last night we held our annual vine family worship – grandparent edition. it was such a special night and such a treat to have yancy and jim wideman here with us. here is an outline of what our night looked like as we sought to gather families of multiple generations together to treasure God’s Word.
as families arrived we had a photo booth for them to get a family picture made. we later posted these pictures to our facebook page for families to download. for families that didn’t have a grandparent that was able to attend we recruited some of our amazing adults to serve as “granpals” for the night. i love the idea of “grandpals” because this gave our families another connection in the church and we all know, families need the leadership of seasoned believers as we walk this journey.
after families had their picture made we gave them an early arrival card so they could be intentional about the time we had before the evening began. all of our children received highlighters in their promotion packets in august so we are always looking for ways to help them highlight special scriptures. we thought it would be special if grandparents and parents had a chance to highlight their favorite verses in the children’s Bibles. not only would this be an impacting moment at family worship, but hopefully for years to come as each child grows in their faith. we also had families go ahead and look up and highlight the focus passage for the evening. this helped them locate the night’s scripture and also began a family conversation about the truths this passage shared.
and then, it was time for yancy’s first set. y’all i cannot say enough good things about how wonderful yancy is. not only is she an incredibly easy and organized artist to work with, she is approachable and really sees each event as a time of ministry. i loved how she was walking through the room beforehand engaging our kids and asking them what they were up to that afternoon. she had a perfect mix of upbeat worship songs and hymns that included all ages. she is also so interactive and one of the best artist i have heard to explain the meaning of worship songs before she leads them. if you are in need of a special musical guest and wondering if they are worth spending the money on, let me attest to the fact that yancy is worth every penny. we had here for one of our 24 hours 4 Him events, our preschool ministry had her for waffles and wiggles, and i am sure we will have her back.
next up was yancy’s dad and no secret to the kidmin world, jim wideman. not only did we love pairing yancy with her dad for this event, we loved that he knows ministry and families and he just happens to be a dad and a grandfather. we thought this was a great fit for our special grandparent night. we didn’t give him an easy task either. his job was to speak for 15-20 minutes on our focus passage, psalm 119:9-16, to ages 4 – 75+. how’s that for an age span? he was personable and interactive and we feel super blessed to have had him here to invest into our kids and families with God’s Word. one of the best things is hearing how kids could quote specific truths he shared this morning as they reviewed withi their parents about what they learned.
after jim spoke, we had yancy up for a second set. let me take this time to say you don’t have to bring in big names to make a night like this successful. we don’t always do this, but we felt it was special for our grandparents night. you can purchase amazing video worship tracks at worship house kids or amber sky. you can also bring in your youth praise band for a special night of worship. usually, i or my associate minister to children speak or sometimes we invite another minister in so the families can hear from them. you have to use what works for your context and your budget.
one of my favorite times of each family worship is the interaction between families. since we were talking about treasuring God’s Word we gave each family a treasure chest (we purchased ours by the dozen at oriental trading.) and a scripture sheet. inside each treasure chest, we had 10-15 large sequins we were calling the “coins.” we tried to find blank coins to write on, but this proved too difficult or too expensive, so we just cleaned hobby lobby out of their quarter sized sequins. families were asked to use a sharpie to write one of the provided scripture references on each “coin.” they were also told they could decorate their family treasure box at home to represent their family. our goal in this family time was to create discussion and an experience that continued on as they went home. their challenge was to pull out a “coin” each day and read the passage as a family looking for treasures or truths in that passage. i talk more about our recipe for family worship here.
also here is the scripture sheet that helped families find passages to print on their special treasure “coins.” we provided more scriptures than “coins” they were given and we tried to use scriptures that focused on God’s Word or wer ein some way about treasure.
one other element of the night (which was optional) was that we encouraged families to dress up as a person, place, or thing from God’s Word. we had some very creative family entries. currently, our church staff is voting for their favorite and the winning family will receive a gift card for a family meal to spend some quality time together. again this was optional because we didn’t want to stress families out that wanted to come and didn’t want to think of an outfit.
we ended the night with a family meal of hamburgers, tater tots, and make your own smores at your table. we are so blessed with an amazing kitchen crew that really goes above and beyond to make our meals fun and interactive. 🙂 (fire at the tables, sure it was a little crazy, but what a fun family experience. 🙂 )
y’all i wish i could say we had a packed house and there was standing room only for all the families that wanted to attend, but i want to be transparent with you on ministry struggles. sadly, a packed house for this special night was not the case. we had around 250 there (which is a great number but not near what we could have reached) and while i was happy for each person that came, i grieved a bit for the empty seats. i know it is a sunday night and families are busy and i am wrestling with why many just don’t come back. i never want to be caught up in numbers, but also want to make sure we offer ministry events that enable all families to be confident in Christ and grow in their faith as a family. before our spring event, i will be praying through our process and confessing my sin as i often place my expectations above God’s plans. ultimately our vine family worship night was a success, based on truth, pointed to Jesus, and allowed families to begin and continue conversations about the treasure of God’s Word.
what are you doing to gather families together around the truth of God’s Word? comment and share. i would love to hear all your creative ideas.
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