Jump! Aberdeen Children’s Ministry Network was formed back in 2014 and started life as small gatherings of children’s ministry workers and volunteers who would meet to share, encourage and pray for one another. Since it began, this network has been made up of individuals from different churches, denominations, and areas of the North-East, ranging from Sunday School volunteers through to full-time children’s workers.
Before long we realised that there was a shared passion to come together to provide opportunities for everyone involved in children’s ministry in the north-east to meet, to receive training, to network, and to be ‘equipped, inspired, and encouraged’ as our tagline reads. This led to our first conference in April 2015, where we welcomed around 120 people for a day of worship, training, and networking, headed up by our main speaker Rachel Turner, as well as a variety of seminars featuring some excellent speakers. The team continued to arrange smaller events through 2015: Jump:Into Summer & Jump: Into Christmas, which aimed to build on what the conference offered.
In 2016 we ran our second conference, where we welcomed Jo Squires as our main speaker, as well as having a worship team up from Ps & Gs in Edinburgh. Another great day was had as around 100 of us gathered to worship, to discuss, and to learn from the amazing array of speakers. In the autumn we also ran an event called Jump: Into Storytelling, where we had Renita Boyle as our guest speaker. This was a terrific evening of learning practical ways to improve our storytelling, with around 70 participants, which was great to see!
2017 had another successful conference, featuring the brilliant Lucy Moore from Messy Church as our main speaker. We were at a new venue and welcomed a variety of new speakers and delegates, with a really great turnout packing out the building. Soon after, we also held Jump into Discipleship, featuring Terry Williams from SU International, which was a fantastic series of workshops getting us thinking about raising lifelong disciples. Finally, in the autumn we ran our Family Fun Picnic at Bridge of Don Baptist Church – this afternoon was full of bouncy castles, games, food, and fun, and was enjoyed by all.
In 2018 we again met at Sheddocksley Baptist Church for a wonderful conference featuring author and storyteller Bob Hartman as our main speaker. We had a great day full of worship, great teaching, and insightful workshops all around our theme of ‘God’s Story, Our Story, My Story’.
Our conference returned again in 2019, where we met at Bridge of Don Baptist Church. We had the wonderful Lisa Lyall as our main speaker, Ranan leading our worship, and a variety of great workshops on offer. Our theme was ‘Families of Faith’ and Lisa both inspired and challenged us to think about how we could develop children’s faith within the home and in our churches.