2023 kicked off on a high note for Petra Institute in Pretoria.

On Saturday 14 January 2023, 60 volunteers from different denominations gathered at Living Word Centurion for a day of fellowship, growth, and learning about a variety of topics regarding children, faith, and the church. Various churches from the bigger Pretoria and some even as far as Rustenburg to the west, and Delmas to the east, were represented.


The theme of the day was:

Kingdom Builders 2023

The attendees were welcomed by a very enthusiastic team of children in hard hats and reflector jackets. After a cup of coffee and some chats with Sunshine, the puppet, our teenage mistress of ceremonies introduced the team of presenters and the praise and worship started.
The first session was the highlight of the day: Jorrie Jonker led a panel discussion with a group of experts on the topic of “What is important in children’s church?” The nine panelists' ages ranged between six and thirteen years and they were all very knowledgeable on the topic. The consensus at the end of the discussion was:

“We do not mind who our children’s church leaders are if they are young or old, big, or small. If only they care for us, listen to us, play with us, and spend time with us.”

The rest of the day was spent in various breakaway sessions and attendees were free to choose any three topics, with ample time for refreshments and fellowship between the sessions.

The choices were:

Playing with children
Praise and worship
Creative Bible reading
Memory verses
Relational prayer
Small group facilitation
Spirituality in the first thousand days of a baby

The focus, motivation, and connectedness with like-minded people were tangible throughout the day and we trust that the excitement about new knowledge and insights will sustain the volunteers in their work at churches, schools, and in their communities during the year.

What’s next?

Mark your calendars! Planning for 20 January 2024 has already begun.

We are looking forward to seeing all of our attendees again and hoping to add many new faces to the family of children’s workers in Pretoria.

Please get in touch with Petra Institute Training Facilitator Carlé Jonker if you are interested in receiving more information.

Petra Institute Course: Relational Family Ministry

Through the training in our Entering the World of Children course, staff at the Tshwane Leadership Foundation learned how to build trusting relationships with children through storytelling, games, music, humour and play.
This resulted in gathering information from the children in a playful way and in a safe environment where they could respond, based on a relationship of trust and respect.

Photos from the volunteer training: Living Word, Centurion (January 2023)

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