Working with Children


Andy Back
Speaker • Communicator

now based in the West Midlands

for the children’s sake • for God’s glory

Experience has shown that providing training for volunteers motivates and inspires children's workers who may otherwise become exhausted, discouraged or harrassed.

• be reminded of ways to show genuine agape (unconditional) love to the not-very-loveable child

• discover how to encourage volunteers to work hard

• find grace to keep going when you think you might give up

• gain refreshment, enthusiasm and a new spring in your step

Biography      Publications, etc     Fees, Other Requirements

Topics include:

Dealing with Disruptive Children

Building a Team

Working with 9-13s

Guaranteed Attention-Getters

Preparing & Presenting a Message
Understanding & Maximising Learning Styles
Exploring the World of Narnia

Enhancing your ministry

To communicate with Andy, click here

.Training Opportunities
Invite Andy Back to speak to your children’s workers or youth leaders about some of these vital issues.

Andy will provide an inspiring, worthwhile, interesting, educationally-sound, visually-stimulating, and spiritually valuable session, with personal stories, valuable experience and insight, a question/ answer opportunity, discussion and prayer pointers.

Perhaps you could extend the event to include workers from other local churches, to give it more impact and to develop friendships and networks among those with the same heart for children.

Training Days have included visits to

Birmingham            Maidstone, Kent       Bristol                   

St Alban's               Eastleigh, Hants       Cowes, IoW  

Southampton         Oxford                         Aberdeen, Scotland


London: Plaistow, Ealing, Stratford             

and conferences where I've been speaking include visits to Newcastle, Cardiff, Wimbledon, Glasgow, Belfast, Manchester, Cambridge, Eastbourne and Odense, Denmark

Church groups served include Baptist, Elim Pentecostal, Salvation Army, Church of England, Assemblies of God, Methodist, Newfrontiers and others

Why Training?

The benefits of gathering your team for a training day are many and various, including fellowship, team-building, a fresh understanding of purpose and vision, opportunities for prayer, encouragement... To provide training communicates with your team that they are valued and that high quality teaching and ministry among children is important.


The sessions are very flexible, but consider the following timetable suggestion:
10.00  Coffee, welcome, opening remarks, brief worship
10.20  Session One
11.15  Natural Break
11.30 Session Two
12.30  Lunch Break (including resources stall)
1.45  Session Three (including discussion groups)
2.45  Natural Break
3.00  Session Four (feedback from discussion, questions plus prayer)
4.00  end

Or for a shorter, evening gathering:
7.30  Coffee, welcome, opening remarks, brief worship
7.45  Session One
8.30  Natural Break (including resources stall)
8.45  Session Two, including discussion groups and prayer
9.45  Question Time
10.00  end


It's often helpful to provide resources - appropriate books (Children's Ministry Guides and practical ideas), CDs of Children's worship songs, plus a small selection of inexpensive puppets - all these can be inspiring for members of your team.

Fees, requirements etc

Current rates:

all day event                        morning or afternoon

(up to four sessions)            or evening event (two sessions)

£199                                       £139

Reasonable travelling, accommodation and subsistence expenses are added where applicable (kept to a minimum). Andy will provide an itemised invoice after the event, payable within 30 days, please.

   Andy's presentations are fully illustrated, and thus a digital projector is needed to display his Powerpoint shows. Many churches have invested in this technology, and have a portable or installed projector on their premises.

   For this reason, (and several financial ones, to be honest) Andy supplies the laptop and the programme; you supply the digital projector, please, (vga connection). If this presents a difficulty, Andy will attempt to hire suitable equipment, at cost, given sufficient notice.

To communicate with Andy, click here

Select from these topics:

Dealing with Disruptive Children
Why do some youngsters misbehave, attention-seek, refuse to participate, or just fail to settle? How can we give appropriate discipline and demonstrate the love of Christ as we seek to provide a worthwhile session for the other children in our care at the same time?

Andy Back examines this complex issue with personal stories, wit, insight, Godly wisdom from various scriptures and with characteristic passion for the souls of children and the sanity of their teachers.

Building a Team of Volunteers
Compiling a rota of children’s workers is hard work, but it’s really just the start of the bigger task of building a team. How can you communicate your vision to a collection of volunteers in a way that will inspire and train them?

