sheetthis year at vine family worship we are working through our dawson kids blueprint model. each family worship night takes a deeper, hands-on, and family focused look at one of the points in our blueprint theme for the year. “the fall” was the topic of our second vine family worship, so we created a blackout family worship that would take a look at the seriousness of sin, but also how the light of Jesus Christ breaks though the darkness. (all families were encouraged to dress in all black.)

we always begin each family worship with an early arrival activity. we want to engage families as soon as they are seated at their tables. here is early arrival activity sheet that was placed on each table that night:
blackoutearly arrival



when it was time to begin, we led the families through the following Bible-centered, interactive experience.

• as a family read romans 5:12, “therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned”

• family activity – the person with the next closest 12186377_1177985725549264_471491982949503532_obirthday stood while the kids wrapped them in crepe paper and the adults wrapped them in cling wrap. this was so much fun to watch. some tables had kids getting wrapped and others had parents getting wrapped.

• family discussion question – “how is this cling wrap and crepe paper like sin?”

• we then read aloud john 8:34, “very truly i tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” then we had families discuss this question: “what does it mean to be a slave?”

• to further stress the point of how sin binds us, we played a game. each table was given an object to pass quickly around the table. the object was to be passed as quickly as possible around the table with everyone touching it. yes, even the person that was wrapped in “sin” had to try to participate. we then had families discuss this question “how does being a slave to sin affect those around you?”

• next the families read 1 john 1:8 “if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” we asked “what if the person wrapped up at their table just pretended that it never happened and they were not wrapped in cling wrap and crepe paper?” “how is this like when we claim to have no sin?” we are only fooling ourselves.

• families then read 1 john 1:9 “ if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” finally the person who had been bound in sin for most of the night was unwrapped by those at their table. 🙂

• we ended this experience time by singing “nothing but the blood.” we challenged the families to really think about each word they sang and to savor the fact that only the blood of Jesus cleanses us from our sin.

• next asked ask each family member to take off their labels of sin they were wearing (from the early arrival activity) and trade them for one of 10012763_1177987358882434_3748371340862754809_othe candles on their table. (each table had a candle for each person.) as they held their candles the Gospel of Jesus Christ was presented and we shared with children that Jesus breaks through the darkness and brings life. we no longer need to be slaves to sin and be trapped in darkness, we have a Savior and His name is Jesus. at the end of this time we had each person turn on their candle (we did battery candles) and we closed the night in several songs by candlelight. we sang “Christ is risen”, “i saw the light”, and at the end, with only voices and candles in the darkness, sang “this little light of mine.”

i say it often and will say it again… family worship is one of my favorite parts in ministry.

IMG_0004create moments where families experience truth together at church so they will continue the Christ-centered discussion at home. that is my goal of family worship. so what do you do when as a southerner you feel the weather has betrayed you for temperatures in the teens? you create your family worship around a frozen theme.

our goal in this family worship was to help families experience how sin paralyzes our lives and no matter how hard we try, we can’t rid ourselves of sin. we strived to help them understand that Jesus is the only one that can make us white as snow.

here is what our vine family worship night looked like:

DSCN9883early arrival activity: as families arrived they were given instructions to write down sins they struggle with on the blank pages provided. each sin was listed on a separate sheet and then crumbled up into a paper snowball. their pile of snowballs would be used later in the family snowball fight.

  • do you wanna build a snowman?: for our opening activity we provided each family a baggie that included large and small marshmallows, toothpicks, mini chocolate chips, pretzel sticks, and a paper plate. their challenge was to build the most creative snowman scene during the time allowed. (we played “do you wanna build a snowman” and told them their time was up when the song ended.) the only catch was each family member had to hold their right hand behind their back using only one hand to build their snowman scene. here is a taste of the action. [vimeo]http://vimeo.com/116594721[/vimeo]
    after completing the activity we had them discuss the following questions as families. 1.) what was difficult about this activity? 2.) how is this activity like how sin affects our lives?

  • worship song: we then worshipped together to the song “i am free.” (here is the video we used.) before beginning the song we talked about how only Jesus makes us free from sin. (we may have also danced a little during this song. 🙂 )

  • snowball fight: we divided the room in half and told families to take their “sin snowballs” to their half of the room. their goal during the next song was to get rid of their sin. we told them at the end of the snowball fight song (such a cute song by “bunch of believers) they had to make sure they had gotten rid of all their sin snowballs. here is a peek at the family snowball fight. [vimeo]http://vimeo.com/116594722[/vimeo]
    after the snowball fight we talked about no matter how hard they tried they couldn’t get rid of the sin on their side. i had themIMG_0321 grab a handful of snowballs and return to their table. as a family they looked at the sin on the snowballs and discussed the different sins listed. we looked at the passage in james 5:16 and talked about how as a family it is important to create a safe place to confess our sins to one another. then we concluded this time practicing what james 5:16 ends with – pray for one another. is their a more precious sight than families praying together?

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 5.53.53 PM

  • message: next our discipleship pastor shared a great lesson from luke 5:17-26.

  • video: we then showed a great skit guys video which really drove home the point we had been sharing all night. preview or purchase it here.

  • closing worship song: our final worship song was an updated version of “Jesus paid it all.” we asked each family member to hold a snowball sin in their hand during this song. as they worshipped, we challenged them to allow this song and the sin in their hand to give them a better understanding of just what Jesus did for them.

