When some 800 evangelicals from eleven countries came together in London in 1846 to form the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), the well-being of children was one of the key concerns they sought to address. At that time, they lamented the widespread child labor in society and its tragic impact especially on poor families. Today, the WEA together with its partners are engaged in a variety of issues, ranging from discipleship and raising children in faith, to education and youth leadership, to social issues related to children-at-risk, such as domestic violence, orphans, unaccompanied minors and child trafficking, among others.
In order to step up and coordinate these efforts more intentionally, WEA launched its Children’s Network with the mission of “equipping parents and the Church to love, protect, guide and empower all children.” It will rally experts and WEA’s global constituency in more than 130 countries together by providing a platform for collaboration that aims to…
…connect global children’s ministries and Evangelical Alliances to serve local churches and families in raising children in Christ and responding to the needs of children-at-risk in their communities;
…equip Alliances, churches and families with relevant information and resources on parenting, discipleship, education, and protection of children in their homes and communities;
…speak as a representative evangelical voice to United Nations, governments and media on issues related to children, and as a prophetic voice to inspire and challenge the Church to care for children with God’s heart.
“We are very pleased to launch the WEA Children’s Network as a vehicle to galvanize the many existing efforts within our constituency and beyond,” said Bp Efraim Tendero, Secretary General of the WEA. “Children need love and protection within a family that cares for them, so they can flourish and live their lives to the full extent that God has prepared for them. However, too often the reality is different and children experience suffering and trauma spiritually, emotionally or physically. It is our hope that the Children’s Network will help families and churches to respond to the many needs of children in our world today.”
Dr Rebecca Goropevsek has been appointed as the Coordinator of the Children’s Network. She has already worked as a liaison to WEA’s partners like the Global Children’s Forum and World Without Orphans for several years and brings experience of working in a local teen ministry as well as in a Christian school. She also earned her Doctor of Ministry degree with a dissertation focused on equipping pastors to counsel infertile couples and leading them towards the option of adoption.
The WEA Children’s Network is part of the Church in Community Department, which strives to promote healthy churches. Rev. Esme Bowers, its director, commented: “Many local churches have a great influence on the lives of the children within their community and those associated with the church. The Children’s Network will provide significant relevant programs to assist local churches in the development of children’s programs for the whole Church to minister to the children holistically. We are privileged to have a passionate parent with experience and academic expertise leading this network. I would like to encourage our Alliances, members and others involved in children’s ministries to connect with Rebecca, and I wish her well as she leads this important network of the WEA family.”
“I am very honored and humbled by this appointment to serve the WEA, its constituency and beyond through the Children’s Network,” Dr Goropevsek said, and added: “I am very much looking forward to connecting with the many leaders who are already active in the field and exploring how we can create synergies, learn from each other and together strengthen parents and churches as they raise children and care for the vulnerable. I pray for God’s wisdom and His guidance in the weeks and months ahead as we lay the foundation for a strong network at the global, regional and national levels. May He help us to serve parents and churches to be better equipped to love, protect, guide and empower children in Christ.”
More information about the WEA Children’s Network can be found at children.worldea.org