(repost for CPC friends)

i love the Gospel and i love geocaching. so when it came time to plan our family worship event for the spring, these two came together in what we now call pursuit. we had planned on doing some sort of Holy week or palm sunday stations with families at a worship at our church. then the thought hit me, “what if we planned these activities outside the church and allowed families time to discover and experience the Gospel together?” a quick email to three other kidmin leaders in my community made pursuit a reality. (pursuit could not have happened without the involvement of these other churches and the community we built may be my greatest treasure from this special time.)

in geocaching, the goal is to find treasures, whether micro or large boxes, using GPS coordinates and sometimes hints. geocaging has been one of my favorite outdoor, family-friendly activities for years so i thought what better treasure to find than the Gospel? plus, to do it as families just made this project sweeter. the great reward was seeing grandparents, aunts and family mentors also take part in pursuit with their families.

we recently began implementing using “the story” as the means for presenting and sharing the Gospel at our church, so “the story” was my jumping off point. i rewrote each of “the story” Gospel points to make them a little more family-friendly and interactive for this specific experience. each church had a bright orange box hidden on their campus that included these devotions, the supplies needed to complete them, and a Bible. these four devotions are attached below.

families signed up using the “band” app. this enabled up to post announcements, participants to post pictures, and we could attach the pdf that included the clues to each location as well as active links for videos and worship songs for families to listen to enroute to their next stop. this pdf is also included below.

families were encouraged to go in order. some did all four stops in one day while others chose to spread out the stops over their spring break week.

here is a quote from one of our families that participated in pursuit

“The Family Pursuit was truly a wonderful experience for our family!! We loved jumping in the car, listening to the music suggested and going on each adventure together. My husband and I loved seeing what knowledge our kids had, the questions they asked and how we as a family learned from each pursuit!  We went on a little family vacation at the end of the week and loved how we were able to use what we had learned in our pursuit chase on our trip.  We went on many nature walks and the kids spotted even more of God’s wonderful creations and would stop along the way and want us all to pray over where we were and to thank God for all HIS mighty handy work!!  We can not thank all that was involved enough for creating such a fun family pursuit chase and look forward to doing another one if the future!!”

while we chose to test this family activity over Holy week, it can really be done at anytime. the Gospel is always relevant and we wanted to make sure families searched, experienced, and discussed these truths together. the response was so positive and encouraging. so much so that we plan to do another pursuit this fall centering on praying for back to school.

PDF of clues and links provided on the band app for families
devotional guide

feel free to use in your setting, but if you add something amazing be sure to share with me so we can make our next pursuit even better!

repost for cpc friends

twice a year i teach a two week Gospel class for children that are seeking answers to what it means to be a Christian. at recent workshops i have taught several people have asked for the outline of this class. i thought it would be easiest to share the information here. this will be a three part series. here is what will be covered in each post:

part 1 – the what, how, and guidelines for the class
part 2 – what is covered the first week of class
part 3 – what is covered the second week of class.

005567177the entire class is based on the amazing resource from the Gospel project kids curriculum, “the Gospel God’s plan for me.” you can learn more and purchase “the Gospel God’s Plan for me” booklets here. each participant receives this booklet week one to take home and read with an adult.

here is the heart behind the class –
i believe that parents want to be an active part in leading their children to Christ. i also find it incredibly rewarding when a child prays to receive Christ with their parent/guardian/grandparent instead of me. so i began to wonder, how can i partner with parents/guardians to help them talk about the Gospel with their children and begin to understand if their child is ready to make this commitment of faith? i want authentic interaction between parent/guardian and child, because we often know that as kidmin leaders, we get sunday school answers. parents/guardians know their kids best, so i wanted to give them a chance to grapple with the Gospel truths. this is the very reason why i require an adult to attend each class with their child.

