One our of every 4 children in the Central Valley currently live below the federal poverty line. This percentage is even higher in our rural communities and in the under resourced neighborhoods of our urban centers. The number of children under the age of 18 in these communities often makes up over 30% of the total population, driving the median age down to about 28 years old. Churches in this context understandably struggle with having enough resources as well, and have difficulty investing in the children and youth of their communities. Many pastors are bi-vocational and secondary leadership such as children and youth ministers are rarely paid and almost never trained for the work they do. Through our relationship with churches in 53 communities and a conviction that Christ’s priority on children (Matthew 19:13-14, Mark 9:36-37) needs to be shared by the church, Communities INC has been used by God to birth a vision through the Children’s Champions Initiative to address these challenges.
The Children’s Champions vision is to see qualified and connected children and youth ministry workers established in every community and every church in the Central Valley. We envision a movement of the people of God who share Christ’s priority for children and will partner with God to bring radical transformation into communities through more effective gospel outreach to children and youth. We can not see this vision accomplished without faithful partners in prayer and finances. If you would like to partner with us financially, you can donate online using the button below.
To bring about our vision the Children’s Champions Initiative has three defined functions.
The Children’s Champions Network is a growing group of children and youth workers who gather in regional clusters to pray, encourage, and share resources with one another. Additionally, we will be adding resources into these network meetings by bringing in outside speakers and presenters. We gather this network annually for a Central Valley Children’s Champions Conference that can impact hundreds of leaders who influence thousands of children.
The Children’s Champions Training is the handbook I wish I had when I became a pastor.
– Pastor Maria Ponce de Leon, Iglesia La Hermosa in Sanger
Many of children and youth ministry workers in the central valley have had little or no training for ministry. The Children’s Champions Training is a twelve session curriculum that provides ministry leaders and volunteers with essential skills that will strengthen their ability to minister to the young people in their congregations and communities. Topics include How to Teach a Class, Safety and Liability, Presenting the Gospel to Children, and many more. Click here to see the full training outline in Spanish and English. If you are interested in bringing the Children’s Champions Training to your community please contact Matt Naylor or Diann Garcia Widaman for more information. The Children’s Champions Training is offered bilingually in Spanish and English.
We identify churches and individuals who demonstrate exceptional passion for making an impact in their communities through ministry to children and youth. Our ministry coaches, Matt Naylor and Diann Garcia Widaman, then engage these leaders and churches in context driven relationships which provide support for ministry growth that fits their specific congregation and community.
Mike Nimon | Children’s Champion Adviser
Matt Naylor | Children’s Champions Lead/Youth Ministry Coach
Diann Widaman | Children’s Ministry Coach
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