Reimagining Kid's Ministry
By Joni Lum, Children's Ministry Consultant
These past few months have been a flurry of activity, for those of you who are regathered, you’ve been juggling doing in-person programs along with keeping your virtual experiences up and running. I can’t think of another time when I have been so stretched. The great news is that, with levels of vaccinations rising and decreases in viral spread, we are presently in the best position to re-engage in person than we have since the start of the pandemic. This summer is shaping up to be a good time to launch or relaunch kid’s ministries. In fact, because of the pandemic and the constant changing of plans, I’m finding that people are more open to change than they have been in a long time.
As leaders, this is a great time to look at what we do and make adjustments that we might have wanted to, but were not able to. Do you have any programs that were popular in the past but are now past their prime? Do program formats need updating? Are there ministries that need to be started? Since we have put most programs on hold for the last year, we have the opportunity to tweak as we start to regather. Want to brainstorm together? Join me via Zoom, Monday, May 10th at 7pm.
Here are some ideas for this upcoming summer.
Move Up Sunday: We are promoting kids into their new groups on June 6, because the school year is ending at the end of May. We’re turning this day into a church-wide celebration of kids and their parents, as we recognize all who are transitioning, including Preschoolers entering Elementary Kids, 3rd graders entering our Preteen ministry, 6th grade graduates going to Middle Schoolers, 8th grade grads going to High School, and High School Graduates. We’re inviting families to return to church, meet their new leaders, and enjoy an outdoor party in their honor. We’ll have photo areas (“I Graduated” pop signs), outdoor games, balloons, Senior Tables for 12th grade grads, and a graduate cupcake gift. The kid’s invite back for this event is to plug into our VBS at the end of June. The student invite back is to join Exalted, our Student ministries conference.
Summer Adventure Nights (Destination Dig VBS): After going all online last year, we are planning to meet in person this year. We will divide the group into two groups, 1st-3rd graders and preteens, 4th-6th graders. In order to provide some social distance, we are planning for one group to meet in the worship center for our normal opening and Bible time, while the other group stays outdoors for a 3 station rotation: crafts, games, and small group discussion/snacks. Of course, plans might change, depending on how many leaders we have and what restrictions are lifted on June 15. Because of the pandemic, we moved to an evening program, in case we can’t find enough leaders and need to turn this into a family event. We turned this into a 1.5 hour evening event, reduced the number of days to 4, making our 4th day a connection event with the family invited to attend together.
Kidlead Preteen Leadership Camp: As an invitation back from VBS, I’m offering a 3 day Leadership Camp for preteens, 4th to 6th grade, during early July.
Family Escape Room Night: Another invite back from VBS is an on-site family escape room night. We’ll be using an archaeology theme, to match Destination Dig, and give kids and families an opportunity to play together. If we are still concerned about distancing, we will schedule families to attend throughout the night, with individually packaged ice cream sundae snacks in the outdoor courtyard.
At all summer events, we will invite families to plug into our Kids Life Groups, starting in August.