the model of the class –
during the class we study the five truths outlined in “the Gospel God’s plan for me.” i teach each truth straight from God’s Word. (i even have them turn to the scriptures in the Bible and mark them.) children and adults then experience each truth through engaging, hands-on activities. lastly, the children and their adult discuss each truth. i provide several questions and while i have their captivated attention, i have them turn to one another and discuss these truths just taught and experienced in a safe setting.

when the class is offered – 
i have traditionally offered the class on sunday evenings at five, but due to busy schedules i have moved the class our early service time on sunday mornings. parents seem to like the class in the mornings. they can attend my class and still attend small group and one of our other two worship services.


here are the links to part 2 and 3 in this series.
part 2 – what is covered the first week of class
part 3 – what is covered the second week of class.

     there are people you have conversations with and you walk away either encouraged, challenged, or inspired. well, whenever i leave a conversation with sam i leave feeling all three. i don’t think i have ever met a more humble ministry leader more passionate about the Gospel and making sure it is central to all we do in ministry. sam makes no apologies for his desire to see Christ at the center of our personal and ministry lives. don’t believe me? just check out his blog at samluce.com. just a warning, if you want some light ministry reading or some easy ministry ideas, his site isn’t for you. sometimes i have to chew on an article for a couple of days and let it marinate in my soul. but never does one of his articles leave me unchanged.
     i am thankful to be serving on the gospelatcenter.com team with sam. even through texts, conference calls, and video chats he is all about one thing – the Gospel. (well and that yankees team.) i am thankful he took time to answer these five questions.

1 – what do you see kidmin and family ministry leaders doing right? 
I see almost all of them asking how can we engage with moms and dads. How can we encourage and equip parents to spiritually lead their kids. That is super encouraging. One of the marks of the Great Awakening was the intentionality and widespread nature of family worship.
2 – what do you see as the greatest need in kidmin and family ministry right now? 
Men leading at home and at church.
3 – if you could have coffee with every kidmin/fammin leader, what would you want to make sure you shared with them? 
1. The importance of communicating and transmitting to kids a love and reverence for God’s word over relevance and fun. 2. The need for a greater awareness of the supremacy of Christ in all things.
3. Remember Jesus builds the church.
4 – what word of encouragement do you have for today’s kidmin/fammin leaders? 
I would encourage Family ministry leaders to live lives of Active-Passivity. We work as hard as we can and trust as much as we can never forgetting that Jesus not only builds the church but loves the church and gave his life for her. What a privilege and responsibility to represent her to the world and to the next generation. Do it well with the strength God supplies not the strength that you muster.
5 – why are you passionate about children’s and family ministry? 
Because children are who Christ says we are to be like and Marriage and family is his idea to demonstrate to a watching world what his love is like.

Sam Luce has been a pastor at Redeemer Church in Utica NY for the past 18 years. 14 of those years serving as children’s pastor. Currently, he is serving as the Utica Campus Children’s Pastor and the Global Pastor to Families. Same blogs at samluce.com and it is focused on Leadership, Family Ministry, and Theology.
Sam attended Portland Bible College in Portland Oregon where he graduated in 1997 with a BA in Theology, upon graduation he became the children’s pastor at the same church for over 18 years. Sam has done children’s ministry for the last 20 years. In those years, he has seen kids ministry grow and change tremendously.

Sam is currently a contributing editor to K! magazine, has served as chairman of  INCM, co-authored “The Eric Trap”,  has been involved in several book projects, and been blogging since 2007. Sam has spoken at conferences and have done some consulting and coaching. His real passion lies in preaching the gospel, building and strengthening the local church in any way possible because he believes in creating environments where life change can take place. Sam truly believes that the local church is the hope of the world.

Sam has been married to my beautiful wife for 15 years together they have 4 beautiful children ages 11, 9, 6 and 3 years. They currently live in Upstate New York.

When not writing on his blog or working at the church, Sam enjoy reading, racquetball, writing, photography, watching movies with the family.

free dandibell email updates
get the latest content sent straight to your email.
we respect your privacy. thanks for taking time to subscribe.