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Choices and Conversations

“The kids are loving having a choice and we are having some awesome conversations…”
 
This comment from Kylie Brown came from a chat we had about changes she has made this year in the Sunday morning kids programme at Lifezone Church in Tauranga.
 
Kylie desired to see a more intentionally relational ministry and was wondering how to do this with a smaller than normal team of leaders. She decided to change from a big group - small group model where the children were divided by age, to a stations model.
 
“We still start all together in a big group where we welcome the children, have a quick game and then some praise and worship. We then tell the Bible story in a variety of interactive ways. 

"We spend some time together wondering about the story with questions like ‘I wonder how Jesus felt when he was telling them the truth, but no one believed him? Have you told the truth and not been believed before? I wonder how that felt for you?’, then the children choose an activity from a range of options."

"Choices vary from week to week and include LEGO, arts and crafts, play dough, interacting with props used to tell the story, a game that builds on the story, Bible story books, parachute play…”

The activities encourage the children to explore the story further and respond with their own questions and discussions. Leaders are stationed at each activity and engage in intentional conversation with the children about the Bible story.
 
“We have been able to engage in great conversations about how it might have felt to be in the shoes of those in the story, how Scripture applies to our own lives and current situations, and really seek out how the kids feel in response to that. 

"We have seen the kids really engage with the story in ways they hadn’t had space to do previously. Our children are loving the freedom to choose and engage at the level that they feel comfortable; and the leaders are actively and naturally taking the conversation further than just getting the children to answer set small group questions (that we used to use), as they all engage in an activity that they are interested in. 

"Relationships are growing between the kids and between the kids and the leaders, and we are seeing shy or unsettled kids really engaging at a whole new level!”

By Julie McKinnon, CCCNZ Children and Family Ministries Enabler



 

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