Romans Memory Verse

A most beautiful summary of the Bible. And it is this week’s memory verse in our #mvotwyear (covering the Bible in a year with a verse or two a week from each book of the Bible).

Play Kahoot! without devices

If you work with kids in education, ministry, or some other setting, you need to check out Kahoot! I’ve spoken about it on here before and it is a digital resource for teachers and leaders who want to facilitate interactive trivia or feedback with their students.

One problem with using Kahoot! in venues with lots of kids, though, is that children do not always have devices on them (and arguably shouldn’t have devices on them in the first place).

So I want to share an idea with you that comes straight from my friend Evan Dickson at Concord Baptist Church in Anderson, SC. You can play the Kahoot! trivia game on a large projector screen for all the kids to see. Then, instead of the children having to answer the trivia questions on their devices, just have them pick an answer in their heads.

But how do you know what answer they are selecting? Just ask them to move to a corner of the room that corresponds with their answer (most of these Kahoot! games have four options for the answer). These options are coded by color and shape. You can even set up flags or some other indicator in each corner that shows the kids which color/shape corresponds to that corner. Congratulate those who selected the right answer and then move on to the next question. You can make the game questions roll along automatically at whatever speed you like in the settings. There is no need to keep official score. Just have fun with it.

It’s a simple idea, but brilliant! Thanks, Evan, for the great idea.

Do you have a great idea for games or activities with children? Leave a comment or send me a message and I’d love to share that idea on here too!

Finding Hidden Treasure In Our House

We bought an old house four years ago. It was built in 1919, at the end of World War I. We spent a year and a half fixing it up and restoring what we could to it’s original charm. We love our old house.

One thing I did not know going into this project though, was all the treasure I would find along the way. You see, when you fix up a house, you’re forced to clean things up and strip things down first before you can restore things.

The attic, for example, was littered with decades of loose junk that had been lost in the rafters and insulation (such as paper trash that animals used to build nests). In cleaning out the attic, I found an old Rolling Stone magazine, some plastic game pieces from board games of the 1960s, and decapitated stuffed animals from the 1950s.

But here are the real treasures:

  • A Willie Mays baseball card from the 1966 Topps set. I found that under some floor boards in a bedroom closet.

  • A full newspaper from the day after the Pearl Harbor bombing in 1941 with the headline “War Declared.” That was folded up and tucked back on a high shelf that you could only reach by a ladder.

  • My favorite, though, was something I found in the rafters of the attic: A World War II love letter that the woman of the house wrote to her husband in October of 1943 while he was on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific. I finally tracked down the descendants of the couple who lived in this house (their children lived here too, of course) and was able to transfer the letter to a friend of theirs who will in turn hand deliver it to the family this summer. The local news station even did a story on this.

In my work, I teach and lead children. I can’t help but think of the connection between finding treasures in an old house and finding the hidden treasures in the children we work with. In fact, children are priceless treasures, and they are standing right there in plain sight. But sometimes, we need to dig beneath the surface and notice the hidden gifts, talents, wonders, and stories that these children carry with them. How do we as parents, teachers, and leaders find these things? By patiently spending time with them, giving them attention, and asking them good questions that pique their curiosities about themselves and the world around them. We are surrounded by treasures called children. And with patience, love, and digging, we can discover more and more of their incredible value and grow to appreciate them for the way God made them.

Activity: A Hunt for the Real Meaning of Easter

Here’s a simple and fun Easter egg hunt activity that involves all ages. You can use this at home, at church, or any other Easter event.

  1. Using plastic Easter eggs, have the adults hide the eggs for the children – the more people you get involved the better, as you’ll see why in the next steps….
  2. Do NOT fill the eggs with candy. Instead, have each adult take one or more eggs and fill each one with a slip of paper with a Bible verse on it. Ideally, the Bible verses can be about the resurrection of Jesus (here is a link to a starter list of 15 verses you can use). It is best if each adult takes the time to look up and write out each verse by hand.
  3. Set the children loose to find the eggs.
  4. After all the eggs are found, have people forms intergenerational groups of 5-8 people each.
  5. Have the children read the verses out loud to the adults in the group and give time for the groups to discuss the verses together.
  6. Allow time for the group to pray together as well.
  7. Finally, have plenty of candy available for the children at the end, so they can still fill their baskets and bellies with the sweets!

2 Chronicles Memory Verse

We WILL find God. He will allow us to find him. He will reveal himself to us. No matter how long it takes or how tough it seems. He is there. And He will be found by us. #mvotwyear

Church not Childcare

I believe the words and titles we use for things convey messages of value. That’s how language works. For example, take “wedding ceremony” versus “wedding celebration.” Both terms tell people that a wedding is happening, but the first phrase sends messages of formality, tradition, and even the sacredness of it. The second phrase sends the message that this wedding is a fun, celebratory, party. Now, in this case, I don’t necessarily think one way is right and one way is wrong. I’m just saying that the words we use send messages of what we value to others.

Now take ministry with children on Sunday mornings at churches. Some people call it “children’s church” while others call it “nursery” or “kid church.” I have even seen it called “childcare.”

This is where I have a strong opinion about naming the programs for children at churches. If we call it “childcare,” we are sending the message to everyone that the Sunday morning church services are really about the adults and that children are secondary. Of course we care for the children on Sunday and there is something very spiritual and God-glorifying about that. But I think there are other terms that can convey a stronger meaning about what’s really important for the body of believers when they gather together for worship.

In churches that separate the ages for age-leveled worship (which is another thing I’m not a huge fan of, but I understand that it is the primary model in Western churches), I think the programs for children (for infants and older) should be named in ways that convey the value of children and the fact that they are full participants in the worshipping body of Christ.

Here are some examples that I think are better terms than “childcare” or “babysitting” for Sunday morning services for children. This is definitely not exhaustive. It is merely a sampling of ideas:

  • Children’s Worship
  • Children’s Church
  • Movers and Shakers
  • From the Mouths of Babes
  • All God’s Children
  • Godly Play (this is actually a thing)
  • God’s Kids
  • Faith Factory

The list could go on and on.

What do you call your services for children on Sunday mornings? What message does it send? What message do you want to send in the way you name programs for children?