Practical workshops & training

Equipping you and your church to support families

Are you looking to grow your skills to better serve families in your church? These 1-hour Zoom-based webinars are aimed at doing exactly that. You might be a pastor, congregant, volunteer, or ministry leader – these workshops are focused on practical actions that you can take as an individual or church. You can attend as many as you like – each is unique.

If you can’t attend a particular workshop or want to catch up on one that was previously held, we do record them and you can access them via our YouTube channel.

practical workshops for 2024

One of the strengths of the local church is to create community around one another. No other public institution gets it right like the church does and can. Part of becoming an FTD-Friendly church is finding practical ways to come around expecting and new families in nurturing relationships. Because, when moms, dads and caregivers are surrounded in loving relationships it helps them to feel supported, safe, relaxed and cared for. It also helps them have confidence in their ability to parent well and provide responsive care to their young child. Surrounding families is important to prevent parents from feeling overwhelmed, lonely, isolated, stressed, or fearful.

Look at Surround Families resource page

A good question to ask is: Is our church a place where moms, dads and families love to come to each week? Is it a space where they feel seen, heard, loved and safe? or do they feel judged, shamed and alone? FTD-Friendly Churches are seeking to enable loving connections by creating warm and welcoming spaces. This is less about the physical space and more about how moms and dads feel when they are in a church meeting or group setting like a mom’s group or bible study. Come to this webinar to hear more about what you can do to make your church warm and welcoming. 

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In your church, God has put various gifts and strengths in congregants. They can play a part in preparing moms, dads, and caregivers. FTD-Friendly Churches are seeking to enable loving connections by equipping and preparing parents in the First Thousand Days with correct knowledge, practical tools, love and care. This can be done in a formal way (such as delivering a programme or a parenting workshop) or an informal way (such as an older man mentoring a first-time dad or helping mom practice things like changing a nappy). Come find out ways in which you can equip and prepare expectant and new parents.

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Speaking up is one of the ways we as Christ followers can influence how families are seen, cared for and supported. Churches have trusted voices in communities and can use existing moments of preaching and teaching to share the opportunity of the First Thousand Days (FTD). Whether in public, in private, on social media or in networking moments, we can use everyday opportunities to speak about FTD and the impact it has on the lives of children. Come find out how you can use your voice to speak up for families in FTD.

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Every church has strengths and assets that can be used to support and strengthen families in their community. Families in the First Thousand Days (FTD) require additional care and support in that stage – but the church does not have to do it all. FTD-friendly churches work together with other stakeholders to see that families get the kind of care and support they need. These churches collaborate with these service providers and refer families to ensure families receive holistic care. Come hear more about who you can collaborate with and refer parents to.

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FTD-Friendly Churches are seeking to enable loving connections by praying for and with parents in the First Thousand Days. Prayer is one of the unique and key practices of the local church – as we pray to a living God – and it is a spiritual discipline that is the simplest, yet most powerful way to bless and encourage families. Come find out more about how you can use prayer as a gift to those families in the first thousand days in your community.

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To be reminded of these topics closer to the time, join the Sikunye WhatsApp broadcast. Find out how to do that by visiting our Church Leaders or Church Members page.

Past topics and recordings

It’s no secret that returning to work after the birth of a child can be very overwhelming for mom. There can be many strong emotions around leaving baby in the care of someone else, fears about coping at work and home, concerns around job security. As a community of support to mom, in this workshop we will discuss how you can best care for and encourage mom as she returns to work.

To watch a recording of this workshop, click here. To access the resource for this topic, click here.

It is easy to picture children growing up in a nuclear family: biological mom and biological dad in the same household. Many times, however, children in South Africa are growing up in households with other caregivers – like a grandmother or aunts. There are also adopted children, foster children and many other situations where an adult is providing care. And these adults also need care and support to ensure that young children are thriving. This webinar will explore how churches can support these various families and caregivers.

To watch a recording of this workshop, click here. To access the resource for this topic, click here.

How would you finish this sentence” “our children need dads who are…”  The messaging that the local church sends to fathers has to be one that encourages dads to be better fathers, and not just be reminded of all the things they are doing wrong. In this webinar we will be looking at ways the local church can engage fathers and have impactful conversations and relationships with dads to journey with them in being present and active fathers in their child’s life.

