Glee Club and Cherub Choir are invited to sing in the last service on the fifth Sunday of a month. This opens an opportunity to engage in a family event to follow where new and connected families bump elbows and build relationships.
Using an abbreviated Messy Church model, we move to engaging station experiences in the gym after the first part of the general worship service in the sanctuary. We close the event with a simple meal at round tables sharing table life and great conversation. The Glee Club had been practicing two songs (a song must have the name of Jesus said at least three times to qualify to be sung in the sanctuary) and chose the one they wanted to present: Confidence by Sanctus Real. The Bible stories of Daniel, Moses, and David were the basis for our station experiences. Here’s what we did:
Schedule 11am Sanctuary service
11:15am Cherubs sing on front of stage
11:25am Glee Club sings CONFIDENCE by Sanctus Real
11:30am Instructions of stations
12:00noon Repeat after me prayer for lunch
12:30pm Family blessing
Dismiss & Cleanup
Stations set up on long tables along the 3 walls of the gym. (8 Stations below)
Round tables set up in the center for dining and setting down of family stuff. Tables assigned up to 8 members.
Repeat after me prayer……(DeDe)
Lunch…2 serving tables with 4 serving lines along long, narrow tables
Signups for: Spaghetti in crock pots, Rolls, Shake cheese, Iced water
Children’s Ministry provides: Paper products (forks, cups, plates, napkins)
Station #1 – Decorate bag to carry goodies home
Supplies: White paper bags, twistable crayons
Discussion: Tell me what you know about Daniel? About David? About Moses?
Try to get to all 8 stations, but take your time.
Station #2 – Decorate an altar cloth for the altar table in the Treehouse
Supplies: Table runner, Sharpies
Activity: Trace your feet with a sharpie and write “Hope” inside each foot.
Discussion: In Exodus 3, Moses faces the burning bush and the voice of God tells Moses to take off his sandals because Moses is on holy ground.” Take off your shoes and have a family member trace your foot on the cloth and write HOPE inside your tracing.
Just as God told Moses to GO and lead His people out of the Egypt to worship God in the desert, God tells us to GO and tell others about Jesus.
What do you know about Jesus?
Station #3 – Put together an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox
Supplies: Scotch tape
Activity: Put together two shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child
Discussion: Have you started even thinking about Christmas?
Sharing with others takes planning and time to get ready especially at Christmas.
What three things can you plan to get for your Christmas Child?
Station #4 – Prayer Rocks
Supplies: Rocks, Sharpies
Activity: Write the names of your family on your prayer rock to prayer for each one.
Discussion: Daniel has a great FAITH because he learned to pray 3 times a day, every day, even when it was against the law. He even opened the windows and didn’t hide his prayer time. He was even thrown into a lions den for breaking the law, but GOD took care of him by closing the mouth of the lions. Do you pray 3 times a day, every day? Prayer rocks are a great reminder to pray for your family who loves you so. Where is your favorite place to pray? When do you like to pray? Where can you put your prayer rock to remind you to talk to Jesus in prayer for your family who loves you so?
Station #5 – Family of God Photo Station
Supplies: Backdrop for a photo station (frame, fall decorations, etc.), Insta Camera, Film
Activity: Take a picture with your family.
Discussion: Moses, Daniel, and David were prepared as kids to lead others to know our great God. God is preparing YOU to lead others to know our great God. God first gave us the family we live with, and then gave us a church family who loves us, leads us to remember Jesus, and teach us how to love and live with others. Tell me about how you first came to church? What is your favorite thing about church? Who are some of your church friends?
Station #6 – I Can Face My Giants with Confidence
Supplies: Giant in boxes, Catapults with balls (borrowed from another church…the blessings of being part of a regular networking group!)
Activity: Knock down the giant
Discussion: We all have to face hard stuff every day: fear, anxiety, getting in trouble, unkindness, grades, teachers, coaches, games. We can call these giants because they can take up giant spaces in our minds and hearts=worry. God is with us and He ‘turns all things GOOD for those who love Him.’ What are ways God gives us to deal with our giants so we don’t worry? (read your Bible, talk with your parents, talk with someone who can help (not just anybody), pray…)
Station #7 – Heart Like David
Supplies: Wooden heart shapes, Magnets on sticky tape, Glue dots
Activity: Decorate heart and stick on magnet
Discussion: In the Bible God calls David ‘a man after God’s own heart’. Even as a kid, David trusted God to make the best decisions for David and to ‘work all things for GOOD’ for David. We can get so overwhelmed and anxious that we forget to have a heart like David to trust God. We just stay overwhelmed and anxious. Even as a kid David faced a bear, a lion, and even the giant, Goliath and God showed up and showed off. Put this heart somewhere at your house to remind you to have a heart like David and let the Lord be your defense. What do you think about that?
Station #8 – Prayer Station
Supplies: Paper heart shapes, Clothes pins, ink pens, Prayer frame
Activity: Write a prayer and clip it to the frame
Discussion: God hears the prayers of His children! Sometimes God answers, “Yes.” Sometimes God answers, “No”. Sometimes God answers “Not now.” Do you have something really big you’d like to ask God in prayer? Something you pray about over and over and often? Write it on the paper heart (fold it over if you want) and clip it to the frame and we will pray it with you. Did you know your church loves you so much we want to pray with you, too? David prayed. Moses prayed. Daniel prayed. And they started as kids. What is your biggest, hairiest, most audacious, most outrageous prayer?
“Give me faith like Daniel in the lion’s den. Give me hope like Moses in the wilderness. Give me a heart like David. Lord be my defense, so I can face my giants with confidence.” Sanctus Real
This all sounds so great except the shoeboxes. I just read an article yesterday about them and the waste they create. Have you looked at an alternative – Heifer Project, etc?
DeDe Bull Reilly said:
Thanks for reading the blog. Several years ago I met a young woman while serving on a Chrysalis Flight who had been adopted from a Salvation Army sponsored-orphanage in Latvia. She received a box every year from early childhood until she was adopted from a fabulous US family I knew as a pre-teen. She shared how important the box was every single year for her and the other children. She offered wonderful insight into the items that meant the most. It was fascinating. In this instance and at this event, we partnered with our missions team who asked us to invite our families to champion this particular mission for October and November. There are several follow-up activities until we send them on their way in November where the children continue to be involved. There are many wonderful ways to serve and involve the children in a whole host of fabulous projects. This is why we chose OCC. Please let me know of other ideas…I’m always on the lookout for kid-friendly mission opportunities. Thanks!