BIG NEWS - Winter 2013

Posted at 04:44am on 4th December 2013
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BIG Volunteers...

We couldn’t do it without them!

Here’s something you probably already know: BIG Ministries run really big children’s events, with a live band as well as delivering a wide variety of training with a load of different experts on working with 5-11s.

But something you may not know: BIG Ministries only employ three people, two of whom are part time!

So how is it then that we have writers, designers, artists, administrators, organisers, additional needs specialists, musicians, song-writers, dancers, photographers, sound engineers, actors, teachers and more? It’s certainly not all in the skill-sets of three employees - that would be impossible!

BIG Ministries are able to do so much cool stuff because of all of the truly remarkable people across the UK that volunteer with us.

It has been a real joy, over the nine years that BIG Ministries has been running, to see volunteers sticking with us and enjoying being part of the work that we do. Each one influences how BIG Ministries runs and the decisions we make, as well as influencing and implementing the high standards that we bring to everything we do, whether it’s training, BIG Parties or resources.

However, one of the most incredible things at BIG Ministries, albeit unintentional, is how each of the volunteers have stepped out of their comfort zones and, through doing that, have developed their gifts, discovered new skills, and then put those gifts and skills into practice to show how amazing God is to the people we’re working with.

It’s amazing to look back at the early days of BIG Ministries and to remember what some team members would and wouldn’t do—or could and couldn’t do—and to see all that they do now... It seems that God has a far bigger plan than we can create for ourselves. Here we are, a charity focused on children’s work, now also specialising in developing character, skills, faith and creativity in adults... by accident.

“The songs draw us in, then the team points us to God, and inspires us to be the best we can be.” Kev Lee

“BIG Ministries have helped me develop as a person by interacting with me and helping me to interact with others.” Ben Lee (10)

“BiG has helped me look at any situation and make an Everything Important Box for it.” Sarah Joy

“Confidence in myself and my abilities. A God-driven approach to children’s
work and all aspects of life.”
Hannah Kernthaler

“BIG Ministries has helped me develop as a person because it has given me the confidence to sing in front of people as part of a band that kids love to dance to.” Rachel Alexander

“BIG Ministries has taught me that, in an encouraging environment, every member of a team feels capable of doing almost any job.” Steve Squires

 

New resources... 

We’ve been busy!

2013 has been a busy year for us... by reducing the number of events we are doing (inline with our latest strategy) we’ve been able to produce some excellent resources that we’re really proud of. So, here’s what we’ve produced, all of which are available for purchase from bigministries.co.uk.

Welcome to the BIG Academy
- The album

The first of these resources is our latest album, Welcome to the BIG Academy. Damian Herbert was involved in much of the song writing and recording process of this album. Here’s a few words from him...

‘We have the most incredible true story.

The incredible story of God, who in His love created the entire Universe from nothing. The incredible story of God, who created us to walk with Him in His amazing creation and to be in charge of it with Him. The incredible story of God, who still loved us even when we turned away from Him and His perfect plan for us and the world. The incredible story of God who promised His people that, through them, He would make the world right again. The incredible story of God, who kept his promises and sent His Son, Jesus, the Hero of the World. He lived, died and came back to life to become King and make things the way God wanted them to be. The incredible story of God, who gives us power by His Spirit and invites us to join Him in His plan to make things right again; His plan to change the world by bringing Heaven to earth.

This album celebrates this incredible story and our amazing God because we believe that when we allow this story to be our story, when we let it excite us and change our lives, we begin to realise that we have the power to change the world!’

PS. Feel free to head over to our Facebook page now to download a free song from the album!

Welcome to the BIG Academy - 12 BIG Questions

After several months of toying with the concept of a discipleship resource for 7-11 year olds, Welcome to the BIG Academy gave us the perfect opening to create something fresh and new. Using the songs from the album, 12 BIG Questions takes us through the CD, through the Bible, through some important theological questions, and through a fun and inspiring 12 sessions that will engage children as they become agents of The BIG Academy!

