RAMENSKOE – More than 100 children and teens ministers from churches of all federal districts, 53 regions, 66 cities and towns of Russia spent five fruitful days in Ramenskoye, near Moscow. November 14-18, the 16th Congress of Coordinators of Children's and Teens’ Ministries of the RCCEF/Pentecostal Union was held there.
The theme of the congress, “Secrets shall be made manifest to His own”, was running throughout the days. Coordinators of children's ministry in the federal districts reflected on this theme in the opening remarks that began each day, during worship, sermons and interactives, during evening prayers and fellowship, during reflection and watching videos of the previous day.
The federal coordinators and their assistants in the districts do the convention together. This is one of the principles of organizing such a large-scale event. That is why from the first moments one can feel the unity, the atmosphere of acceptance, love and family. Ministers of federal districts were responsible for each day of the congress.
On the first day participants were welcomed by ministers from the Central and Southern Federal Districts. The theme of the day: Citizens of the Kingdom of God. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, people belonging to God, called to proclaim His great works” (1 Peter 2:9).
At the opening, each district creatively introduced their coordinators. Those who came to the convention for the first time received gifts and were welcomed into the family. Andrei Lisovsky, head of the children's and teen ministry, and Larisa Lisovskaya, coordinator of ministry in the Central Federal District, shared their messages with the participants.
The second day was devoted to the theme: ‘The Bible — the Word of God Himself’. “The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.” (Psalm 25:14). Ministers from the Volga and Ural Federal Districts were in charge of the day.
Everyone present received answers to the questions of concern and revelations through the word of the teens minister from Krasnodar Evgenia Petunina, the head of the Royall Rangers Sergey Bobkov, the coordinator from the Central Federal District Oksana Klimenko. The ministers learned about new methods of working with the Bible at the interactive session. They built an associative map “I am the Children’s ministry coordinator: from theory to practice”. The purpose of this method is to identify how to understand the ministry of new and long-established coordinators, compare and identify weak links, pray and if possible correct them according to the adopted at one of the congresses of the Coordinators regulations. And for teenage ministers there was a time when they gathered in their own, narrower circle and enriched themselves with the experience of working with teenagers. During three days they Evgenia Petunina and Tatiana Vairakh served them.
The theme of the third day: the Holy Spirit — Helper and Comforter. “To us God has revealed these things by His Spirit; for the Spirit penetrates all things, and the depths of God” (1 Cor. 2:10).
Ministers of the Northwest Federal District were in charge for that day. The participants of the congress were inspired by the sermon of Dmitry Shidlovsky, who is responsible for children's ministry in the Republic of Belarus. On that day there were interviews with ministers who had experienced difficult circumstances in their lives, the topic of emotional burnout and fatigue was raised. There was a lot of valuable advice on what measures to take to prevent this condition. There was also a meeting of the Council and organized spaces, working tables — 15 important topics — during which ministers from different regions shared their experiences and revelations from practice.
The fourth day was dedicated to prayer, the instrument that connects heaven and earth. “But when you pray, go into your room, and when you shut your door, pray to your Father, who is in secret; and your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you openly” (Matthew 6:6). The participants were welcomed by the ministers of the Siberian Federal District. We soaked in the living and effective word sounding from the lips of Larisa Lisovskaya, as well as pastors Andrei Lisovsky and Andrei Skryabin. We listened to amazing testimonies of God's glory in the lives of children's and teenage ministers. We studied different types of prayers through the interactive session “Prayer as Equipment” and, of course, immersed ourselves in communion with the Creator at the prayer evening.
The final, fifth day we heard a message of admonition for the year to come. “For the creation waits with hope for the revelation of the sons of God” (Rom. 8:19). Ministers from the Far East and Eastern Siberia were completing this deep dive into God's mysteries. The farewell words of the federal coordinators and Bishop Andrei Lisovsky became, on the one hand, an analysis and summary of what was happening at this place, and on the other hand, a glimpse into the near future, where the Lord is calling those who love Him, to a new movement of God among those chosen to serve the generations!
We thank the Lord for the opportunity and privilege to serve and gather at the convention of the RCCEF's Coordinators of Children's and Teen Ministries.
The Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith/Pentecostals