To watch a recording of this workshop, click here. To access the resource for this topic, click here.

Many people will give new parents advice, tips and instructions. But sometimes this is rooted in old traditions, myths and misinformation. This advice – while it is rooted in good intention – can cause fear in parents, and may introduce parenting habits that are not good for baby. Giving mom and dad the correct information gives them the power to make a well-informed decision, rooted in good health practice. In this webinar we will be looking at some of the main myths that negatively impact mom and baby, and how you as the local church can bring truth to these myths.

To watch a recording of this workshop, click here. To access the resource for this topic, click here.

Reaching out to and supporting families in the First Thousand Days is not a one-person job. Every member of your congregation has gifts, strengths and experiences that are useful in supporting families inside and outside your church. If you feel like you are alone in your passion for caring for families in this stage, then this workshop is for you. You will discover new ideas and find out what other churches are doing in this space.

To watch a recording of this workshop, click here. To access the resource for this topic, click here.

Every caregiver has a range of brain-building superpowers. Three of these are: Love, Talk and Play. No matter your context, your church can help caregivers know how to build brains in their young children. If you want to discover what you can do to encourage caregivers in this way, then this workshop is for you.

To watch a recording of this workshop, click here. To access the resource for this topic, click here.

Throughout the year your church has moments that can be used to speak into key First Thousand Day issues. We know about Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas and so on… but what about Breastfeeding week, or Child Protection week, or Preemie week? These are times that can be used to raise important topics, or surround families in new ways. Join this workshop to discover practical ways you can use these moments.

To watch a recording of the workshop, watch here. To access the resource for this topic, click here.

Building community around caregivers is one of the church’s greatest opportunities and strengths. One form of community is a mom’s group. These regular times of gathering can be powerfully transformative and encouraging to the members. What is a successful mom’s group? How do you get one started? How can you breathe life into a mom’s ministry or group that you already have? Join this workshop to learn from experienced mom’s group leaders about how you, in your church and community, can connect moms together and encourage them.

To watch a recording of the event, click here. To access the resource for the topic, click here.

There are many benefits to the positive involvement of fathers in the lives of their young children. In a country with very low levels of father engagement, the church is well positioned to speak up and encourage fathers and families. This workshop will inspire and equip you to see more men actively involved in their young children’s lives.

To watch a recording of the event, click here. To access the resource for this topic, click here.

The love that Jesus has for young children means that his followers want to see all children thrive, and be protected from harm. In addition to this motivation, there are legal obligations placed on churches, as outlined by the Children’s Act. This ensures that children in your care are protected and that any form of abuse is reported appropriately. The South African law requires that churches have a Child Protection Policy. Together with partner organisations, Sikunye is hosting this workshop to guide you in this process.

To watch a recording of the event, click here. To access the resource for this topic, click here.

To be the modern-day village around families in the FTD, different ministries and groups within your church can be involved. Think about how to engage grandparents to play and bond with their grandchildren, speaking to youth and teens about FTD and parenting, and looking at how your children’s ministry be inclusive of FTD. This workshop covers practical ways to see the full range of ministries and activities in your church be engaging with the FTD.

To watch a recording of the event, click here. To access the resource for this topic, click here.

There is strength in numbers! In and around your church community are organisations, government facilities, individuals and resources that can be part of the modern-day village around families. Your church doesn’t have to do it all! You can partner and collaborate with these service providers. This workshop will cover practical ways that you can do that to see a full range of care for families.

To watch a recording of the event, click here. To access the resource for this topic, click here.

Ever heard the saying, “Spare the rod, spoil the child”? Does this mean it is ok to hit our children when disciplining them? What is the difference between punishment and discipline? The church has a powerful voice that can be used to encourage families to practice positive parenting – seeing them disciplined without violent means.

To watch a recording of the event, click here. To access the resource for this topic, click here

Young children are valuable in God’s eyes: He does not start caring for them when they can read the Bible, or pray or comprehend the gospel message. There are things that we can do to help children experience the love of God even when they are very young. Find out what you can do in your family and church to foster this spiritual growth.

To watch a recording of the event, click here. To access the resource for this topic, click here

To be reminded of these topics closer to the time, join the Sikunye WhatsApp broadcast. Find out how to do that by visiting our Church Leaders or Church Members page.