Welcome to the BIG Academy
- Actions DVD

We had a lot of fun producing a DVD filled with dances, actions and sign language to be used with the songs on Welcome to the BIG Academy. The DVD contains ways in which we can use our bodies in worship, not only for children, but also for ‘all-age gatherings’. So there’s always a choice of high and low energy movements to suit different needs!

God’s Love Is Unstoppable - 10 BIG Sessions Exploring the Life of Peter

After receiving such a positive response from 12 BIG Questions, we decided to produce a similar resource to go alongside our first album, God’s Love is Unstoppable. 10 BIG Sessions looks at the inspirational life of Simon Peter, one of Jesus’ first disciples and leader of the early Church. With Bible stories, photocopiable worksheets and up to an hours worth of creative teaching and worship ideas, we hope that this will be a useful tool for those working with 7-11 year olds.

Meet Mark Edwards  (who produced both our albums) Hear some of his skills here: youtu.be/9d-zRA4dayM

Who am I? 

I am Mark, a chubby musician from Brighton with a wife, two sons, two daughters and a dog called Molly.

What do you do? 

I make music with lots of different people so that I don’t have to get a job. Right now I am Katie Melua’s piano player.

What’s your connection to BIG Ministries? 

My connection to BIG Ministries is that they gave me money so I produced two albums for them, and ate many beef sandwiches with them...

What are your lasting memories of producing BIG Ministries’ music? 

My lasting memories of working with BIG Ministries are; a lot of laughing, good chats about God, beef sandwiches, whisky, and making good music. It’s a great privilege to have so much fun whilst trying to serve God.

Why do you think the use of music is important? 

Music is important because it bypasses a part of the brain which often gets in the way. It’s a language which goes straight to the heart. It can open us emotionally, and help us to connect with God’s presence. Which is always there, of course. And it’s beautiful.

What do you think about when you think of BiG Ministries? 

I think of excellence, creativity, commitment and a passion to communicate God’s love. I think of a great team of humble people doing it for all the right reasons. I think of beef sandwiches.

 

“Stop fidgeting!”,

“Will you please just sit still?”, “Have you got ants in your pants?” are three phrases that are regularly used in children’s groups all over the country every sunday morning. But why do children fidget and should we be telling them off or stopping them from doing it? I suspect the answer may not be what you expect...

Children fidget for a number of reasons:

1. They’re active children.

2. They’re uncomfortable.

3. They’re bored.

4. They’re trying to pay attention by giving themselves an extra ‘sensory stimulant’ (in the same way that we might have a coffee, open a window, put on loud music, doodle or even (annoyingly!) click a pen).

Have you ever thought that a child might be fidgeting to help them concentrate? How strange does it feel to think of fidgeting as a positive thing?

The problem is that children haven’t yet learnt an ‘acceptable’ way to fidget, and so the things that they do (e.g. chew on their sleeve/ rock back and forth on their chair/ wiggle while they’re sitting on their bottom/ chew their fingernails/ shuffle their feet back and forward/ or just wriggle) are irritating to us, or make us feel, (dread the thought) like they’re not listening to our wise words.

The thing is, that by stopping children fidgeting, we may actually be hindering their concentration or devaluing the active person God made them to be... if a child is fidgeting, let’s figure out if it’s our fault first before we reprimand or discipline.

If children are fidgeting because they are bored or uncomfortable, (or because they need some ‘activity’) then it could well be our fault as their leader and it’s up to us to do something about it - change the activity or the location or do a quick running around game - making sure what you do is engaging and interactive.

If it’s neither of those and it’s likely that they are sorting out their own ‘sensory stimulant’ then we need to ask - is it really a problem and does it really matter? (Or in reality is it just a problem because it’s bothering you that they can’t keep still?)

Perhaps it’s worth investing in a selection of ‘fidget toys’ (check out www.fidgetshop.com for a load of great resources!) or even just some pots of play-dough or pipe-cleaners to help them fidget in a less distracting and more ‘acceptable’ way, thus helping them to concentrate.

Let’s make sure we take a deep breath, assess the situation properly and allow our children to be children, fidgets and all.