It is a struggle everyone in children’s ministry faces. How do we get parents engaged and how do we get children to see God in their daily lives, not just at church?
We give “take-home” papers in hopes that parents will see them, read them, and encourage their child to complete them often to find them made into paper airplanes or crumpled up in the trash. Yes, we may have success occasionally with “take-home” papers, but it is usually few.
What if we “invaded” their world with Jesus? That is what I attempt to do by using Minecraft, Legos, etc. Recently I used this picture during a lesson talking about the dream Jacob had where he saw a ladder to heaven with angels ascending and descending….
The children in the class quickly asked me why I used fences and not ladders for the image. The offered various suggestions. I went on to explain why I used fences and then challenged them to construct a ladder in Minecraft and show me how they would show it, or develop a Biblical lesson in Minecraft.
That afternoon, I was tagged in a Facebook post by a father who’s son constructed the image to the right in Minecraft as soon as they got home. It is an image of the ladder Jacob saw in his dream with God looking over everyone. Just imagine that child explaining to his father what he was making in Minecraft, not just playing. God has “invaded” his world and now as they play Minecraft, they will see God in the game, and not just at church. The children are taking God home with them and sharing with others.
I have also done this with Noah’s ark. Showing the children the Noah’s ark I made in Minecraft and challenged them to make what they envision Noah’s ark looking like in Minecraft, Legos, or drawing a picture. The children brought in some amazing things over the next several weeks. Imagine a parent asking, “What are you making?” and the child sharing the things of God!
It may not work for all the children in your ministry (it does not for mine either), but it reaches a larger number of children then the “take-home” sheets reach. Of course everyone will experience different results depending on your culture.
What do you do to bring God into their world outside of the church?