  • testimony: we ended the night with our associate minister of children sharing how God unfroze His heart and he became a Christian.

vine family worships last one hour. we move quickly between each activity and we try to engage all the learning styles present. after worship is over we have family fellowship meal together. (we also set up a family photo booth with snowballs for family pictures.)

family worship has become one of my favorite times in kids ministry. oh that these conversations would continue in each family represented. i would love to hear about some of your family worship times. comment and share your favorite family worship experience.


like what you read? please subscribe to my blog on the right column. thanks!

plain and simple, it was sin. i had spewed from the mouth once again and while i felt entitled at the time, after i felt awful. after the outburst that was riddled with pride i kept asking myself, where did that come from? i was speaking to the Lord from my heart and He eventually spoke right back. it was bitterness. this quick lash from the tongue was connected to some deep seeded bitterness and it needed to be dealt with immediately.

so today i sat down in a time of confession and acknowledged i was wrong. i admitted that something i was holding on to really had a hold on me. i thought it was empowering, but really it was ugly. as i talked to God about it, i knew that saying i had “no filter” was no excuse. i literally wrote the following words in my journal and then the Lord’s answer left me swimming in His grace:

“break and open up the bitter root with Your Word and with Your grace.” 

FullSizeRenderthen as i opened to today’s daily light verses, i was simply blown away. i had to read them aloud. i was sitting in my comfy chair and He chose to lavish love and grace once again on my dirty heart.

so, i thought maybe i wasn’t the only one that needed to be reminded of the freedom found in His grace today. here are the verses. how do they impact you today?

“but may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.” 1 peter 5:10

“then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”” exodus 33:19

“then He is gracious to him, and says, ‘deliver him from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom’;” job 33:24

“being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,” romans 3:24-25

“for the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” john 1:17

 “for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,” ephesians 2:8

“to timothy, a true son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.” 1 timothy 1:2

“but to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” ephesians 4:7

“as each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” 1 peter 4:10

“but He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’” james 4:6

“but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. to Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.” 2 peter 3:18


this post is part two in the “pausing to pray” series.  you can find part 1 here and part 2 here

Day 2 – Confession
Written by: Jan Jones
Letting Go of Sin

Hebrews 12:1
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, …”

image[3] I take my coffee each morning on my front porch.  The porch provides a beautiful view of my “front yard” garden – yaupon hollies, autumn ferns, pots of annuals and hydrangeas.  In early June, I noticed a vine sprouting up between two hollies.  I thought to myself, “I need to pull that up.” I repeated that thought for over 60 days, but would promptly forget about it once I put my coffee cup down and began the day’s activities. The vine steadily grew and began to intertwine itself within the holly. One morning, I reached down to pull it up but the root was very strong, and all I was able to accomplish was to break the top six inches of the vine and strip several leaves off a branch. It also had developed small slivers of thorns. My effort to pull it up by myself convinced me I would need a small spade, garden shears, and gloves. And so, I didn’t put anymore effort into removing the vine.

I got use to seeing the vine in the yaupon. It began to blend in quite well with the shrub. It wrapped itself around the main stem and its tendrils began to reach out for branches and leaves. It became completely embedded to the yaupon. The yaupon is still there but all I see now is the vine – the price a lazy gardener pays for not pulling the weeds and vines while they were small.

The writer of Hebrews warns us in Hebrews 12:1 that sin “easily entangles” itself in our lives – it attaches itself to our heart, our thoughts, our actions. Usually our first interaction with sin is easily recognizable. We realize and admit that we must remove the sin. But life gets in the way and we never “get around” to addressing our sin. Other times, we feel that it really isn’t that big of a deal –  it’s not like we are thieves or murderers.  And so the sin entangles a little more into our lives, wrapping members of our body and holds our every thought captive.  Before we know it, sin (just a little sin, you say) has overtaken our lives and we have become use to it; not really noticing it anymore.

It takes work – some sins are easily “pulled up.” Others require additional equipment and effort (fervent prayer; Bible study; fasting; a willing heart and confession). This week, let us focus on sin in our lives that might be hindering us from running with perseverance.

 Ephesians 4:30:  “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
As you pray, thank God for the Holy Spirit who convicts us of sin.  Ask Him to reveal to you the sin that has entangled your life.

 Psalm 36:2:  “For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin.”
As you pray, ask God to open the eyes of your heart to recognize that your unconfessed sin is a form of self-flattery.

 Psalm 38:18, David wrote:  “I confess my iniquity.  I am troubled by my sin.”
As sin is exposed and we agree with God, ask God for the perseverance needed for Him to completely remove the sin from your life.

 Psalm 66:18-19:  “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened, but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer.”
Praise God for changing your heart by revealing your sin.  Thank Him for hearing your prayer.

 Psalm 119:97:  “Oh, how I love your law!  I meditate on it all day long.”
Ask God to strengthen your resolve to study His Word thereby enabling you to easily recognize sin in your life.

 John 1:29:  “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
How glorious it is that God uses us, sinners, as spiritual investors in the lives of children.  We must remain diligent in eradicating any personal sins that hinder our usefulness in God’s Hands.  We have the privilege of introducing children to the Lamb of God who takes away their sin.  Ask God to keep you close to Him in the coming year – convicting you, loving you, and molding you into the image of His Son.


Jan Jones recently retired after 28 years of ministry. She has served in countless roles including Minister to Children, Minister to Adults, and Minister of Christian Education. Her impact on children, families, women, adults, and other ministers is quite broad and continues as she now serves weekly as a faithful 3rd grade Sunday School Investors. You can see a glimpse of  her gift of leadership on another blog post found on this site here.

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