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JUC Children’s Ministries Trainings
March 11, 2019

 The Japan Union Conference (JUC) children’s ministries department held special trainings in Tokyo and Nagoya from January 19 to 20, 2019. These trainings were planned and organized by Pastor Masaru Kobayashi, JUC children’s ministries director, and took place a few days after the Northern Asia-Pacific Division’s (NSD) Youth-Children-Education (YCE) Summit, which was held from January 13 to 16. Children’s ministries leaders and staff from 11 churches attended and participated in each of these programs. Children’s ministries directors, Dr. Linda Koh from the General Conference and Dr. Lisa Clouzet from the NSD, were the main presenters.

The weekend began with worship at Tokyo Central Church, where Dr. Koh presented the sermon, Dr. Clouzet told the children’s story, and Pastor Kobayashi translated for both. Several training participants were present for this worship service. 

The topics for the trainings were requested by the local church children’s ministries leaders of East Japan Conference (EJC) and West Japan Conference (WJC) and were on the subjects of “How to Teach Multi-Age Sabbath Schools” and “How to Deal with ADHD in Sabbath School.” Most of the churches have very limited children’s ministries staff, with only one or two people struggling to care for multi-aged groups of children. Dr. Koh taught helpful principles and led the participants through interactive exercises to reinforce the concepts so that they would be able to apply the principles in their current situation. Dr. Clouzet addressed the characteristics of children with ADHD and suggested techniques that could be incorporated in the classroom setting. There was also time given for questions and answers following each session.

In these days when JUC is facing the challenges of an aging society and a decreasing number of children in the church, let us remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 19:14 (NKJV), “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Let’s embrace the children we have at present and show them that they matter and belong. Let us also show appreciation and support for children’s ministries leaders, teachers, staff, and parents as we work together for His sake on behalf of our children.

by Masaru Kobayashi and Lisa Clouzet