I believe that we are on week seven of being in this shelter-at-home order, and the world has almost come to a stop. The church world has changed and may never be the same again. Churches that had not even considered having an online presence are now online with their services, giving them a broader impact in their communities. Children’s ministries have also increased their virtual presence. This also gives kid’s ministries opportunity to reach into more homes, and have access to increased parent participation, as parents are now able to be with their children to participate in these services.

While our schedule has been totally disrupted and all of our services and outreaches have come to a halt, I too have learned some new tricks. So it’s not true that “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. I have been continuing with my coaching and mentoring through zoom meetings, Face-time and phone calls. In the beginning of this quarantine, Debbie and I had to fight the fear and worry of how we would continue with this ministry without being able to continue an onsite presence. We were disappointed as we were partnering with several Pastors that were starting to plant new churches, and we were so excited to be part of their launch. However, God reminded us of what He spoke to Moses whenever he felt inadequate and at a loss of how to tackle the task God placed on His heart, “What is in your hands?”. That is what we are trying to do, with God’s help. We are using every tool available to us to continue the call that God has placed on our hearts.

One of the good things about being on lock down is there is more time to pray and reflect on what God is speaking to us and the direction we need to go. In leading up to the time of the shelter-in-place orders, we had many meetings and conversations about new opportunities for Engage Kids and we were so excited to get started. For now, it is on pause, but we are taking this time to diligently prepare for what God has placed on our hearts.

Here are a few things that we are working on and developing:

    • A Children’s Ministry Leadership Development School
      • Training would be available for both on-site training in an urban setting and via virtual training.
      • Students completing the program will have completed the necessary courses for their certificate of ministry with the Assemblies of God.
      • Students receive hands on children’s ministry experience in an urban setting.
      • Students will have the opportunity to travel with a live on-stage children’s ministry/entertainment group that will be lead by a director for one of the largest children’s entertainment organizations in the country.
      • Students will have the opportunity to learn from some of the best children’s ministry leaders in the country.
      • Students will be connected to one of the top ministry recruiter’s for Pentecostal churches.
    • We are beginning children’s ministry huddle groups. I have already started one with the first time meeting in person, and then due to the lockdown, we have gone virtual with our meetings. It is our hope that we can have these virtual groups around the country.
    • We are available to go to churches to do a full assessment of their children’s ministry and to give the local church tools to take their children’s ministry to the next level. This assessment involves an on-site visit and meeting with the children’s pastor, his team and the lead pastor.
    • We are also continually working with one on one coaching and mentoring children’s pastors and helping them sharpen their skills and ministry. It has been excited to watch several of those that I am coaching doing online ministry for their church kids.

We are continuing to partner with Chicago City Life Church and fellow US Missionary Charles Moody in ministering to the hurting and those that are in need on the southside of Chicago. We miss going in and ministering to the children, but for now we do what we can. CCLC has partnered with World Vision, and it’s exciting to join them in handing out food and essential items for those in their community that are in need. My heart is touched whenever I see the faces of children pressed against the back seat car windows as they are waiting for food to be placed in the trunks of their car. I cannot touch them, but I can wave and say a prayer that God will speak to their tender hearts and supply all of their needs. God still moves despite the physical limits imposed on us.

The church is still vibrant! It cannot be infected or quarantined. We are the church – not the building. This virus has changed our lives and disrupted our schedules and agendas, BUT the quarantine has not affected the power of what He can do in and through us. It has not changed the mission of the church. We are still to go and preach the Gospel! There are so many children that need to know His love reaches them even in the midst of the craziness of our world. Our methods may change and we may feel restricted – but HIS Word changeth not! We still must go – “What is in your hands!”.

For His Children,
Aldin & Debbie