Puppet partners

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MB church plant collaborates with puppet ministry

by Connie Faber

The success of Steve and Faith Treague’s Reaching The Children Ministries, Sioux Falls, SD., has brought the couple to the attention of congregations in their community who are looking for children’s ministry staff. Thanks to Roger Engbrecht, Central District Conference minister, two Mennonite Brethren congregations have benefited from the couple’s expertise.

Engbrecht, who lives in Sioux Falls and pastored in South Dakota for several years prior to becoming the district minister, introduced the Treagues to Ethiopian Christian Fellowship, a small Mennonite Brethren congregation in Sioux Falls. The members did not have much experience in children’s ministry and so the Treagues assisted the immigrant congregation in initiating a children’s program.

When Engbrecht learned that the new Mennonite Brethren church plant in Sioux Falls was looking for someone to lead children’s church, Engbrecht suggested to church plant pastor Rod Anderson that he contact the couple.

“We had been praying (for a children’s church leader),” says Anderson, who led the launch of Christ Community Church in 2007. “The Treagues were the first couple we called, and I thought it would be a long shot. But they were between positions and were looking for an opportunity like this. It all happened very quickly. You don’t expect God to answer that fast.”

For their part, the Treagues are excited to be part of the Christ Community ministry team, says Steve. The church plant has hired RTC to direct the 45-minute children’s service each week. The children meet during the teaching part of the worship service and enjoy the Treague’s “high energy” teaching, says Anderson.

The children’s church program, considered a small group at CCC, is a key focus at Christ Community and illustrates Anderson’s belief that reaching children before they are in high school with the good news of Jesus Christ is important. In the past few months Anderson says two children have come to Christ through the children’s worship time.

The Treagues’ involvement in CCC is also an example of the congregation’s desire to “promote the cause of Christ through multiple venues,” says Anderson. The Sioux Falls congregation has a number of people in the congregation that are involved in outreach ministries, and “that doesn’t always happen,” says Anderson. Anderson mentions Connie Buskohl, an accountant who coordinates painting lessons for children and adults in her free time, and Angela Mendel, who runs an equestrian center that offers Bible lessons as part of its summer day camp program.

“The ministry of our church is bigger than us,” says Anderson.

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