SWBTS professor connects with children's ministers nationwide through regular Zoom calls
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was originally written by Alex Sibley, the associate director of news and information at SWBTS.
FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) -- During the coronavirus pandemic, Karen Kennemur, associate professor of children's ministry at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS), has connected digitally with preschool and children's ministers across the nation in order to discuss ministry amid COVID-19.
Kennemur hosted meetings for preschool and children's ministers as well as meetings with special-needs ministers.
Topics for the Zoom meetings included how to do Vacation Bible School during COVID, best practices for preschool/children's ministry during the pandemic, and more recently, how to discuss diversity, inclusion and racism with children. Kennemur invites guest speakers to discuss the various topics, then facilitates a time of questions and answers with meeting participants.
The most interesting thing about these Zoom calls, Kennemur said, is that they have comprised small, medium, large and megachurch leaders.
"We all are learning from each other," she said. "It's like we're standing in a room with the light switch turned off, and we need each other to help us find the light switch."
Kennemur's role a professor has aided the outreach, because her former students -- now deployed across the country -- have tuned in. The preschool/children's ministry Zoom calls average 100 participants, while the special-needs calls average 10.
"I get this new way of reaching churches and being with ministry leaders," she said. "Then that makes me better, when I'm talking about theory in the classroom and theology."
Kennemur's Zoom meetings will continue even after COVID restrictions have loosened in order to encourage ongoing networking among church and state Baptist leaders.
"I knew once it started and it was so successful, and I got such good feedback that it wasn't going to stop after COVID," she said.
This article was originally published by Baptist Press at bpnews.net