CM Presents First “Kathryn H. Creasy Excellence in Ministry Award”
At the fifteenth biennial Institute of Children’s Ministries, International Director Shaun McKinley announced a new award to be presented annually from the ministry. The Kathryn H. Creasy Excellence in Ministry Award will recognize individuals from around the world who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and made contributions that advance the ministry’s mission of developing leaders who impact kids.
“For many years, my predecessor raised the value and importance of pursuing excellence in ministry,” said McKinley to the audience during the closing session of the Institute. “This morning, it is my honor to present this new award to its first recipient, Abighail (Abi) Avila, national director of Children’s Ministries in Honduras.”
As has often been shared, Children’s Ministries in Honduras is setting a high standard for excellence as it casts a broad vision, develops leaders, trains volunteers, impacts communities, and serves children. In the past two years, the nation has reached over 57,000 children with the gospel of Christ through outreach events and Bible clubs. At that same time, over 300 people have completed an intense certification program for children’s ministers, with more than 155 churches establishing or strengthening their ministries to children.
This work is being achieved under the skillful leadership of Avila. She has served in this role for seven years, during which time she has collaborated with International Children’s Ministries to adapt training materials and conduct leadership conferences that have impacted not only Honduras but much of Central America.
Many tools have been employed to develop leaders throughout Honduras. Primarily, the ministry has taken the “Train the Trainers” program offered by International Children’s Ministries and restructured it into a 12-month “Impact Institute.” As a part of the institute, leaders gather once a month in locations throughout the nation for a full day of training facilitated by a qualified leader. Each training presents content on ministry foundations, classroom management, discipleship, evangelism, and teaching techniques. To date, two institutes have completed a full year with more than 300 graduates.
Abi says, “A leader is someone who guides the people of God toward the vision God has given them. I know that God has called me, and I seek only to do His will. I believe that God is doing something unique in this generation, and I am privileged to serve His purposes.”
Avila was presented with a certificate and trophy by McKinley. Kathryn Creasy, former international director of Children’s Ministries, was also present for the presentation.
Initial plans are to present the award to one recipient annually, with the next recipient to be honored at the 101st International Assembly of the church in July 2020.