Hey everyone! Since I am at CPC (Children’s Pastors Conference) in TN this week, I have a guest blog post from a good friend in #Kidmin, Andrew Linder. Andrew is a husband, a father of four, and a children’s pastor at a thriving church. Andrew is passionate about intentional parenting and effective children’s ministry. He blogs about Kids, Family, and Ministry at AndrewScottLinder.com, and he creates children’s ministry resources that combine faith with fun that can be found at KidzBlast.com.
One of the most powerful things I’ve learned in children’s ministry over the last 13 years is this:
- Kids engage in what is FUN
- Kids get excited over what is FUN
- Kids are greatly influenced by what is FUN
- Kids remember what is FUN
You may not have caught it, but there is a key to successful children’s ministry, that if we overlook, we miss the boat to effectiveness. You probably guessed it :-)… FUN!
At our church, our children’s ministry is called KidzBlast – “Combining Faith with Fun!” Kids love to have fun, and what better way to use fun for good than to combine it with faith to make a lasting and memorable impact?
Think about it.
Have you ever noticed how Disney/Pixar/etc. have a “fun” character in nearly every kids’ movie they make, regardless of whether the character’s role is significant in the storyline or not?
- My kids loved the movie Shrek. And do you know why? It really wasn’t because of Shrek. It was because of, you guessed it, Donkey!
- My kids went crazy over Despicable Me. Why? One word – Minions!
- And who doesn’t love the movie Frozen? Why? Another obvious – Olaf!
What it is that makes you want to watch those movies over and over again? I’m going to guess that it’s probably not the great storyline that draws you back in time after time.
It’s those fun characters that make our kids (and us) want to watch those movies over and over again. Without them, the movie, although having the same storyline, would be far less appealing and attention grabbing, and certainly less memorable. As much as you love Frozen, you probably wouldn’t be drawn to watching it over and over again with your kids if it weren’t for the fun that Olaf brings to the entire story.
So my question for you today is this – Why aren’t we making faith fun for our kids? I understand that fun is not the reason we exist as a church or a ministry, and we could teach the same stories every week without it. However, it will be far less appealing and attention grabbing, and certainly less memorable.
Whether we like it or not, we are in a sense competing with the entertainment industry for the hearts and minds of our children today. Just like a kid goes to school the next day after watching a movie and can’t be muzzled for talking so much about it nonstop… that ought to be our desire in ministry as well.
The kids in our classes on Sunday morning ought not be able to keep quiet on Monday morning about what they did and learned and how much fun they had in church the day before. Fun makes faith sticky! And isn’t that what we really want? We want our influence to stick.
A few months ago, when one of our first time bus riders was dropped of at her door, her father asked her, “So, how’d it go?” Her response, “BEST DAY EVER!!!” That’s the way it should be when we combine faith with fun in our ministry.
So, what will you do this Sunday to combine faith with fun? It might just be the one thing more than any other that makes your message stick.
I’d love to hear your input by you leaving a comment. What are some ways you’ve successfully combined faith with fun in your ministry?