Nurturing children into Christian maturity

Nurturing children into Christian maturity

The goal of the Child Discipleship ministry is to nurture children into Christian maturity by strengthening or assisting churches and schools to create self-sustaining children’s discipleship ministries. The idea for this ministry came out of a realization that many children were responding to the gospel through the Jesus Film ministry but were not being reached by our adult-focused discipleship materials – nor, in many cases, by any other ministries in those locations.

The Child Discipleship ministry seeks to accomplish this goal by equipping schoolteachers and Children’s Church teachers with appropriate skills, knowledge, and materials to teach the children; by helping school administrators and church leaders to understand the value and importance of supporting child discipleship; and by working with parents to help them understand the importance of child discipleship at home and equip them with the skills to do it. 

When churches have demonstrated commitment and competence in leading their own children’s ministries, we conduct a handover ceremony, whereby churches assume the full responsibility of all children’s ministry activities, and our team ceases follow-up in order to move on to another sub parish or branch church identified by our pastoral church partners.


  • 10 handover ceremonies conducted with churches that demonstrated competence and independence in their children’s ministries.
  • A refresher training with 30 participants was held for Children’s Church and Good News Club teachers from previously reached communities.
  • We wrote lesson plans for combined trainings of Child Protection Committees and parents in child protection and child discipleship. We then helped start 3 new Child Protection Committees in 3 churches and trained 47 new committee members.
  •  We trained 208 parents from 11 communities in child discipleship.
  • Parents from 6 communities who were trained in child protection and child discipleship extended the training to an additional 439 parents on their own initiative.
  • We witnessed good coordination between 5 local churches and their corresponding nearby primary schools, where Children’s Church teachers have been participating weekly in the schools’ Good News Clubs.


Church leaders have noted a significant rise in the number of children attending their congregations. Furthermore, there's a noticeable shift in prioritizing children's ministry, evident in churches' increased involvement in training others and implementing learned strategies within their own communities. Many children demonstrate a deep understanding of Bible verses and stories, often leading services and delivering sermons to the general congregation on Sundays.


It's not uncommon for trained Children’s Church teachers to relocate due to reasons such as school or marriage. Additionally, some churches trained in previous years have found themselves without teachers, particularly after closures due to COVID-19, as some teachers did not return to church. Many churches continue to expect EI Uganda to provide items not included in their budgets, such as uniforms for Children’s Church members and teachers, footballs, and the construction of Children’s Church structures. Some Child Protection Committees and teachers request materials, allowances, or gifts to motivate children. Rural churches often face challenges in accessing teaching and learning materials, including visual aids and notebooks. Inadequate toilet and bathing facilities during on-site residential training have been noted. The academic catch-up efforts in schools due to COVID-19 leave little time for Good News Clubs. Finding time for follow-up during the school term can be challenging, with Sundays being the most viable option as children are busy with school and other activities during the week. Phone network issues and difficult road conditions during the rainy season pose obstacles to mobilizing people, often resulting in field staff returning after dark. Some unsaved parents prevent their children from attending Children’s Church, prompting efforts from teachers and Child Protection Committees to visit them individually, address concerns, and encourage their children's attendance.

Looking forward

Churches have responded with deep gratitude for the equipping EI Uganda is providing to their Children’s Church workers, Child Protection Committee members, and parents in child discipleship. The fruit of this equipping is evidenced in the large increase in children coming to church, and in the personal testimonies of parents who feel capable for the first time to provide spiritual teaching at
home. In 2023, we plan to update and expand the lesson plans and increase the teaching time for parents, as per numerous requests.

The issue of churches losing their trained Children’s Church teachers is the main threat to this ministry. To counteract this threat, we plan in 2023 to help churches identify regional Children’s Church resource people who can be trained in much more depth to train new teachers in the churches in their region.

Reading next

Uganda Update from 2022
Uganda Mission Mobilization

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