LEGO Masters Tournament for Children and Youth Ministry

Coming up with ways to connect our children and youth with each other and with our church leadership has taken inventive thinking. One of the most successful has been our LEGO Master Tournament.

Based on the television show of the same name, families formed teams. Everyone did their projects at home and we meet weekly on Zoom.

Lego Master Tournament: Children and families form teams to be a part of a six week tournament. Families or children or youth register in advance. Levels are adjusted for ages. Each week the child/team builds a scene that is assigned to them. A video of the build is taken by family. Lego builds are uploaded to a dropbox. The congregation has two days to vote/judge the projects. The projects are voted on for creativity, staying true to the story, use of LEGOs, and originality in telling the story. Builds are based on Bible stories, Liturgy Parts, Church History, and Sacraments.  The whole church got involved. The children, youth and families were creative, spent time researching their project, and went way beyond what was expected. They ended up teaching the whole congregation about the Bible, Liturgy, Church History, the Sacraments and our community.

Each week: the highest score picks first story and then go in order.  Each team choses a different story. We meet on Zoom to remind them of how they are scored, get the scores from the previous week and pick their assignments. We met Sundays. They had until Thursday at noon to complete and video tape their project. We uploaded them to Vimeo and put a link in the newsletter for people to vote.

Week One Challenge-Old Testament

Week Two Challenge-New Testament

Week Three Challenge-Parts of Liturgy

Week Four Challenge-Church History

Week Five Challenge-Sacraments

Week Six Challenge-St. Paul’s Community

Instructions for teams each week:

Team takes a Video:

  1. Tell Assignment
  2. Show Completed Lego from all sides.
  3. Explain how team came up with idea and anything you think we should know.
  4. Email to Dropbox by Nooon on Thursday.

Team takes a picture of team with Lego build for our newsletters, Facebook & Instagram accounts.

Loaded for Congregation and Voting start Monday at 5:00 PM.  Voting Closes Wednesday at 5:00 PM.

 Voting 1-5 with 1 being did not achieve it, 5 being excellent

  1. Overall Creativity
  2. Use of Lego Blocks
  3. Stayed true to story/assignment
  4. Originality in telling/showing story

I averaged the scores for each category above and then added them together.

Week One story ideas (Old Testament):

  • Jacob’s story (especially the wrestling with an angel)-Genesis 32
  • Balaam (and the Talking Donkey) -Numbers 22
  • Ezekiel & visions – Ezekiel 1
  • Deborah & victory – Judges 4 (might be too graphic?)
  • Joshua & wall collapsing-Joshua 6
  • Meshack, Shadrack and Abendigo -Daniel 3
  • King Jehoshaphat- 2Chronicles 19-20
  • The Tower of Babel – Genesis 11
  • Samson – Judges 14-15
  • Elisha and the bears- 2 Kings 2
  • Naaman 2 King 5

Challenge 2: New Testament Stories

  • Story of Zechariah-Luke 1: 5-25
  • Simeon meets Jesus-Luke 2: 25-35
  • Four Friends encounter Jesus-Mark 2:1-12
  • Jesus heals the 10 Lepers- Luke 17:11-19
  • Jesus Quiets the Storm: Mark 4:35-41 & Matthew 8:23-27
  • Parable of the Prodigal Son: Luke 15:11-32
  • Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead: John 11:17-44
  • Jesus appears to Paul-Acts 9:3-19
  • Paul and Silas in Prison-Acts 16:16-40
  • Other ideas-Samaritan woman at well

Challenge 3: Parts of Liturgy (find all in Book of Common Prayer)

  •                Gloria (p 356)
  •               Hymn (any)
  •                Nicene Creed (p 358)
  •                The Confession & Absolution (p 360)
  •                The Lord’s Prayer (p 364)
  •                Morning Prayer-canticle (p 85- 95)
  •                Morning Prayer-General Thanksgiving (p 101)
  •                Psalm (any- starting p 585)
  •                Eucharist-the Great Thanksgiving  (p361-365)

Challenge 4: Church History

  •   Martin Luther and the 95 theses 
  • Queen Elizabeth I
  • Henry VIII
  • Any Reformation References
  • Samuel Seabury (First Episcopal Bishop)
  • Civil Rights Movement 
  • Philadelphia 11
  • Katharine Jefferts Schori (First Female Presiding Bishop)
  • Council of Nicea

Challenge 5: The Sacraments (explained BCP page 858-859 and services in BCP)

  •                 Baptism
  •                Holy Eucharist
  •                Confirmation
  •                Ordination
  •                Holy Matrimony
  •                Reconciliation of a Pentinent
  •                Unction of the Sick
  •                Baptismal Covenant (BCP 304-305)
  •                Baptismal Vows (BCP 305)

Challenge 6: St. Paul’s Community

  •  Church Service at St. Pauls
  • Children’s Ministry at St. Pauls
  • Youth Ministry at St. Pauls
  • Outreach-Serving others at St. Pauls
  • House of Prayer
  • Holy Days at St. Pauls
  • Christian Formation/Sunday School at St. Pauls
  • Favorite service or event at St. Pauls
  • An event at St. Pauls
  • Music Ministry at St. Pauls

I purchased two gold LEGO blocks on key rings. The LEGO Master for children age and for youth age each receive a gold block. They then become the judges for the next LEGO Master Tournament.

