Staying Connected to your kids in kids church during quarantine is the last topic I ever thought I would write about. But we live in odd times; times which force us to look at things through a new lens.
I have been so impressed with the response of the church in making sure the good news continues to go forth amidst a pandemic like this. New and creative means of staying connected and getting the word out are being utilized, even by the most technologically deficient churches. It’s been great to see people work together (remotely of course) to teach others how to do new things that will enable them to continue doing powerful ministry during these times.
Kids Church During Quarantine
As for kids church, I’ve seen multitudes of ideas, everything from Zoom live Sunday School meetings, live streaming, pre-recorded YouTube clips, and churches encouraging community through fun-themed spirit weeks where kids are encouraged to participate in the daily activity and post pictures or videos of them completing the tasks so the kids can be kids in a community of believers.
Kids need relationships. It’s what draws us, connects us, and nurtures our God given design. A big part of kids ministry is building those relationships with God and with others. Quarantine may put a damper on this, but here are some ideas that can help you continue to minister to the heart of each child in your children’s ministry and stay connected with them through this pandemic.
5 Ways to Stay Connected and Minister to the Hearts of our Children during Quarantine
#1 – Send a Personalized email, letter, or video message!
Kids love mail! Whether it’s email, video message, or through the post office; they love it all. This is a great way to remind the kids that you haven’t forgotten about them. Each message will encourage them during this time and remind them that there are people in the church who think of them, pray for them, and care for them. What a great reminder for our kids that they are the church—-it’s not just the parents who should receive encouragement during this time.
#2 – Find a way to come alongside parents
Most churches try to help parents by giving them tools for training their child up in the Lord. Now would be the time to emphasize what you have been doing and be creative by implementing some new ideas.
For instance, we post daily devotions to Facebook on our kids ministry Facebook account. These devotionals are short (about five minutes) and can be done at the dinner table as a family. They are meant to dive deeper into the topic discussed in their Kids Church lesson each week. Each devotional has a short 1-2 verse passage to read from the Bible, a few questions to stir the digging deeper process and bring new understanding to the scripture, a challenge for them to apply it each day, and a short prayer. (Since Facebook has a setting to schedule posts, I simply sat down one day and set up each post for the week or the month ahead of time. That way it doesn’t become a burden to keep up with posting each one.)
Resources are another great way to help out parents. As a Kids Church teacher, I have a lot of resources that I know about and pull from each week. That might not be the case for the parents in your congregation. Share some of those resources. Give the parents some online sites with crafts, bible learning activities, homeschool scheduling, household management tricks, and worksheets or coloring pages that would go along with your online lesson. Parents can get overwhelmed, especially without the right resources!
#3 – Design a fun game, contest, or activity week for the kids.
Encourage participation and community between the children at your church by designing a church spirit/activity week.
Monday: Pajama Day- post your pajama day pictures on your kids church Facebook or website. Give out silly awards to encourage participation. For Example—Sleepiest Award, Bright Eyes Award, Cuddle Bug Award
Tuesday: Crazy Hair Day- post a picture of your craziest hair style and give an award to the Craziest Hair Style.
Wednesday: Bible Character Day- Dress as a bible character from things found around the house. See if anyone can guess who they are.
Thursday: Kindness Day- Post a video or picture of you and your family doing something kind for someone else, or someone in need. (Maybe you picked up some groceries or medicine for a neighbor, maybe you planted some flowers for mom, or you might have made a craft for someone special.
Friday: Family Game Night- Have everyone post pictures of the games they played, and what their favorite was.
When the quarantine is over, you might want to have a short awards ceremony for the kids in kids church one day. This is a great way to bring the kids together in community and to celebrate that community once we are all back together again.
#4 – Challenge the Kids to Seek God
Scripture Memory Challenge
This one seems obvious, but how do we encourage the kids to actually do it? One way is to have a scripture memory challenge. Give the kids a short list of memory verses and tell them that they have a month to try to memorize as many as they can. Host a live Zoom meeting with all of them, or one at a time, and have them recite the verses they know. Give out some prizes at your awards ceremony.
Establish a Quiet Time
One thing we have forgotten how to do in this modern age: BE QUIET. Stillness is one thing that seems hard for us and our kids, but it has benefits in our spiritual walk. I found out as a child that I loved being still and laying on the grass and watching the clouds, watching nature, wondering about it all. How did God do this, what was He thinking when he made the bees and the mosquitos? Why does each bird sound different?
In those times of quiet, I began to encounter God. I started to wonder about life and things in it, and ask questions. Eventually I began getting some answers to those questions. God began to meet me in that place. I was encountering Him and finding the secret place with Him. I want that for my kids and the kids I teach. It’s harder to obtain nowadays, as the quiet is hard to find, and the noise seems to always be in our face.
There are many different devotional journals for different ages, which may be a good start. But take it a step further, and have a time where you tell the kids to pick a spot in the yard and just sit for five minutes. Give them a sheet of paper with one question or contemplation on it. Then, let them think about it, write down their thoughts, or draw a picture about it.
-What do you think God was thinking when he made the stars, or the birds, or the ocean….etc.
-Ask the Holy Spirit what he thinks when he sees you.
Discover God Photo Challenge
Maybe encourage the kids to discover God through nature and have a photo challenge. Posting photos the kids take of the amazing things they found that God created right in their backyard.
#5 – PRAY
The behind the scene work of prayer can be more powerful than anything you attempt to do with your hands. Don’t forget to pray for each child, and each family in your church. We are one body in Christ and when we pray we stay connected by His Spirit.