Shine has been Northfield church's children's work for the last three years. It has seen lots of children from the surrounding area come in. The night consists of games,songs,craft, snack and most importantly a time to hear about God.
At the start of the year we always have a party. This is to celebrate a new year and to thank the children for their part in the Christmas nativity. This is always a fun night with lots of laughter. We then spent the next ten weeks looking at the Ten Commandments. This opened up lots of discussions with the children. Over the next few months we looked at strong bible characters which involved lots of role play.
Over the year we noticed our numbers were dropping and we wondered whether we should continue with Shine. In July we decided to break for the summer and to seek God about the future of Shine.
Over the summer months, I really felt God challenged me to not give up. He brought me back to the verse from Matthew that says "Let the children come to me. For the kingdom of heaven belongs to those who are like these children". If we were reaching one child on a Monday night then God would be honoured. So we decided to leaflet the local area and start Shine up again. I met with the pastor and the elder and they said they would support me and the team.
As a team we prayed that we would have lots of children. On the first night we had a few new faces but our numbers were still very low. I spent all week praying for shine and the lack of children. I set the children a challenge on that first night. If they brought a friend they would win a prize. Chocolate always works with children! The next Monday night came and we opened our doors. We had doubled our numbers! We had lots of new children and old children. Wow!!
As the weeks have gone on God has continued to bless us with children. We now have over thirty children on our register. In December as we always do we held our nativity performance. The children led it all. They were amazing. The children and the families heard about the true meaning of Christmas.
I want to say what a privilege it is to work with the children and their families. God has allowed for some really good discussions about church, life and much more. As we go into 2015, I ask that you pray for God to bless us with children and that we may see lives in Bootle transformed
Louise- Leader Shine.