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Support and training

Elements of support:

Advice – Do you have a question or need some advice on how to deal with a difficult situation?  Are you existing from week to week and need help on putting a vision and goals in place?  And more … Contact Primary Focus and Mark will share his experience and expertise and give you some pointers to consider.
Information – Do you need a venue for taking your group away, or are you reviewing your teaching materials and need to know what materials are Bible-Centred and communicate the Bible relevantly and creatively? And more … Contact Primary Focus and Mark will recommend the best resources for your group.
Ideas/hints/tips – Are you looking for ways to develop your programme, maybe bring some freshness to what you are doing?  Are your activities a bit ‘samey’?  Do you want some help on teaching plans, creative Bible Studies, Holiday Bible Club Resources and ideas? And more … Contact Primary Focus for ideas on teaching, having fun, developing your children.
Training – Do you feel you and your team need some encouragement and support maybe on handling and communicating the Bible effectively or on techniques for teaching? Would you like help on understanding how your group learn or how you can bring the Bible to life for children?  Have you considered running a Holiday Club but don’t know how to go about it? And more … Contact Primary Focus and find out how you can have a training event geared to your leaders and your situation.
Weekends Away – Have you thought about taking your group away but don’t know how to go about it or where to go?  Is your church going away and you need someone to run the children’s and/or youth programme at the weekend?  And more … Contact Primary Focus as we can help.
Sports Initiatives – Have you considered how sport can be used to bring children and young people into your group? And more … Contact Primary Focus for ideas.
Links to other agencies – Do you want to know who can help you with a specific situation or supply you with information on a specific subject?  And more … Contact Primary Focus and Mark will point you in the right direction for specialist help and support.

Primary Focus is all about YOU not being alone.  Whether you need advice, information, training, encouragement or a listening ear relating to your children’s and youth work, Primary Focus is about helping you.


Mark has a heart for seeing leaders equipped and growing in confidence. One of the ways he sees this most often is in and through training events, whether at a conference or with a few leaders in a local church.

Training is part of every aspect of our lives: at home and in school preparing for adult life; at work where we are taught a job and In church where we learn to be effective Christians. It is a window of opportunity.

Yet in Britain we view training negatively. Whether we are asked or told to attend a training course, it doesn’t seem to make any difference, we often feel embarrassed, inadequate, stubborn, discouraged, de-motivated, angry, apathetic, defensive, threatened and pressurized.

A top boss in business recently commented, ‘If You offer a British worker a training course he thinks he’s inadequate. If you offer training in other European cultures, people feel you are seeing potential and giving them a chance to develop it.’

Sadly many local churches have absorbed this negative approach to training. Let’s examine why this is and how it can be changed. “

How do YOU view training? . . . The Influence of Others

How much does your church value its children and young people and the work you are doing with them?

If your work and your children and young people are considered to be important, you will be given support, financially, physically and emotionally. It is likely you will be happy in what you are doing and you will want to develop your ministry as much as you can by training.

If on the other hand, your work and the children and young people are undervalued, you will not feel valued either. In this kind of situation where little support and few resources are made available, leaders are unlikely to be interested in training.

In reality, many of us fall between these extremes but hopefully closer to the first than the last.

Your Own Attitude

No-one can become an expert in children’s and youth work without information and experience and no-one can remain an expert by ignoring changes in youth culture, in education and in themselves or their role.

If you don’t feel the need to train, now is the time to do an audit!

If you do, discuss this with your team, formulate a training plan and put this to your church leadership team.

So WHY is Training Important?

Christ trained his disciples. He did this mostly on the job, and has set us an example to follow.
Training enables development. This is most apparent when training recognizes and values existing experience, knowledge, skills and attitudes. It starts from the leaders strengths and builds, shapes and adds to them.
Training also increases confidence both in a leader’s ability to carry out their role and in the content being used. You begin to feel you know what you are talking about and identify with what your fellow leaders are saying.
Training helps people acquire new skills and builds on those you already have (sometimes ones you didn’t know you had).
Training helps to keep leaders aware of changing trends particularly where teaching is concerned and can help us reflect on how to respond.
Attendance on a training course or at an event has the added advantage of providing the opportunity to meet other leaders and learn from their experience. This can be an encouragement as you are able to share common struggles and problems and develop solutions.
Training can give you new ideas, revise old ones and show you how to use them in your programme.
Finally, training enables you to remain fresh in the work you are doing. It helps to prevent the stagnation that comes from thinking there’s nothing more to learn. Training is never complete; it is an on-going education.

Training is now considered to be vital to any effective work. It can be a stimulating experience provoking new enthusiasm for the future. Is it one, which you would like?

Training Subjects requested most often:

  • Bible Handling
  • The Importance of Bible-Centred Children’s Ministry
  • Helping Children love the Bible
  • Creatively Communicating the Bible
  • Holiday Bible Clubs
  • Having a vision and setting goals
  • Leadership and team skills
  • How children learn
  • Making the most of your meeting
  • Preparation
  • Programme Planning
  • Running Clubnights
  • Open To All – teaching a mixed Group
  • Children and their World
  • Control and Discipline
  • How to get involved in your local Primary School
  • Games – what and how to run them
  • And much, much more …

From the off God announces Himself to His creation, God simply speaks and the universe comes into being. We are told that ‘the heavens declare the glory of God’ (Psalm 19), that Adam and Eve were created to know and serve the Lord (Genesis 2) but disobeyed him (Genesis 3) and that God has a plan to deal with sin and restore His creation to right relationship with Himself (Genesis 12). When we meet Moses, or rather by the time Moses meets God, God declares to Moses who He is and what He is going to do for His people. God is the great I AM, the self-defining God. All other things find their meaning and purpose in relation to this deity who has never not been. And He does rescue His people using Moses as His mouthpiece.

And this sets a pattern for how God communicates with His rebellious people, how God tells them of His grace and salvation; God uses His chosen messengers. Through Joshua, through Elijah and Elisha, through Isaiah and Jeremiah God spoke to His people.

Then ultimately God has spoken to us through His Son (Hebrews 1:1-4). He is the perfect Word of God (John 1) who the Old Testament was pointing towards. And his death and resurrection is the single saving event which all the saving events of the Old Testament point towards. He then commissioned 13 apostles (12 while on earth, then Paul later) to write down all he said and did perfectly (John 16:12-15) and then to speak for him. That’s why Peter can describe Paul’s letters as scripture (2 Peter 3:15-16) knowing full well that Paul’s view of anything called scripture is that it is the very breath of God (2 Timothy 3:16). This should be no surprise as it is the pattern set by the Old Testament as understood by Jesus himself.

Therefore at the heart of children’s ministry must be the bible. If we want our children to know this living creator God then they need to know the bible. If we want our children to know the salvation that He has won for them in Jesus Christ then we need to teach them the bible. The bible doesn’t tell us everything there is to know, there is much in the world which it doesn’t touch upon. But it does give us everything we need to know for life and godliness through our knowledge of him (2 Peter 1:3). As David Jackman says, ‘The Bible is God’s sufficient Word, to bring us safely from earth to heaven, to guide every footstep of our life in this world and to tell us all that we need to know to enable us to trust him and obey him.’1 Don’t you want your children to have life? Don’t you want them to be godly? Then the bible must be at the heart of all your work with children.

Please don’t misunderstand us. By saying all this we don’t mean our children’s work is to be dry, dusty and boring. In fact God has been so gracious as to offer us this life in such a wonderful package; such stories, such adventure, such excitement. Why would you not want the bible to be at the heart of all you do?

Bible centred children's work from Primary Focus of Manchester