We have many churches with dedicated champions for ministry with children, yet not at a place where a paid staff member is feasible. These devoted folks need some tangible ways to reach out, so here is a quick list of things to give a start:
https://vanessamyers.org/12-month-family-scripture-challenge/ I use this one to help me prepare a monthly Bible-reading challenge for families in my ministry. March is filled with scriptures that tell us some of what we can learn about forgiveness. Find the scripture, read the scripture, talk about what you read.
BibleAppForKids and https://bibleappforkids.com/parents/videos
What am I doing?
- Family Faith Kits – We will be preparing family faith kits available for drive thru pick up each Tuesday morning 11am-12noon at our church’s children’s entrance. Yesterday was the first day with a lesson on Daniel and St. Patrick of Ireland. It’ll be our new normal until we get back to normal. Short and sweet we shared on paper…
St. Patrick, like Daniel, was taken from his home to live with people who did not believe in the one true God. Like Daniel, St. Patrick spent his life sharing God’s love with all the people he met. St. Patrick used the clovers which filled every field to share aspects of God:
1 Corinthians 13:13 – Faith, Hope, and Love
Matthew 28:19 – Father God, His Son Jesus, and the helper Holy Spirit.
Micah 6:8 – Do justice, love mercy, walk humbly with your God.
Read these scriptures in your Bible, and then look for items around your house that can connect you to God like St. Patrick used the clover. Sometimes a clover is called a shamrock.
This idea came from Kate Morris of Acworth UMC: she offered the first drive-thru Sunday school kit last Sunday for families to pick up on Sunday morning during the Sunday school hour. She’s already hit all the Dollar Tree stores in the area for Bible story sticker books and is prepared for enough Sunday school drive-thrus through April.
We prepared Family Faith kits for the next eight Tuesdays with items we already had on hand including supplies for Holy Week and Easter Sunday previously ordered and received. A trip for sidewalk chalk and bubbles, my trunk is loaded and I’ll be writing devotions with the items we had on hand like small packs of M&Ms, Sun chips, cheerleader pompoms, Easter eggs with plastic Jesus inside, silly putty prayers, dice, etc.
Ordered a ukulele – My daughter and her family live in Oregon where you can be cited for gathering in groups of 25 or more. She’s been following a quarantined guy who lives alone in China on Instagram who has shared what he’s been up to on instastories: convict exercises (exercises for inmates in solitary confinement), turn on the TV only after the sun goes down, writing letters to EVERYBODY, and he decided to learn something new…a musical instrument. I’ve played clarinet from elementary school onward, but though I can’t sing a lick, at least I’d feel cool playing an instrument I can use in ministry. It should be here by the weekend. Maybe.
Spending No Money – Outside of groceries, I decided to not make any purchases personally or to be re-imbursed by the church. Not even VBS. We will use what we have and dive into the deep end of the creativity pool.
Grandparenting With A Purpose – Discovering that the average age of a first-time grandparent in the USA is 47, this was already the year for research so to put some things on the calendar for the next school year. I’ve got a stack of books and articles I’ve collected and now I’ll redeem the time with a focus on this untapped area of ministry.
Family Worship – Find your best seat in the living room, on the back porch, or around the kitchen table together.
Everyone gets to bring something to hold. If our hands are busy, our minds are calmer.
Say a prayer.
Let your little choose a song to sing and everyone joins in. (ex: Jesus Loves Me, God Is So Good, etc.)
Read Psalm 103 and chat about all the things we can be thankful for. Take it slow, line by line, for as long as you can.
Write or draw a note of thanksgiving to set on the table before you as an offering of thanksgiving.
Make a prayer list…everyone adds a name.
Say a ‘repeat after me prayer’ as a hand touches each name.
Say the Lord’s Prayer together.
Let it be noisy, let it be chaotic, let it be memorable.
If you ever wanted to edit and relaunch what your ministry with children could look like, now’s the time. What are you thinking about?
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9