By now, every CRC congregation has received a denim-blue brochure that describes our Children at the Table Toolkit (CAT). It’s the first in a series of online toolkits that we at Faith Formation Ministries are preparing.
Why are we preparing toolkits?
- Toolkits are flexible and each congregation can discern which tools in the kit will serve in their context. One-size-fits-all recipes and programs are not appropriate for congregations. Each congregation has its own context, its own history, its own character, and its own mission. Why didn’t Paul send the same epistle to every one of his churches? Each one needed its own particular guidance. Toolkits contain a wide variety of resources, stories, and ideas, and one can pick and choose which will best serve. In addition, FFM provides coaches who will provide guided toolkit tours for any who ask.
- An online toolkit is interactive, and can be continually updated and revised. The CRC is blessed with many creative, pioneering leaders. We need places where the fruit of their explorations is shared with all! The online toolkit is a gathering place for best practices and experimentation stories, and these learnings will continue to be added to the kit as they become available. Though the CRC is very spread out geographically, online toolkits allow us to form neighborhoods of learning and mutual encouragement.
- As more toolkits are prepared, we will create bridges between the toolkits. We at Faith Formation Ministries have several more toolkits in the pipeline, including ones focusing on Public Profession of Faith and the Intergenerational Church. These two will contain obvious links to the Children at the Table toolkit. How do we honor the rich significance of profession of faith in fresh ways now that it is no longer directly tied to admission to the Lord’s table? As children become partakers at the Lord’s table, how might we surround this practice by growing as an intergenerational church that celebrates God’s faithfulness across all generations?
- An east coast pastor sent us this email after receiving the CAT brochure: “You did a great job, and I can only imagine how much work this was. This is an answer to prayer. I am very passionate about the stuff you are working on and eagerly await more resources. There is a lot of inertia in many CRC congregations like mine and I hope this will encourage a more proactive approach with children and young adults going forward. Please send me 25 more copies of the brochure.”
His email made our day. It reflects the fact that our deepest longing at FFM is that we will be given the insight to develop tools that congregations can use to strengthen the power of God’s grace and truth through their ministries across all the generations.