Well, I don’t know about you, but I never expected that my job role would change so significantly because of a virus!
Hello, I’m Steve, Children’s Pastor at Christ Church Surbiton Hill. I head up the 0-11’s ministry here, as well as supporting our youth team. Pre-pandemic, my role involved organising our Sunday morning kids’ teams, leading family worship times, going into our church school for weekly assemblies, helping with our toddler clubs, and plenty of other things too! All was going swimmingly…
And then, COVID.
Overnight, I went from Children’s Pastor to Script Writer/Camera Man/Video Editor. I used to see kids every day, helping them to either get to know Jesus for the first time, or get to know him better. Now, I was staring into an iPhone camera, hoping (praying!) that God would use these videos to help the children in some way.
I struggled my way through the first lockdown (March-July 2020), creating videos that could enable families to worship together at home. It was a hard season (for everyone!), but God did meet with children and families in significant ways. After a summer break, we decided to change things up and create a brand-new format for our children, something that could run alongside our main church services. CCKIDS was born in September 2020, and it’s amazing to think that we’ve completed a full academic year of this wonderful and fun YouTube show. I had a great team to work with and I’m so grateful to God for each of them.
The tech equipment, that we were able to purchase with a grant from the CYP Team at the Diocese, has been so helpful for our mission and ministry here at Christ Church. Not only have we been able to produce high quality videos that enable discipleship for the children and families who are part of our regular church congregation, but we’ve also been able to support our school with weekly YouTube assemblies and extra content for helping with RE at school too. We’ve also seen families join our church recently, many having engaged with our CCKIDS YouTube videos beforehand.
So, what do I prefer… the role of Children’s Pastor or Script Writer/Camera Man/Video Editor? It took me a bit of time to realise that these new skills that I’d learned were actually enabling me to continue being a Children’s Pastor, in a season where we couldn’t have contact with our children. I’m looking forward to restrictions easing so that we can do more face-to-face stuff with the kids, but we’ll definitely continue using our tech gear to supplement mission and ministry here in Surbiton. Would I rather COVID wasn’t here? Yes. But am I grateful for the opportunities that God has blessed us with because of it? Absolutely!
As we all begin to emerge from the pandemic, how are you engaging and connecting with those in your congregations, from the oldest to the youngest? What have you been doing during the Covid period that could be vital to the way your church functions moving forward? At a time when ‘normal’ is no more, how can you reimagine your children and youth ministry?
Take a look at our grants page for up to £300 to help with your children and youth ministry, download our Welcoming CYP Toolkit to help you reflect and evaluate where you are up to as we come out of lockdown or contact Aike or Keli if we can be of further support.