Kids are the church of today!
It is one of my most favorites Sundays of the year – the day we place the living Word of God into the hands of 1st graders. This is our second year to do a walk-thru instead of a brunch, and our kids ministry team truly prefers this style more. In the brunch, we felt like we were talking to a bunch of first-graders and their families. In the walk-thru, we got to talk with each family as they rotated through the stations.
Below is a brief recap of each station with pics and links to resources.
Station 1 – the welcome balloon arch
We wanted a place to begin the walk-thru, and we knew families would want a family picture. Can I say I am such a fan of balloons? in my humble opinion, they are the quickest way to decorate a large space.
Station 2 – pictures with the pastor
Each child gets to get a picture with the pastor and their new Bible. The great thing about the Sunday afternoon walk-thru is that our pastor got to spend quality time with each child instead of quick Sunday morning pictures in between services. We are so thankful for our pastor’s investment in these kids and families.
Station 3 – bags and bookmarks
Everyone needs a bag to carry their new Bible in, right? Plus, the Bible is a great big book, and we want to give kids some ideas of scriptures to start looking up in their Bible. This is why we make a special bookmark. On one side, it has all the favorite scriptures from the ministry staff, and on the backside, it has the favorite scriptures from their 1st-grade investors. This is such a simple gift that can have an impact for eternity.
Station 4 – the Bible
I will never tire of seeing the expression on each child’s face as they receive their Bible. Each year I am encouraged and convicted to treasure the Word of God like the first time it was placed in my hands. We love the one big story Bible and buy it in the pink and blue for the kids to pick what color they would like.
Station 5 – Bible embossing cards
We are so thankful that our outstanding preschool ministers joined up for this special day. Their station allowed them to congratulate their former kindergartners on moving up and getting their Bible. Also, a cool side note, our preschool ministers bought a Bible embossing machine from a closing Christian bookstore. They use this embosser for their baby dedication Bibles, and they made cards for parents to fill out and return so they can emboss their kid’s new 1st grade Bible.
Station 6 – time in a candy jar
Time means more when you can see it, so we put time in a jar for the parents. Each parent gets a jar with 556 smarties that represent a week in their child’s life until they graduate high school. (I first saw this example at the orange conference using marbles. We use smarties because there are 13 smarties in a pack and it makes the jar stuffing much quicker.) We challenge them to make the most of the precious time they have being their child’s primary discipler.
Station 7 – lunch box goodies
To equip parents to lead their kids in the home spiritually, we give each family a pack of lunchbox truths from tiny theologians. (if you have not seen their amazing resources, check out their website now.) They gave us a bulk discount for these cute lunch box truths, and we added a yummy cookie from our fantastic kitchen staff.
Station 8 – free ice cream
After the families made it through all the stations, we had an ice cream truck outside to offer free ice cream to the whole family.
here are some more of my favorite pictures of the day!
Do you do something special when you give Bibles to your kiddos? I would love to hear about that. Comment and share your ideas!
Every four years (and maybe every two if we add the winter Olympics), we gather our families in a night of creativity and friendly competition. This year the families went above and beyond in every category of this special night.
I have had a couple of people ask about what “events” we had, so I am going to share our info here. These events are usually simple games with the main going being family teamwork.
I would love to hear your ideas if you do a family Olympics.
This year we wanted to continue focusing on families by providing an experience they wouldn’t soon forget. So we found this fantastic, inexpensive Easter escape room guide and purchased the download. We gave this project to one of our interns and set her free. She soared.
We had initially just scheduled five escape rooms for two nights, beginning with one every 10 minutes. When our sign-up genius filled up almost immediately, we knew we needed to add more time slots. We then added a third night and a sixth room. We ultimately had over 50 families participate. Here are just some of the things they said:
The Empty Tomb Breakout was a great family event…double bonus that it was an evening centered around Jesus!
Thank you for putting together the empty tomb escape room. What a blast and such a great way to start Easter week. I know that even when you love it, ministry is exhausting. So I just wanted to say you are making a difference in the life of my kids! Thank you.
This was awesomely special. What a memory we will never forget. Thank you so much to everyone that made this happen. It was legit.
Check out our recap video made by our amazing administrative assistant below. You really get a feel for the night.
I would love to hear what special events you did for Easter week. Share in comments.
recently i was asked by church leaders to write an article about VBS family night. this special night gives us a great opportunity to reach the whole family. so, i came up with five specific ways you can make sure you engage families at your next VBS family night.
click the photo below to read the article.