How can we stay connected even as we institute best health practices?
Children’s ministry leaders find themselves searching for new ways to stay connected to children and their families while we are being encouraged to cancel services and ministries to help stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Here are 12 tips to help during social distancing, but you can use these any other time we might not be able to have services.
MEET ONLINE TO AVOID SPREADING CORONAVIRUS
1. Conduct Kids Worship via Facebook Live or Instagram Live and have the kids and families join you. Be sure to post beforehand to let parents and kids know when you’ll be live. Of course, it can be fun to go live without notice and see who joins in!
2. Encourage Sunday School/Small Groups to meet via Zoom or Uber Video Conferencing. If you’ve never participated in a Zoom Meeting, it’s great for small groups to share and the kids can see one another and answer review questions, etc.
3. Simply have someone make a video of you reading a Bible story and send it by text to parents for their children to watch. You can also post these on Facebook, and create a Watch Party around it.
4. Encourage leaders and parents to download the Marco Polo app and develop a group so that they can share Bible verses, read Bible stories to one another, share prayer requests, etc. For other ideas, you can read this article.
SEND LESSONS AND PLANS TO PARENTS
5. Email Family Discussion Guides to parents to use after they watch your Kids Worship on Facebook Live.
6. Most of the publishers have apps and resources churches can use and they are constantly updating for this time. Encourage parents to download these to use any time. (LifeWay Kids, Orange, High Voltage Kids, Seeds Family Worship).
7. Email a Bible story coloring page for parents to print. After the child colors the picture, ask the parents to post a picture on social media tagging the church or kids ministry leader.
ACTIVITIES AT HOME
8. Encourage kids to learn a Bible passage (think Lord’s Prayer or Ten Commandments, etc.) and let them know that when we return to our church buildings, they will have the opportunity to share with the church as a group.
9. If there isn’t a ban on driving, offer Drive-Thru Sunday School, which still encourages social distancing. Kids leaders prepare bags for each family and stand in the church portico during certain hours and the family drives thru to pick up their Sunday School supplies. (Things to include would be the Bible story, coloring page for the story, supplies, and instructions for a craft for the story, a Bible memory verse (with fun ways to learn the verse), and a prayer reminder.)
CHALLENGE THE ENTIRE FAMILY
10. Post challenges for families such as taking a walk and talking about the beauty of the world God created. Do a scavenger hunt where kids find things specific things around the house that helps them tell the Bible story.
11. Children LOVE to make videos. Encourage the children to use their family to make a Bible story video and text it to you. There are some great apps available to help put together a video if they want to make it a little more produced.
12. Encourage kids to be “on mission” by writing cards of encouragement to first responders, pastors, schoolteachers, or nursing home residents. Have them call or FaceTime their grandparents and read a Bible verse or Bible story to them.
Hopefully this list will help you think of even more ways you can continue to minister to children and families when you can’t meet at your church building.
Jenni Carter is a statewide consultant for Next Gen for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board. First published on GABaptist.org. Used by permission.