Louise Bartlett was a church planter and is now a mother, a wife, a highly-involved local church member, an avid social media user, and our very own ‘Children & Family Ministries’ Facilitator. We recently spoke with her about how to perceive the children and young people in our communities in our podcast, Forming Church. “Jesus said, ‘See this little child? This is what the kingdom is like’. So if we’re not ‘seeing’ this little child, how are we going to know what the kingdom is like?”

Louise challenged us to think about what we are doing alongside children. “Sometimes we get something really fun for children – a jumping castle, or face-painting, as part of our gathering,” she explains. “And that’s okay! But it helps to also think, what are we doing with children? Where are we co-learners? Co-worshippers? Co-prayers? Co-labourers for the gospel?” Some of our churches are already hosting activities where adults and children come alongside each other to grow. For example, Batemans Bay Baptist has ‘Messy Church’ – a fun filled afternoon service for all ages (involving creative crafts, delicious food, boisterous singing and Bible teaching) that helps the church to support local families and build community. Check out some pre-Covid pics of the ministry below:

Since this episode dropped, even some of our Gen1K Mission staff have decided to experiment within their own church communities: Jamie Freeman is currently house churching and has loved seeing his boys learn how to share the “big story” of the gospel, and lead in times of communion. Esther Thackray says Louise’s thoughts have shifted the entire way that her church are going to operate this December: “We are going to try totally integrated services. Outdoors. Kids and all ages participating in all the service together, hands on. Challenges/videos to engage with as families during the week too,” Esther shared. “So excited to reimagine some things and give things a go!”


In this episode, Louise challenges us to consider a world where kids are our faith-filled equals. If your church has multiple generations in it, this is a conversation worth listening to. Do so here!

Featuring Jamie Freeman, Pip Miner & Ken Kamau from our Gen1K Mission team, the ‘Forming Church’ podcast explores what evangelism could look like in our rapidly changing world, resourcing the next generation of church planters and urban missionaries. If you’re a pastor, church planter or ministry leader keen to connect with others and discuss missional conversations that have kicked off from the podcast, request to join our Facebook group here

(The Forming Church Podcast is sponsored by Baptist Financial Services)


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