Special Training Empowers Children's Ministries Coordinators

Published on February 9, 2024

Each year, the Gulf States Conference invites the Children’s Ministries coordinators from across the Conference to participate in a special training event that focuses on empowering them with ideas for their children’s ministries and Sabbath School classes.

Throughout the weekend, they are equipped to understand how to run key memory events like Vacation Bible School, handle difficult situations, follow the Sabbath School curriculum, share Bible stories in ways that kids remember and share Jesus in the most beautiful way possible to the children.

This year’s event was held at Camp Alamisco on February 9-11, 2024, with presenters from the North American Division’s (NAD) Children’s Ministries Department presenting seven workshops in both English and Spanish.

Understanding the Importance of Children's Ministries

One of those presenters, Pastor Gerry Lopez, associate director of Children’s Ministries for NAD explained the purpose of the weekend, saying, “We came here to run a training for some of the children’s ministry leaders of the churches. The leaders, when they go back to their churches, will be able to take some different ideas on how to work in their children’s ministries or in Sabbath School. We did activities that hopefully they’ll be able to use when they go back.

We went over how to tell stories and teach children how to pray. They also experienced Thunder Mountain Vacation Bible School. More than anything, they will understand the importance of children’s ministries, not only in Sabbath School, but throughout the whole church community."

An Impactful Weekend

The weekend was impactful for those in attendance. Recently appointed to her role in children’s ministries, Jacquelin Velasquez expressed, “We must let our children know that they are part of the church; they are the church. They are the present so we must prepare them so that when they grow up, they can continue to love and know Jesus.”

Youth Director Michel Rodriguez emphasized the importance of children and empowering the local leaders saying, “We take children very seriously in our Conference.”

Creating a Good Foundation

Katie Serrano from Montgomery First Seventh-day Adventist Church in Montgomery, AL felt this level of care and emphasis being put on training as a first-time Sabbath School teacher, saying the weekend’s training “was really good. As a new Sabbath School teacher, it gave me a good foundation to start working with the kids, come with some new ideas and introduce concepts and areas of focus I should be using with the children. And it’s been a nice reset ensuring I’m addressing the curriculum correctly so the children take the right message home with them.”