By Wanda Parker
Yesterday I began a dicussion of my vision of Summer Ministry and why it is important – I will continue today.
Yesterday I spoke of Day Camps click here to read.
Vacation Bible School: I like starting the summer off with a big bang that gets the attention not just of the church but also the community. What better way to do that than with a well orchestrated VBS. This is a time for the whole church to get involved – men you need to be there too. I’ve known quite a few men to take vacation time so they could be part of VBS. If you have several hundred kids on your campus for a week – even if just three hours each day – you must make sure everyone is prepared and trained.
This preparation begins months ahead with the women of the church gathering to prepare the most creative crafts that can be thought of – not ones that will be thrown in the trash on the way out the church door. These gatherings for preparation are evenings of socializing (which includes good food) and a lot of fun. You want to make it so the women don’t want to miss out. In the weeks before have gatherings for all leaders to be trained and prepared. Make sure that someone is in charge of welcoming new women who don’t know anyone.
Previous to VBS all leaders who will be interacting with the kids should know the Biblical concepts that are going to be taught and how to do guided conversation with the kids around those concepts. It is best if the leaders can have memorized the verses ahead of time. Give them games or ways to keep kids engaged when there is a lull. No matter how hard you plan things won’t go just like you planned, but if you have prepared the leaders for such times the kids won’t realize there is a lull.
Make sure you are teaching Biblical truths in a manner in which kids can grasp and internalize. Remember that children are concrete thinkers so they don’t learn the way you and I do. Biblical truth is abstract and floats over children’s heads unless we take the time to make that truth concrete. Skits and Object Lessons are abstract – if you want to know more about that write me. Here is a link though that speaks to this a little more click here
Day Trips: In the off weeks when there is no Day Camp there are fun trips to local venues depending on where your church is located. These trips are for fun, building relationships and teaching kids that no matter where they are they are representing Jesus Christ. I will never forget being at Disneyland when a man approached a sixth grader and asked him what “PrimeTime” was (the inscription on the t-shirts and the name of that church’s’ Children’s Ministry). Without hestitating the kid responded, “It is the most important time of our week because it is when we are learning about Jesus.” I stood behind them and shouted within me to the Lord, “YES! YES!”
Are you thinking intentionally about everything you do with your kids? Are you preparing them, training them to think strategically also? Are they learning that Biblical truths aren’t just relevant on Sunday morning but in everything they do?
Mommy and Me: a time for preschoolers to come and spend time with mom at the church in organized activities. A time to become comfortable on the campus of the church, to feel special. A time for young moms to connect with one another. An opportunity for older women to minister and interact alongside of younger moms and their children – hopefully rubbing off some of their wisdom.
Preschool Mornings: a time for preschoolers to be dropped off to enjoy an intentional time of play and learning about Jesus. Building up that feeling bank that will last with them forever that the church is a safe place – an essential place to be. Building relationships with children with whom they will travel through their childhood.
Family Festivals: Usually held Saturday evenings a time of celebration, games, togetherness. Building memories and relationships to last a life time – leading to the ultimate relationship with Jesus Christ.
In my next post I will address Super Summer Sundays – what are summer Sundays like at your church for your children?
If you have not followed the previous posts in regard to the Discipleship of Children you can do so by connecting to these links
Here are links to previous posts on the Discipleship of Children: Discipleship of Infants and Toddlers click here, the high calling of discipling children and the difference adults can make in the life of a child click here, is your church raising up 1st, 2nd or 3rd generation Christians click here, the importance of parents modeling their faith, of the church modeling the faith click here, research shows that 70% of churched kids are walking away – does your church have a plan to disciple your children click here