In 2010, Mary and Nikki joined forces to establish Faith4Families (a non-denominational Christian charitable trust) in order to develop the Faith Box, a tool to help parents nurture faith and character in children.
Their challenge came out of the desire from parents for a creative way of teaching the Christian truths in their homes. Nikki’s research for her masters showed that Christian parents instinctively knew it was their role to pass on faith to their children but felt unprepared and often guilty for not knowing where to start. After informal workshops with groups of parents Nikki and Mary came up with the Faith Box - a weekly family time based on surprise, which taught the Bible and created sharing, praying, fun and connection.
The goal was that it would become the highlight of the week for both parents and children. After a three month pilot with 100 families and such positive feedback, they realised that this was the tool that would make the ‘how’ for family devotions, easy!
Mary Grant is the co-founder of Parents Inc. She comes from a background of teaching and 30 years youth work in Youth for Christ. Her motivation for developing The Faith Box comes from many years of teaching and coaching parenting skills, as well as being a parent and grandparent. Along the way she became convinced of the need for a resource to help parents share faith in a natural way with their children. She says The Faith Box’s particular strength is in equipping parents with the “how” as well as the “what” and “why” of passing on the Christian faith to the next generation.
Mary has instigated and developed many innovative programmes for young people and parents including The Attitude programme now used in 92% of New Zealand High Schools, and The Toolbox parenting programme now run by hundreds of facilitators throughout the country. She has authored a number of books as well as editing the ‘Parenting’ magazine.
Nikki Watkin is a trained theologian with background in social work and a history of creating and actioning imaginative programmes for children. With her husband, Richard, she shares ministerial responsibility for the parish of Kohimarama Presbyterian Church, where she runs many community programmes and is constantly envisioning fresh ways of presenting Christian truth to children. Her energy and love for people means she is highly respected in the wider community as well as amongst children’s ministry professionals.
Nancy Green (Director) Nancy has 15 years of corporate training experience as a Change Management consultant with a degree in Organisational Communication. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to further the faith by joining the Faith Box team. Nancy committed her life to Christ 27 years ago and has served and led in children’s ministries for 19 years. She currently directs the Year 6-8 programme for The Upper Room church in Newmarket and coordinates the bible teachers for Christian Religion Education (CRE) at St Heliers Primary.
Nancy home schooled her 4 children (ages 7 to 12 years) for 5 years and is an avid user of Faith Box. Nancy is an accomplished public speaker and is enthusiastic about sharing the Faith Box vision on the radio, at churches and at women and family events. She encourages parents to have a future vision for their family and challenges them to use the 2000 days in their Window Of Opportunity to WOO to their children to Christ. Nancy’s husband Brendon Green is the Director of Energy Development for Mighty River Power and joined the Board of Trustees of Faith Box in June 2013.
Karen van Dolleweerd (Administrator) Kaz has 12 years of experience in management, diplomacy and mediation in being Mum to 4 young kids ages 7-12. Prior to that she worked in Office Manager / P.A. roles. She loves hanging out with her husband and kids and opening their home to others. Together they share a love of the outdoors, surfing and soccer and attend LIFE Central.
Faith4families would like to acknowledge and thank Susanna Burton for her photography, Renee Sterne and Kylie Brown for their creative graphic design.
To help parents pass on faith to their children by engaging the whole family with the Bible involving fun, activities, teaching, enquiry and discussion.