As we noted a few days ago, just over a fifth of Penrith residents are fourteen or younger. Our team is spending a large portion of their week seeking to reach this demographic with the gospel. You’ve heard a little about preschool fun on the church lawns already. On Tuesday we visited the local primary school to run a number of Scripture seminars.
Andrew, one of the first years on our team, was struck by the strength of the relationships that have been developed by Ben, the youth & children’s worker at St. Stephen’s. He had this to say:
“The church views scripture in the local school as a privilege, not a right, and as a result have worked hard at having a good relationship with the school. Ben, the regular scripture teacher, knew all the names of the students and teachers, and was loved by the kids who come each week. ”
Pray for those students who learned about Easter through music, puppets, discussion, and craft activities. Pray not only that they might put their trust in Jesus, but also that they might share what they’re learning with their parents. Pray that through increasing enrolments and changes in staff the relationship between the church and the school will continue to flourish.
In addition to Scripture, Ben looks after FEAST, a kids’ club for years 3–6 on Thursday afternoons. They play games, hear a talk and have a discussion about something from the Bible, and eat dinner together. Our team ran the show this week, from games right through to the talk and discussion. Simon spoke about our need to have Jesus save us from ourselves, while the funtivities were anchored in a game where a leader had to sacrifice herself in order to save the kids. The children seem really excited to be there, and team members had several good conversations about what Jesus means for our lives.
Pray for Ben, who also pastors the 6:30pm congregation, as he seeks to grow the youth and children’s ministry with limited time, and for the parish as they consider how to support him and how to move forward in this strategic area of mission to Penrith.