Andy Back has been a volunteer in church children’s work for many years, and he shares his insights into team meetings, recruitment and training, accountability issues, the need for communication, etc.

Working with 9-13s

or Revitialise Your Young Teens Group
This age group is experiencing rapid change, natural rebellion, misunderstanding, lack of opportunity to express their growing independence in acceptable ways… no wonder they are tricky to handle!

Over many years, Andy Back has been interacting with youngsters and learning how to draw the best out of them, how to teach them effectively, and suggests practical ideas for those working with this exciting, exasperating age group.

Guaranteed Attention-Getters
Children arrive at our sessions with their minds full of distracting excitements, and yet we want to get them to hear, say, about the story of Moses and the burning bush. How can we grab attention, keep attention, engage minds and hearts, win genuine interest and impart spiritual truth to this generation?

Andy Back shares a few insights into providing age-appropriate teaching which maximises the learning potential of each child and young person.

Preparing & Presenting a Message
Taking time and trouble over how to say what you want to say, how to illustrate it, and how to help children engage with the topic is a nuisance and a lot of effort. But it pays dividends in young lives, so give some thought to making every talk you give one which demonstrates God’s determination to communicate with us. Here are some practical ideas for maximizing preparation time, which give you greater freedom to express yourself once you’re on your feet in front of the children.

Andy Back shares from many years’ experience.

Understanding & Maximising Learning Styles
We are all unique, and so often we celebrate that. But when it comes to teaching children, we can have a tendency to treat them all alike: ‘sit still and listen to me…’ Clearly, this doesn’t always work! It’s partly because each child has a preferred learning style, and for some it isn’t ‘sitting still and listening’.

Andy Back will assist as you explore the possibilities, consider using other emphases and see that you can communicate more effectively and reach each you teach when you make the effort to see things the way they see them.

Exploring the World of Narnia

Using video clips and a passion for CS Lewis' children's favourite, can we effectively preach the gospel to children through the adventures of the four Pevensie children as they encounter the White Witch and the extraordinary Aslan?

Andy Back explores the strengths and weaknesses of using this fable. Is it a parable? Are there important differences between Aslan and Jesus? Does this story accurately mirror the gospel message, accurately communicating important theology in child-frinedly language?

Enhancing your ministry

Wisely structuring the way you organise your volunteers, your time, your finances and your energy can make a significant difference to the effectiveness of all the effort you put into ministering to children and young people. What's the best time and place for children to learn? How can you maximise the impact of your message?

Andy Back shares from his extensive experience, from important research and from scripture to show that there may be some adjustments required.

Click here to contact Andy about the benefits your children's workers could gain from some training on these and other topics and to discuss the structure of your training day. Please include details such as your town (so that travel/accomodation issues can be considered), and the day/time you'd like to have a training event. Check Andy's diary here. (This list of bookings is not an exhaustive appointments diary, and is subject to change and amendment at short notice, but is a general guide to how busy the man gets.)

Biographical details

Andy Back is a best-selling author and communicator in the UK and internationally. He has written full-time for the Children’s Ministry Teaching Programme, (Kingsway Communications) drawing extensively on many years of experience with children and young people, and now works as a freelance writer. He was an enthusiastic member of Church of Christ the King, Brighton (part of the Newfrontiers family of churches) for nearly 25 years and was responsible for a variety of initiatives, including the church website, a range of shows (theatrical, musical and other events) preparation and several ongoing writing projects.Very recently he relocated to Birmingham, to join ChurchCentral (Newfrontiers) and discover the new adventures God has in store!

He is a popular speaker at Bible Weeks and in training contexts, and has been a regular fixture at the Children’s Ministry Conference for several years. He’s also travelled to speak to pastors and children’s workers in Denmark, and to various groups in the Channel Islands and throughout the UK.

CRB enhanced disclosure certificate 001135227572, dated 27/7/06 (E Sussex)

CRB enhanced disclosure certificate001224341841, dated 29/1/09 (W Midlands)

He assisted in the leadership of the youth work at Church of Christ the King, Brighton, UK for many years, and became a member of the Kidz Klub team. He's also contracted to the communication department of the church, as editor of www.cck.org.uk website, and assisting in presentations and events (working alongside church elder David Fellingham) such as the highly successful Quiz Nights, concerts, cabarets, variety shows, art exhibitions and the justly famous Pantomimes, which he writes and directs (oh yes he does!). He has also served occasionally on the Alpha speaking team.