Virtual Lego Ministry Night

With the COVID-19 keeping us isolated at home, a fun activity to engage our church members is a Lego Bible Night. This can be done over several nights or days.

Choose one Bible story per family involved. Have a print out of the story or a link to the story. Make each one a different story and make sure it is something that families can use to make come alive. Give or send each family their story. Include with the story or link some information/background material (what was happening, the time, a little history, etc.). Give them some discussion questions to think about. Send a prayer families can say before they start their build.

Working together, the family creates a Lego piece that shares the story. They can video tape themselves talking about the piece and retelling the story or hold a zoom meeting and each family shares with the others involved. Make sure to get pictures of the completed works, so they can be shared witht he whole parish.

After the Zoom call when all are shared, close in prayer and thank the families for sharing in this time. Families might enjoy this so much, that they would like a story a week.

Keep all the pictures and create a story book for the children or video link with all the videos.

Helping Families Keep the Season After Epiphany, Part 2

The Parables, Ways to Expand and Group Activities

Below are activities meant to build on Family Activities mentioned in Part One: Helping Families Keep the Season After Epiphany. The ideas mentioned in the first part are designed for families to do as a unit at home. The ideas in part 2 are meant for group activites done in church to expand on the discussions and activities in the home.

Family Service Sunday: Using the theme of the parable, I come up with at least four activities that families with children of all ages, including the very young, can do together.  We start as a large group and the parable is told with a very short discussion (this should last no more than ten minutes) and we say a prayer together.   We, then, divide by project (each family has chosen their project in advance). For each project, a speaker comes to talk for no more than ten minutes.  Then they are taught a new skill or how to do the project, and finally, we work on the project. Someone closes that project group in prayer.   For the Parable of the Samaritan, we focused on “Love Thy Neighbor.”  The projects were cooking class and cooking a meal for the Ronald McDonald House (we have also had a chaplain for first responders come and made brownies and thank you cards for first responders.) For the Humane Society, after the speaker finished, we made dog toys and blankets for dogs and cats.  For our local nursing home, we learned songs and then went to sing there and handed out flowers.  We kept the songs simple and did motions so all children could participate.  For those who are homebound (in our parish), we had someone come and talk about loneliness, and wrote pen-pal letters and decorated frames with their new pen-pal family picture.  For our newborn family ministry, we bought knitting kits from widows in Rwanda and made baby hats to be handed out to the newborns at the hospital.

There are many agencies that will come out and talk about their agency and have ideas or projects groups of families can do.

Godly Play Story and Meal:  We invite families for a meal or for pot luck.  After the meal, I use Godly Play to tell the parable we are focusing on.  This event is mostly about fellowship and shared parable experience.

Lego Parable Night:  Setting up four to eight different parable stories on each table, families are encouraged to pick a table with other people at it, as they come in.  After eating the meal, the people at each table reads their parable from the Bible (at their table), and discusses it.  They then bring the parable to life using Legos.  Once they have completed their Lego project, they write a paraphrase of their parable and a prayer to go with it.  We compile all the Lego projects on tables in our hallway and the following Sunday, have a Parable Walk for all to see, read, and pray.

Parable Play: This was a big hit with our children and youth.  The children and youth got together and rewrote the parable into a play, designed costumes (out of what we had), made set decorations, gathered props and learned a part.  We put it on for the adults during our parish retreat, but can be done at a meal or gathering.

LEGO® My Bible: Intergenerational Fun & Learning

LEGO®S are loved by everyone in every age bracket. For the last year, we have used them in several capacities to encourage Bible reading, attendance in Sunday School, an evening gathering, and a Sunday morning event after church services in the Summer.

At each event, I choose a story from the Bible for each group. If I have six tables set up, then I choose six different stories. I place two to three different translated Bibles, blank sheets of paper, pencils, pens, an instruction sheet, and a list of questions.

The question sheet includes who is this story about, where did the story take place, what happened before the story, what didn’t you like, what did you like,and how can you show this story to others?

The instructions start with a prayer, asking them to pray together, them tell them to read the story and discuss the questions. Upon finishing the discussion, they draw what they are going to build to show the story. I have a cart full of LEGO® sorted by color, along with a box of people. After they have built their story, they are instructed to write a one page paraphrase of their story and a prayer.

For Sunday School classes, I use Building Faith Brick by Brick. When we started to have our Spring slump, this energized our older elementary grades. The children and youth could not wait to come and finish their group projects. We displayed all finished products in a prayer walk opened to our whole parish.

For Inergeneratinal Events, I encourage seating at tables of various ages. Young and old work together to create a Bible piece. It encourages people to get to each other in a fun way.

For a bridge between family and Sunday morning, I encourage families to take a story home and bring their pieces and stories back the following Sunday.

For inspiration, purchase the Brick Bible or for use with younger children to help share what is happening in the parish. For additional fun, take pictures of the created pieces and make your own Bible.

For teens, who enjoy sets, there is a Last Supper kit, but I like the idea of them creating their own pieces.

One of the hardest and most expensive pieces are the people. I have included a link for buying a large set at an inexpensive price –people set.

Click on any of the highlighted items to see what I used.  Any items purchased through this link helps to fund this site.