Saddleback Kids (SK) proved you’re never too young to be Purpose Driven during their recent PEACE trip to Ensenada, Mexico. Nearly 100 team members––including leaders and students between Grade 6 and high school–– crossed the border to accomplish two main goals: First, to equip children’s leaders throughout Mexico through a Purpose Driven Children’s Ministry (PDCM) conference called Practico (Practical). The second goal was to partner with local churches to lay the foundational blocks to build a healthy children’s ministry.
According to Saddleback Kids Minister Liza Gant, “God had his hand of mercy and protection over the team’s health, unity, and more. His imprint was literally all over this trip, from training sessions to the end.”
Hosted by Accion Cristiana and Horizonte churches, PDCM Practical was a landmark partnership between the two local churches, something that had yet to happen in Ensenada. Over 150 children’s ministry leaders and pastors attended the full-day conference, during which SK team members shared tools and insight on ways to reach youth for Christ.
From students to adults, SK members covered such topics as technology integration, shepherd leadership, serving in our SHAPE, creativity in the classroom, and implementing a special needs ministry. They also partnered with four local churches to serve in children’s worship services and demonstrate the skills they taught the day before.
Following the services, the SK team worked hand-in-hand alongside the local churches to volunteer in service projects. From weeding and cleaning to painting and construction, SK and the Ensenada churches united as one body of Christ. As a result, both those being served and those who served were impacted by God’s mercy.
“Team members grew in their connection to God and to others,” explains Liza. “Their eyes opened to the ways God can readily use them and produce fruitfulness. Those who were served realized the true potential of children as modeled by our students. Simultaneously, children’s ministries throughout Ensenada were equipped to better serve and reach out to their own children.”
Growing children in their faith, SK PEACE trips are the culmination of their discipleship process, moving them from congregation to committed, and from core to commissioned.
“Their faith is challenged and stretched in unbelievable ways on a Saddleback Kids PEACE Trip,” adds Liza. “They are engaging in true discipleship, being the hands and feet of God, spreading his Gospel around the world.”
Seeds are planted in the youngest group of disciples in our church family, and their hearts are opened to reach the unreached by empowering the local church. Following the Ensenada trip, three other SK Global PEACE trips took place to Argentina, Philippines, and Rwanda. Learn more about your child can become Purpose Driven at saddlebackkids.com.