Summer 2021 is an in-between time. Some of our ministries to children and their families have started to transition to some gatherings in person, some remain online and some are dormant. Our families are feeling stressed and their new routines may not involve church life, but most of the students have returned to in-person learning. It is time to help feed their spiritual journey, flex their faith muscles (which will help them deal with their stress), and build their connection to church.
Here are some Summer time ideas that can help you in your ministry feed your congregation:
- Online Summer Camp based on a popular movie: families watch the movie on Sunday, then Monday through Friday they enjoy activities, Bible Story, crafts, videos, puzzles, and one or two Zoom get togethers each day. To add an in-person gathering, finish Friday with a gathering outside. With the movie, I tie each character or situation the character faces with a Bible character and give the day a theme based on that. This year I am doing “Toy Story”. Last year, I did Willy Wonka”. Last years was very popular! The whole camp for 30 children cost less than $33 a day. To purchase the plan for last year’s Willy Wonka Summer Camp, email me at [email protected] . The cost is $5.
- Vacation Bible School: Consider doing outdoors with less children. For music, teach the motions and include a CD in the price for each family. Have tables set up for crafts. If doing snacks, do prepackaged. Children just want to be together!
- Books with a Purpose: I am leading a program for parents and their children on dismantling racism. We start with a webinar for parents only with techniques to help them have the conversation. We have a book list with 4-5 books for each age group (infant-preschool, early elementary, and older elementary ages) with a Reading Guide for each book. We check in to see how it is going, send out an email with tips each week, and offer ideas to enhance the conversation. We close with a webinar for children and their parents focused on honest discussion and some activities. In September, we are having a panel of three of the authors to discuss their books.
- Outdoor Children and their Families Worship: gather in an area park. Everyone brings their own chair or blanket and a picnic. I put out dots or pool noodles to show the distancing. We start with a worship service, then move to a lunch, and then families can enjoy the park.
- Outdoor Movie Night: Set up a drive-in at your church and enjoy a family movie night. Each family brings their own blanket or chairs to sit in.
- Offer your families Devotions and Formation using www.laurensline.com/family-devotions-formation/ Each week a new Devotion is put up. Includes Bible Story, meditation, prayer, discussion questions, and optional activities.
- Plan for the Fall! Work on building activities and formation for the Fall. Build the excitement with newsletters, emails, and Zoom calls.