Meaningful children’s ministry is just as important in this season as ever. With the shutdown of programs and the migration to digital platforms, we’ve all had to rethink how we do ministry with children. As our provinces move into their next phases of reopening, children’s ministry as we have known it will continue to be different. Our mission remains the same, but our strategies need to change.
Check out these valuable resources suggested by Kristen (Hillside Baptist), Patricia (Douglas Baptist), and Hannah (Cornerstone Baptist).
Download Youth Ministry
DYM is offering a Gold Membership FREE for 60 days with access to the Sidekick App to do online/virtual Zoom friendly games like trivia, Family feud, challenges, etc.
Lots of free resources and videos/curriculum.
Lots of Free series and resources for a variety of ages
Hillside Baptist uses this for their grade 4/5 preteen program- all free series and curriculum.
Both preschool and elementary curriculum for free- lots of great themed series.
They are providing weekly videos of their series for FREE
There are a few good free series, as well as some bundles for 100.00 per series.
Vacation Bible School/Camp
Grow Kids (Stuff You Can Use) has a FREE VBS called Mission: Deep Blue. Douglas Baptist uses their weekly curriculum and is exploring this VBS as a summer option.
Orange has put out a virtual VBS- meant to be online. Hillside is planning on doing that this summer on Wednesday mornings in August. They are going to put together kits for families to pick up each week with all the supplies they will need to participate in the activities. They’ll livestream, mornings and afternoons and encourage families to gather in homes or their backyards to tune in together.
WOW VBS. It will be live-streamed every 2 hours June 22-26 and then repeated June 29-July 2. Each session will last 30-40 minutes with presenters such as: Yancy Richmond, The Lads, Joey Evans, Tim Hannig and many more. They provide at home resources for families to do together and leader resources for churches to lead/follow up with groups of kids via Zoom.
Other Summer Ideas
Cornerstone is planning summer kids ministry to be one-on-one connection driven and not as much program driven. They’re exploring an initiative called “You’ve Got Mail” where they surprise kids at their houses (with parents giving the ok in advance) with things like letters, pizzas, candy, etc.
Cornerstone is also exploring Evening Programs with a smaller number of kids focused on skill building:
gatherings for art/music (paint night for example), science projects, outreach into community (making cards for seniors, for example), individual sports challenges, and camping skills.
This way each child will be able to stay in their own space with the materials provided for them and an ‘expert’ will come in and walk them through the activity, with a bit of a devotion and snack time on the end. Exactly how this will look is still a bit unclear. They are also hoping to offer each of these experiences in an online format for parents who do not yet feel comfortable sending kids – materials would simply be dropped off.
Don’t forget to reach out to your Local Camp to support/encourage/help them however you can.
Atlantic Canadian Children’s Ministry Leaders https://www.facebook.com/groups/107840206000648/
Children’s Pastors Only https://www.facebook.com/groups/childrenspastors/
Children’s Ministry Ideas and Encouragement https://www.facebook.com/groups/childrensministryie/
CBAC Youth & Family:
Deeper Conversations (Tuesdays @ 1:30) http://cbacyf.ca/deeper
Several Christian books on Kindle are free through Amazon, so leaders can screen share, read books, and do devotionals for kids on Zoom times.
Wake Up and Worship:
It’s a 10-15 min Facebook live experience at 8am on Wednesdays with leaders who lead a couple songs, do memory verse with actions, and pray for requests parents/kids send in over the chat. Kids and parents love it and love to be able to interact with it!
Zoom Game Suggestions
Pictionary/Build a Person-use Share Screen-White Board (must allow “all participants to Share screen”)
Charades– send a word/phrase in Chat to the person who will do the acting
Reverse Charades– 1 person guess and everyone acts out the word/phrase
Praise Dance Party-choose a fun song or two, everyone dances big and fun and then freezes when the song stops- 3 strikes so that kids can keep playing along
Who Am I– describe a famous person/character, animal, etc avoiding certain words that are off limits (like Mickey Mouse: can’t say Disney, Minnie, Goofie OR Elephant: trunk, peanuts, grey)
Scavenger Hunt– could be split into teams and done in Break Out Rooms so they can compete against each other, you can put anything on your list- we played that they couldn’t leave the room they were in.
What’s That (close up picture challenges)-there are several on Youtube (movie characters, animals, things)
Pass the Story (someone starts the story and the next person adds a line, and then the next person, etc, etc)- could be done in Breakout Rooms and then groups come back together to share their story to see how funny and different they become.
Draw the story– read the Bible lesson, give instructions from time to time to draw something from the story-specific quick items work best, can be formatted like a comic strip or a map
Show and Tell
Guess that Sound: play a clip of a familiar sound and have kids guess what it is