Children’s Ministries Awarded $1.12m

Grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.

International Children’s Ministries of the Church of God of Prophecy International Offices (COGOP) has received a grant of $1.12 million from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help establish a Child Discipleship and Faith Formation division for its global ministries.

The project is being funded through Lilly Endowment’s Christian Parenting and Caregiving Initiative. The aim of the initiative is to help parents and caregivers share their faith and values with their children.

Activities being supported by grant funds include the addition of a coordinator for the Child Discipleship and Faith Formation division who will launch regional retreats/conferences for Christian parents and grandparents, develop training resources and events for local church congregations, and produce printed manuals on subjects relevant to faith formation within the various contexts of our churches, among other responsibilities.

“Our ministry believes that if the church wants to successfully disciple and influence the current generation of children for Christ, then we must intentionally and strategically equip and engage influencers in the faith formation of children,” said Dr. Shaun McKinley, international director of Children’s Ministries for the COGOP International Offices and program director. “Funding from Lilly Endowment through this initiative will enable our ministry to advance our mutual goals of supporting congregations and caregivers with resources, programs, and educational opportunities. We are deeply honored to receive this grant and eager to get to work.”

The Church of God of Prophecy International Offices is one of 77 organizations that are receiving grants through this competitive round of the Christian Parenting Initiative. Reflecting the diversity of Christianity in the United States, the organizations are affiliated with mainline Protestant, evangelical, Catholic, Orthodox Christian, and Pentecostal faith communities. Many of the organizations are rooted in Black church, Hispanic, and Asian Christian traditions.

“We’ve heard from many parents who are seeking to nurture the spiritual lives of their children, especially in their daily activities, and looking to churches and other faith-based organizations for support,” said Christopher L. Coble, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for religion.  “These thoughtful, creative, and collaborative organizations embrace the important role that families have in shaping the religious development of children and are launching programs to assist parents and caregivers with this task.”

Lilly Endowment launched the Christian Parenting and Caregiving Initiative in 2022 because of its interest in supporting efforts to help individuals and families from diverse Christian communities draw more fully on the wisdom of Christian practices to live out their faith fully and well passing on a vibrant faith to a new generation.

About Lilly Endowment Inc.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana. A principal aim of the Endowment’s religion grantmaking is to deepen and enrich the lives of Christians in the United States, primarily by seeking out and supporting efforts that enhance the vitality of congregations and strengthen the pastoral and lay leadership of Christian communities. The Endowment also seeks to improve public understanding of diverse religious traditions by supporting fair and accurate portrayals of the role religion plays in the United States and across the globe.