His spare time is devoted to books, film and theatre, plus music (composing, performing and attending gigs), playing bridge and hanging out with friends and their children. He meeting people, strolling confidently through Birmingham sububs connected to his iPod (slightly missing the joys of Brighton seafront and the sound of the sea and the salty air...) and to drink lots of top quality coffee. He’s also delighted to be an uncle five times over.

To communicate with Andy, click here

Published works include:

Y-Zone Leader’s Guide, Activity Sheets and Magazines for Children’s Ministry Teaching Programme, (Kingsway).

164 2-hour multi-activity sessions, each including Bible teaching, discussion starters, games, drama, puzzles, quizzes, articles, stories, sketches and study guide. Plus Backchat column


Children's Ministry Guide to Dealing with Disruptive Children (Kingsway)

Top seller, now reprinted. Six main reasons why children may be being awkward or attention-seeking. Plus strategies towards refocusing their attention on the topic and showing them the love of Christ. Includes discussion questions

NB this book is also available in Czeck language edition as Proc déti zlobí a co s tím and in indonesian language edition as Menangani Anak yang 'Bikin Pusing' di Kelas Sekolah Minggu dan Pelayanan Remaja which is, I think you'll agree, perhaps the catchiest title in Christendom.

Children's Ministry Guide to Building a Team (Kingsway)
Features: qualities of a Dream Team; understanding your leader; how to be a valued volunteer; team-building activities. Plus brief studies of Biblical team leaders. Includes discussion questions


Children's Ministry Guide to Working with 9-13s (Kingsway)
Insights into the mind and heart of a young teenager; how to 'get through'; being a friend without becoming a powerless 'buddy'. Special section relating to the onset of puberty. Practical ideas. Includes discussion questions


Puppet Scripts (Kingsway); contributor to a selection of easy-to-use scripts
Fun yet worthwhile conversations which will appeal to a range of ages (up to and including adult!)



100 Fun Ways to Teach the Bible to Children

by Cathy Kyte (Kingway)  Introduction

Dynamic Youth Leadership (FPI/Word)

Principles in practice. Chapters on devising a varied programme; values & vision; working with church leaders; working with church leaders' children; team recruitment.

101 Dynamic Ideas for your Youth Group (FPI/Word)

Proven practical ideas for worthwhile and exciting activities including discussions, sports, crafts, themed evenings and special events.

Storyline Books (retelling Bible books Daniel & Acts for 9--11s) Dan the Man & Acts of God (FPI/Word)
An introduction to these Bible books, showing the broad sweep of the theme, encouraging youngsters to read the Bible books for themselves

Kingsway Kids Go Wild (story/activity book for 9-11s; Kingsway)
Judgement, salvation & restoration; grand themes of the story of Noah and of the cross of Christ.

Teddy Bear Manifesto pen name: Camem Bear (Hugglets)
Spoof white paper comprising documents on Foreign Pawlicy, Teducation and from the Ministry of Picnics. Introduction by Tony Bear.

Other writing credits include:

  • Best Thing (co-written with Nathan Fellingham)
    Testimony song on the latest Phatfish album, Guaranteed
  • Peter Pan & the Pirates of the Caribbean Sell-out pantomime based on the Parable of the Lost Sheep, with Barrie's characters and Treasure Island's story, with caribbean-and-Pirate themed music (salsa, reggae, Habenera, Pirates of Penzance, etc
  • Step-mama Mia!
    Sell-out pantomime based on the Parable of the Prodigal Son with Abba songs
  • Secret Agent
    Sell-out pantomime based on parable of the treasure in a field, with James Bond themes
  • What was All That About?
    (short film with reactions to the first Christmas)
  • There is a Day
    (scripted interviews with Phatfish on recent DVD)
  • Harmony Timewarp
    Musical showcase for Crawley Chorus Barbershop Choir.

Current projects include:


  • The Substitute novel biog of Barabbas
  • Lord of the Ringos and other stories (pantomimes reworked into short novel form, plus The Lost Son – the Parable of the Prodigal told in various ways)
  • 101 Things Teenagers Wish Parents Knew about Teenagers
  • They Didn’t Meet Jesus stories of Bible characters who were affected by Jesus, despite not meeting him face to face; ‘blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’