Training your team in chat and catch
We have found that once they have run the course, many churches are keen to adopt the chat and catch way of praying for their children’s and young people’s groups - partly because it is such a powerful way to help children connect directly with God, and partly because it makes so much sense to use the same language and methods as the children’s parents are.
Here are three different ideas for equipping your children’s and / or youth team which might work in your setting:
Option 1: Encourage them to come along to Sessions 4 and 5 of the course.
If you’re already running the course, there’s no need to create more work for yourself. Invite all of your team to come along to sessions 4 and 5 which are specifically about chat and catch. Remember to talk to any key players in person and explain why this is important and you’d love them to be there. Reassure any team members who aren’t parents who might worry that they’ll feel uncomfortable or excluded. You could get the team together for food before the session to help build community and emphasise that this is for them too.
Option 2: Design a training event especially for them.
It can be really tricky to get team along to training so it can help to keep it short, sweet and targeted directly at them. Find out a time that would work well for your team. Maybe do a Facebook or Doodle poll to work out when most people are around. An evening, Saturday morning with childcare provided or Sunday after church with a picnic are all good options. Depending on how much time you have, you could pick and choose bits of session 4 and 5 or use this 13 minute video* which covers:
- How to establish conversational prayer
- How to model chat and catch in a children’s group
- How to avoid overstressing it.
You could send links of the videos with a bit of explanation about how it looks in your church to anyone who misses it. Don’t feel you have to use videos though. Feel free to watch them to get ideas and then share from your own experience.
Option 3: Drip feed ideas and examples in a team meeting.
You could also introduce it gradually. This works especially well in addition to one of the other two options. If you have a team meeting, you could model chat and catch by using it as your way to engage with God and pray for the morning. You could show some short clips explaining how chat and catch can be used in children’s groups. If you write your own curriculum, you can add in suggestions for chat and catch questions with a quick reminder ‘how to’ guide for leaders. The Connected Hearts curriculum already uses chat and catch, so that could be a useful resource too. Get any leaders who are more confident in using it to share how it works in their group and give opportunities for people to feedback how it has gone for them.
*The video references a website called shackattheback.com which has now been superseded by parentingforfaith.org, so this is the best place to come for more resources and ideas.