Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing.

All throughout the year, we all are planning events and programming for our department.  And as we do it is important that we do not let opportunities pass us by that we can use for ministry.  When I am planning an event, there is one very important question that I need to be able to answer:

 Does this event include an opportunity to draw people closer to the Lord?

The answer, must always be YES.  That doesn't mean that there has to be an altar call at the event, but what it does mean is that the event MUST be Christ Focused.  Sometimes that means giving people an opportunity to fellowship with other families in the church (like at a picnic), but most of the time, it means making sure that the focus of the event is on the Lord and not just on having the event.   This will always mean more work on your part, but it's worth it.

Let me give you two examples of what I mean.

1) Water Wednesdays
In the summer it is hot and kids want to be outside.  So every summer, we have Water Wednesday's at church.  The kids bring a towel and expect to play all sorts of water games.  But each week we also focus on a Bible Story where water is an important aspect of the story.  Part of the games are planned to bring attention to that focus as well.  For example, one week, when the story was focused on how God held back the water of the Red Sea, we had the kids try to build a wall with water balloons. Not an easy task.  Try it sometime and you will see.  After they tried with all their might and could not get the wall to be very tall at all (Usually not more than two or three balloons high) we were able to talk about how, while we could not make a wall of water even if it was in balloons, God was able to build a wall of water using nothing at all...except the water.  Of course, a water balloon fight was also on the agenda that evening as well, but game was able to point toward the Bible Story...even amidst the fun of the evening.

2) Trunk N' Treat
Every year, there is a Trunk N' Treat at my church around Halloween.  In case you have never been a part of such an event, basically the idea is that there would be cars with decorated trunks in the parking lot with people handing out candy to the kids and in the gym would have games and food for those who attend to enjoy.  Just doing that would have been easy.  Play some games, decorate some trunks.  Everyone has a great time.  But that would not necessarily have pointed people to God.  So we decided to do a bit more. 

Because we wanted to make sure the event had the proper focus, my Children's Council and I decided to give the event a theme:  God's Blessings.  We told the people who decorated their car that they could decorate it with whatever they felt was a blessing from the Lord for them.  This allowed for much diversity in decor' but also kept the focus where it needed to be.  Then in the gym, every game and every area had a blessing theme.  Below are a couple of the signs that accompanied two of the games.

This was a simple fishing game where the kids throw a fishing pole over a curtain and pull out a

We used the game to remind them that we have a job to do.  We are to be Fisher's of Men.

The Cake Walk is an easy game where they walk in a circle while music plays and when it stops the person on the winning spot get's a snack cake.  

 We used the Cake Walk to remind the children of the sweetness of God's Word. 

 Even the table area (where folks could sit and  wait or chat) was the "Blessing of Rest".   

In my opinion, it is important to take every opportunity to point people to the Lord.  And if we can do it using things that they see often, then perhaps the next time they see that thing (like a fishing pole or a snack cake) they will be reminded of the blessings associated with those things in our games.

Every event, program, or activity should point people toward the Father.  Does it take more work to do that?  Yes, indeed.  Does it make a bigger impact on those who attend.  That is our prayer.

How do you keep the Main Thing the Main Thing?  I'd love to hear your ideas!

Have a wonderful week!!! 

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