By Rev. Michelle Foster
Make disciples for the transformation of the World – this is our mission.
Provide encouragement, coordination and support for the ministries of nurture, outreach, and witness in districts and congregations for the transformation of the world; create and nurture relationships and connections among the local, district, annual conference and general church ministries – this is the role of Connectional Ministries.
How can we do all of this? By connecting one with another and sharing the gifts that God has
given us. Together, our gifts, our lives and our service can develop relationships and connections that make disciples and change the world.
Below you will find workshops that are offered to help the local church in its ministries of making disciples and changing the world. All of these workshops are offered to the local church at no cost. To schedule a workshop, contact me at 601-354-0515.
• Safe Sanctuaries
Safe Sanctuaries 101 – This workshop is designed to introduce people to the concept and Biblical understanding of Safe Sanctuaries. During our time together, the local church will be given practical tools to aid them in their work to make their church as safe as possible for children and youth and those that serve as their leaders.
This workshop is most helpful for the board of trustees, the staff parish relations committee, children and youth ministry groups, and church administrators (both clergy and lay).
Ethics and the Internet – This hands-on workshop explores the ways the internet and other forms of media are used for ministry in ways that are both helpful and exploitative of our children, youth and young adult populations.This workshop is most helpful for leaders of youth ministry, the staff parish relations committee, parents and children 12 years and older.
Nurturing the Nursery – Welcoming young children into the church is a great joy. Once we welcome them, we need to be prepared to nurture and care for them. This workshop will help the local church to do just that! Using some tried and true experiences coupled with some basic safety procedures, this workshop provide you the tools to transform your nursery into a space that beckons children and parents alike to come and be a part.
• Family Ministries
Family Ministries 101 – Designed to introduce the local church to Family Ministries, this workshop explores questions such as: Why do we need family ministries in the local church when we have age graded ministries? What are some “best practices” in family ministry? How do we begin a conversation about family ministries in our local church? Participation in this workshop will offer the local church new ideas, renewed enthusiasm, and practical tools for ministry.
Parenting in the Pew – Designed for parents and worship leaders, this workshop will explore the ways we can best engage, encourage and assist children in their experiences of church and worship.
Help! We Need Teachers –This workshop will provide you with appropriate tools to “beef up” your small-group ministry, nurture existing teachers and grow new ones, consider the various ways in which we can and do teach, and explore the ways that the role of teaching has expanded and changed in the last several years. This workshop is suitable for pastors and teachers, regardless of the age that they lead.
I Am Willing to Teach…But I Don’t Know What to Teach!? – Often in our midst there are those who are willing to teach but want to be given some guidance as to the material to teach. This workshop is offered in conjunction with the Mississippi Conference Media Center for church educational leaders, pastors, Sunday school teachers, and small group leaders to share with churches the various resources available to them, some at no cost, to be used in their local church.
The 5 Love Languages of Children – Based on the book by Drs. Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell, this workshop will offer parents insight and understanding into the ways their child best expresses and receives love. Together, parents will discover how to express unconditional feelings of respect, affection, and commitment that will encourage and strengthen their family for the rest of their lives.This workshop has also been adapted into a session offered to leaders who work with children and youth in order to improve the ways that we communicate, discipline and engage with one another.
Marriage Ministry: Changing Our Community, Changing Our World – Did you know that 51 percent of marriages in Mississippi end in divorce? That is just over 1 of every 2 marriages. The church can and should respond to this problem by finding ways to nurture existing marriages, cultivate healthy and sustainable relationships with those that are engaged, and educate and shape the understanding of marriage for those dating or exploring the possibilities of dating. Local church leaders that participate in this workshop will be given a wealth of knowledge, practical tools for ministry application, and a beginning plan for further growth.
Congregations for Children – This workshop introduces the local church to the ministry of Congregations for Children, our partnership with the Roman Catholic and Episcopal churches in our state. It provides an understanding into our role as advocate on behalf of children; our community and legislative responsibilities; and, ways in which we can be a positive force of change for the children in our world.
Foster serves on the Connectional Ministries staff working in Family and Children’s ministries.