This week’s guest blogger is Hannah Harwood, Director of Children’s Ministries serving the families of Sam Jones United Methodist Church in Cartersville, Georgia, a suburb of the Greater Atlanta area.
I had the incredible blessing of being able to participate in an online Bible Study this summer on the book of Acts. I felt as if it had a lot of relevant lessons to teach us as the Church is navigating through COVID 19. One of the areas that stood out to me was the amount of traveling that Paul and the early church did to make disciples and share the good news of Jesus. What if I applied that same concept to Children’s Ministry? What if instead of the children traveling to me, I traveled to them?
During the month of August, we invited our families to host a Popsicles and Praise Pop-in. First, we set it up in our church’s registration program to invite families to host the Popsicles & Praise Pop-ins. We asked our host families to sign up for a morning or afternoon session on the date of their choice. We provided several different date opportunities. Each session consisted of praise music, a specialized lesson, and fun activities right in their own front yard. Social distancing was incorporated into the fun.
With our current curriculum we use for kid’s worship, we offered a lesson with supplies in individual brown bags which included a clipboard, construction paper, coloring sheet, set of four crayons, leftover VBS bracelets, and a special light since the lesson was about Abraham. We also provided poster board, post-it notes, hula hoops, a pool noodle, a fun umbrella, and popsicles. The umbrella provided shade so the musical guest who traveled with me didn’t have to stand in the sun.
Each parent/host was responsible for obtaining signed permission forms and the kids brought a towel to sit on. The host family provided the front yard and invited friends from the neighborhood. We noticed how several families had chosen a couple of friends, cousins, and neighbors they felt comfortable being around to socialize during COVID-19, so the host family would invite them to the Popsicles & Praise Pop-in. We did ask that numbers would not exceed 10 children per location to ensure social distancing during the lesson. The host family let us know the exact number a couple days before the event.
I arrived at the host families’ house about thirty minutes early to meet with the family and setup each area. Every student got their own hula hoop and bag of supplies. My Senior Pastor was one of my volunteers and brought his guitar to open up the service with music. With a lesson on Abraham, of course we had to play “Father Abraham”.
We started with a couple of songs and followed it with our lesson. After the lesson, we passed out yummy popsicles. The entire program lasted between 30-40 minutes. The parents enjoyed the time of fellowship and the kids loved getting to see everyone.
Hannah Harwood is a wife, mom, and loves her coffee. Hannah can be contacted by emailing email@example.com.
“Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, ‘Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.'” Acts 15:36