i was so excited to be invited back to a great event my friend nate holder puts on for his association each year – the etowah baptist association kidmin and stumin summit. one of my breakouts for this year is on family worship. below are my notes for this workshop.

before you think this post is all about adding another worship service or event to your already busy kidmin calendar, think again. as we explore this topic i am going to ask three things of you:

  • think out of the box. family worship doesn’t just have to be a time of worship with families.
  • how can you apply these principles to events/program you already have in place in your ministry?
  • quality verses quantity – families are busy. make sure the times you plan areprayed through and well crafted. offer less that is better than a whole lot of more. 

now i believe in simple steps so i can focus on what is most important – Jesus. so this is my checklist, or recipe if you will, for family worship experience.

after i shared the recipe we experienced this model in six different activities.

read colossians 1:16-17 God created everything. God is in charge. God is Holy and the boss of us. give families a jar of play-dough. allow them to decide what they should make with their play-dough. as the families shape their play-dough, pretend the play-dough is speaking to you and says it is not happy with the shapes they have decided and it wants to be something else. give them another shape to form. say the play-dough wants to change shapes several more times. (you will hear the groans.) families discuss: should the play-dough decide what it should be made into? how is this like us trying to tell our Creator what to do? families take home the play-dough.
read romans 3:23. share that we can’t ignore sin. ask who is hungry for a snack. bring out very burned popcorn and share it with the class. (remember smell is a great sense to make an impact.) tell the families you are going to just pretend the popcorn isn’t burnt and they should just eat it. after they look at you strangely, explain that you will just pick off all the burned parts and surely they will eat it. of course, no one wants the popcorn. you can’t pretend it isn’t burnt. discuss as families: how is this sin like our bag of popcorn? families take a snack bag of popcorn home.
romans 3:23 and romans 6:23 go to a stairwell and get all the children to stand at the bottom of the stairs and the parents stand at the top. ask one of the dads to play the part of Jesus in this experience. turn tot he children and ask what is separating them from Jesus. (the stairs) explain the the stairs are hot, hot lava. the kids can’t touch the stairs, the rail, the walls, or leave the stairwell. ask them how they will get to Jesus. allow kids to think of fun ways. (i.e. try to fly, try to jump, etc.) families discuss: what was our problem on the stairs? how do the stairs represent our spiritual problem? families take home lava rocks.
as a family read romans 5:12. the family member closest birthday gets wrapped in cling wrap. families discuss: how is this cling wrap and crepe paper like sin? families read: John 8:34. families discuss: what does it mean to be a slave? family activity – stand in a circle and include the person that is wrapped in cling wrap. tell them their goal is to pass the ballon quickly around the circle five times and everyone has to take their time passing the balloon. families discuss: how does being a slave to sin affect those around us? as a family read: 1 john 1:8. families discuss: what if the person at the just tried to pretend they weren’t wrapped in saran wrap? how is this like us pretending we do not sin? family read 1 john 1:9. families discuss: what does 1 John 1:9 tell us about our sin? now take off your family member’s sin. families leave with cling wrap.
give all family members a yellow lego. read revelation 21 aloud. as this chapter is read instruct family members to write on their block the one thing that excites them about heaven the most. families then are instructed to build something out of their blocks and share everything they wrote. families leave with their lego structure and are instructed to put it in the middle of their family table.
this is done during our 1st grade Bible lunch. families are given take out boxes with lots of spiritual discussion starters. next we read a deuteronomy prayer. family member share when they got their first Bible. kids leave with a devotional book and a bookmark with staff and 1st grade teacher’s favorite scriptures.

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