Children are the future of your church, which is why you continue to disciple them as they grow in their spiritual lives. However, what does that discipleship look like in the middle of a pandemic? How are you keeping your children’s ministry engaged and your kids encouraged during this time?
At-Home Bible Lessons
If you are a children’s ministry leader, you are usually working to plan this week’s Bible lesson. That lesson may consist of a Bible story, a verse for your children to memorize, or a craft or activity that goes along with the lesson.
Consider ways you can continue teaching, such as giving parents the tools they need to lead their children in weekly Bible lessons. This may be sending out an email to your parents each week giving them the Bible lesson and verse, as well as instructions to a craft or activity. Be sure to think about ways to use everyday household items in the crafts so parents aren’t needing to leave home to be able to take part.
Ask parents to take pictures of their children during the weekly lessons and send them to you. If your church is using Realm as their church management software, you can then send those pictures out so each child can see their church friends doing the same activities they are doing even while being socially distant.
Now is a great time to teach your children that the Church can happen anywhere a group of believers gather, including online. Online meeting tools like Zoom and Google Hangouts are now a popular choice for churches and schools to use during the COVID-19 pandemic. Research the tools your church has available and use those to create virtual hangouts for your children’s groups to be able to meet and enjoy a few laughs and prayers together.
As their leader, use this time to check in on your kids, facilitate conversation between them and let them know you and their peers are still there and still caring.
Live on Social Media
If your church has a social media account like Facebook or Instagram for your children’s ministry, utilize that by going live! Let parents know what time you will be going live, and invite them to log on and have their children follow along. This may be a 20-minute activity that goes along with a short Bible story to allow children to release some energy while learning about God, or it may be a challenge to learn a specific Bible version or song before the next live video.
When deciding the best time to go live, consider when those children (and parents) may need a break, like lunchtime, or choose the time that they would normally gather together in the church to keep those habits familiar and ongoing. Just be sure to promote this to your parents through your church’s social media accounts, and through email, which you can quickly and easily send using Realm.
You may not have access to a live streaming service, but you can always use your phone or laptop camera and pre-record a lesson and upload it to your church’s Youtube account. Share that link along with any other helpful links to parents so they can share it with their children.
While we strive to teach children about God through this pandemic, we can take a lesson from them on using our creativity to develop ways to continue discipleship while social distancing. Encourage involvement and engagement so the children in your church feel connected to their church family.