Group project - Mobilize Africa

By: Lisa Biegert

BCM International’s children’s ministry training program has three different levels. In Step with the Master Teacher (ISMT) trains children’s ministry volunteers how to teach children. Train the Trainer (TTT) trains regional leaders how to teach ISMT within their churches and denomination. Mobilize is the third level, training designated Lead Trainers who have graduated from Train the Trainer to be able take the TTT and ISMT courses back to their global regions.

Each Mobilize intensive training event is held on a different continent. From February 21-26, 2019, Mobilize came to Africa. Hosted by BCM Kenya missionaries Dr. Josphat and Emily Yego in Kenya’s capital city of Nairobi, Mobilize Africa brought together twenty-one top children’s ministry leaders from Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Burundi, Kenya, Madagascar, and Malawi. Teaching the six-day training conference were BCM regional director for Africa and Asia Stephen King and his wife Jane from the United States, BCM Africa children’s ministry leadership training director Pat Govender, and Lead Trainer Ingrid Kjonstad, both from South Africa.

Denominations involved between the twenty-one Lead Trainer candidates represent tens of thousands of churches across Africa. Pat Govender shares, “As everyone arrived, we were excited to hear their collaborative stories about their ministries with In Step with the Master Teacher in so many different countries.”

Group project - Mobilize Africa

Stephen King adds, “Mobilize is about much more than just training. It is a catalyst for children’s ministry. We go beyond just training to encourage each of these Lead Trainers to be a force for children’s ministry in their own regions.”

Throughout the event, the participants were given time to fellowship and build relationships. They collaborated, shared ideas and strategies, and even planned together for future partnership training programs between countries.

One participant shared, “It was good to see strategic networking happening and to hear what God is doing in other countries. After meeting so many from other countries, I believe that our combined efforts will make an even greater impact. We can minister to, encourage, and support others in many different countries, right from where we are based.” 

Learning the ISMT training structure

With half the population of Africa under the age of fifteen, reaching the continent’s children for Christ is especially urgent. Every morning and evening, the delegates also took time to gather as a group and pray for children. Lead Trainer from South Africa Ingrid Kjonstad, expresses, “During one prayer activity, we rotated to different stations that corresponded to the countries represented at Mobilize and prayed specifically for the children of that country.”

Along with Mobilize Africa, BCM Kenya host missionaries Dr. Josphat and Emily Yego had organized two additional training conferences in Kapsabet (February 15-18) and Eldoret (March 6-8), cities on the western side of Kenya near Uganda. During these sessions, Pat Govender, Steve and Jane King, and the Yegos taught both ISMT and TTT, equipping an additional eighty-four new ministry leaders to both teach children and train others.

Pat Govender summarized the impact of Mobilize Africa: “It was an intense program enveloped by God’s presence. We are privileged to equip these new Lead Trainers to see the bigger picture—a national and global vision of children’s ministry—and how to be strategic in their own training ministries. Every one of them left encouraged, inspired, and motivated to go and make a difference in their country.”

Group Activities - Mobilize Africa