in heaven with angels delighting and God rejoicing.....
*every time one of the team introduce a child to Jesus and helps them pray the ABC prayer..
*every time a team member prays with a child because they have shared a hurt or an ache in their lives..
*every time a team member helps a child who has never been before to settle in...
*every time one of the buddy team who help us with children with special needs allows a parent to be in the adult meeting knowing their child is safe and enjoying the morning
*every time a leader gets to see a child respond for baptism...
*every time a team member prays with a child perhaps for their parent or a school situation
*every time a visitor arrives and is greeted by a team member who welcomes both them and their child..

I rarely leave a Sunday without a time of thanksgiving in my heart that God has allowed me to serve with Konstruction Krew...I am pretty sure its not going to be my "calling" in the future as I am mainly involved with the team rather that the actual children but I do get to see and be a part of it all and I go through tissues every week as God moves my heart at the way the children respond to the teaching.

I have seen children become Christians...I have seen children respond for prayer for healing and seen healings happen. ..I have seen children respond for baptism and then seen them give outstanding testimony about how God has entered their lives...I have seen children pray big prayers and then rejoiced with them when God has answered them...I have seen shy children pray out loud for the first time...I have seen young children acting so mature and sharing what they feel God is saying...I have seen huge numbers of children "gunging" the leaders amidst hilarity and managed to survive so far without being gunged more than once ! I have seen children naughty.... say sorry....hug their sibling...hold hands with friends...share some deep hurts....I have seen children faithfully bringing their tithe into the storehouse each week....Oh I could write for hours at what I have seen week by week and never tire of thanking God that he planted me in this ministry for such a time as this.

This morning as we celebrated Mothers Day..we had something like 36 children at the 9am meeting and over 80 at the 11am meeting...seem to think this may have been a record ...but somehow or other God must have known each child that would be there because we also had new team members who started today too...phew !! and I cant write a blog about Konstruction Krew without telling you about the amazing apprentices we have on the team...This a group of children in years 5 and 6 who each week serve alongside the adult leaders and with me as part of the hospitality team. I am literally in awe of these children ...they arrive early and stay late and set up drinks and give out refreshments and wash up in kitchen and help the leaders with the small group time . I see these children serve alongside the tech team..the receptionists...the teachers...and I know we couldn't function as well as a coherent whole without them. Recently we met with just the apprentices for a pizza and pudding lunch and had some brainstorming ideas and this bunch of 9 - 11 year old will be actually planning and organising and leading one of our Sunday morning meetings in watch this space...they are the leaders in their generation and God is smiling week by week on these youngsters.

Let me also tell you about the Konstruction Krew team who are led by Guy Standen...this is a group who serve Konstruction Krew by getting there at the crack of dawn and setting up all the props and the chairs and laying out all the tables and chairs and sorting out the different rooms and then 5 hours later putting everything away again....I have tried each week to beat them in by arriving before 8am but in 6 months I haven't yet managed it (!) ...this gang serve us in security and tech and Ops and in more ways than I can remember are a gem and may God bless each of your team ....we couldn't do what we do without you all doing what you do

And finally let me finish saying if you are reading this blog and you have children in this age group...they are a blessing to us....if you are reading this blog and you are part of the team..join with me in thanking God for each and every one of the children...if you are reading this and you want to know more about serving ..either in Konstruction Krew or maybe going on the Academy Year then get in touch with us.

Saturday, 9 March 2013


Officially half way through the Academy year and all I can say is ...WOW....I am having so much fun.If I thought my life had been "same old..same old " for the last few years then I can definitely say that its a roller coaster time and I am so loving it...
I wondered at how it would be amongst so many young people and whether or not I would fit in and how it would all work especially with 6 of the young gang being from overseas. 

I wondered how I would cope with the "serving"side of things having to be in Konstruction Krew EVERY Sunday from 8am till 12.45

I wondered how I would find the "academic " side of the year with the teaching..the theology...the assignments.

I wondered how it would be to take part in the "preaching" class with Ben Davies.

I wondered if I would ever be able to stand in front of the both the Academy students and then the church and preach a message.

I wondered how I would find the time whilst continuing to work full time...childmind Elisha..move house and still be a friend a wife a mum.

I wondered what I would feel when at church events such as conferences that rather than enjoy being on the Welcome team which also allows me to be in the meetings I would have to be "behind" the scenes in the kitchen and cleaning the toilets.

In answer to all my "wonderings" all I can say is that God is good. He knew I needed a change ..He knew I needed to get out of the rut (nothing wrong with the rut I was in...some ruts are just seasons of life but mine had worn thin and needed to be re-treaded !). He knew that I was ready to be stretched and challenged and changed and I may never be the same again. I already am thinking ahead to graduation and wondering "what next ".

The Academy students are just the best gang...Sixteen completely different characters...ages...cultures..countries and abilities and yet I love each one of them for who they are and what they bring not just to Academy but to the community of our church family. The leaders who have come in week after week and shared lessons...personal stories have all been outstanding . I have learnt so much about the bible..about God..about Jesus..about church life...and some behind the scenes glances sneaky peeks at various leaders lives which for someone who is as nosy as me that's been a real bonus. Dont worry guys..

."whats shared at Academy ..stays at Academy"

In the last two weeks we all had to give a ten minute preach about a character in the bible with whom we identify and to give reasons why and relate to events both in the characters lives and ours that God used and intervened in. What a challenge for us all and I have been transfixed listening to all our different stories. Some very honest...some hesitant...some tearful...some theological...yet all distinctly different. Several of the students had never done anything like this before and if given the choice would have ran a mile and yet I am full of admiration for them and they rose to the occasion and did themselves proud and honoured God.

I am still the oldest by far and even the next one up could still be my daughter and to most of the students I could even be their fact now that I come to think of it some of the leaders coming into teach could also fit into that category BUT one thing I determined at the very start of the year was that I would be open to all that they had to share no matter who they were or how old they were. Some of the students have shared things with me at various times that have caused me to rethink or change some of how I live and for that I am incredibly grateful and realise that we all have things to offer no matter who we are or how old we are or how long we have been Christians . Just to have an open spirit and an open mind is all that's required to grow in our spirits.

I am looking forward to all that is coming my way in the second half of the Academy year. Another 2 essays....another speaking assignment ...another couple of conferences to serve HTB conference to go to in London and who knows what else will pop up in between. Its fresh and new and exciting and if anyone reading this is wondering whether they could do Academy can I please encourage you to say YES to any prompting you may have in your spirit. Ask questions of any of the students ...ask me...ask Ben really will challenge you and inspire you and move you a lot closer to God and give you the thrill of a lifetime as well as change you forever.