Ethiopia Christian Discipleship Impact Stories

Training Improves Children's Ministry

Written by Tamiru Chewaka on Dec 11, 2019 4:40:22 PM

Bereket (center) reads from the Bible with several of his Sunday school students

‘‘The Child Focused Theological Education Trainings have improved my teaching skill and methodology for Sunday school classes,’’ said Bereket Michael (18). Bereket is a Sunday school teacher at Meserete Kiristos Church in the Tigray Regional State in Ethiopia. The region is 515 miles north of the capital of Addis, where World Vision undertakes integrated development programs that serve children and families.

Sunday school teachers left a good impression on Bereket. As a child, he thought of becoming a Sunday school teacher himself one day and dreamed of teaching the children in his church. Recognizing his interest, his teachers encouraged him to respond to what God put in him at childhood. When they thought he was ready, they prepared him to teach a lesson. He started out with enthusiasm, but as time went by he noticed that his students were losing an appetite for the lessons he taught and nearly stopped listening to him. ‘‘Their lack of attention and interest frustrated me a lot but it did not affect my zeal,’’ Bereket says.
Knowing that he needed help, he conferred with the church minister on how he could better understand children’s ministry. The minister took the case to the World Vision Christian Discipleship team in quest of skill training opportunities for Bereket and the rest of teachers.
Known for serving as a bridge between people with need and others with the means, World Vision conducted several workshops for the church leaders, Sunday school teachers, youth workers, and parents on children’s spiritual needs and development. The community learned new teaching methods and lessons about mentoring and child protection. Bereket participated in the workshop and learned the difference that he could make if he changed the way he taught children. ‘‘It is hard to enumerate the impact of the training, but simply put, it’s huge. It made me understand where the gap was,’’ Bereket said.
Over 200 parents and caregivers received biblical parenting training. They learned the Positive Parenting method, which focuses on creating healthy home environments and the benefits of working hand in hand with Sunday school teachers.
Bereket said his students’ attention and interest are back on track and his students are enthusiastic to become disciples. He feels happy when he hears from Sunday school students’ parents about their children's changed behavior. The parents are happy and are observing excellent characteristics in their teenagers such as obedience, humbleness, being good listeners and exhibiting friendly manners and love for others. Bereket remembers another young girl in his class who at one time had disassociated herself from anyone and fell into hopelessness. Over time, she joined his Sunday school class and began engaging with others. Bereket feels a great sense of encouragement.
As for Bereket, he believes the church is a place where children can learn and grow in their knowledge of Jesus Christ, receive His love and start to act like Him.