This past Sunday was exciting! It was the culmination of a summer of prayer, dreaming, planning, networking, recruiting and team building – but we launched our ALL NEW kids church program for this fall called The Outpost.
- Engage Children
(Themeing generates excitement and captures the imagination.)
- Delight Parents
(Parents will enjoy seeing the excitement in their kids!)
- Excite Volunteers
(Enthusiasm and quality programming makes recruiting easier.)
- Bring Visitors Back!
(We desire to create an experience that kids want to return!)
We are driven by the vision of Church becoming the highlight of a child’s week – because when kids encounter God, their lives are changed, and eternity is impacted!
When I was pitching this overhaul to our kids church to the leadership, volunteers and parents, I presented a vision for our ministry:
OUR VISION: We want every child who comes through our doors to feel loved, come to know Christ and find a place where they can grow through fun and life-changing experiences.
Then, to narrow it down to a simple mission everyone could remember and buy into, we determined that we want Church to be the best day of a kids week. (Whether that is Sunday or Wednesday doesn’t matter – we are fine with two best days of the week!)
OUR MISSION: Make Church the Best Day of a Kid’s Week!
“YOU ROCK” is one of best compliments kids can give. That’s why we want to ROCK at Kids Rock. We want to be constantly improving so that we can reach more kids and families. We also want The Rock, our church, to be the refuge, shelter and safe place that the Rock of scripture refers too – as well as introduce kids to THE Rock, Jesus!
How, then, do you create an experience that will engage kids, delight parents, excite volunteers and bring visitors back? You create something unique, fun, interactive, and meaningful.
We chose to create The Outpost, to build off our ministry’s name of Kids Rock.
The idea behind The Outpost is that church is not intended to be the destination, but the place where we come to be equipped to go out into the world and make an impact for Christ. Life is a Great Adventure and we come to The Outpost to be equipped and encouraged for the week ahead. The outdoor, hiking, climbing, adventure metaphor can be built upon in many ways.
This is the stage we started with, just after we started work: (I forgot to take a pure ‘before’ picture.)
After multiple trips to Home Depot, JoAnn Fabrics, Wal-Mart an antique mall and raiding our homes, our hand drawn plan was taking shape!
But then it was time to create the program that the kids would LOVE! Micah does our Reggie the Bear puppet and I’m doing Ranger Granger – and with a fun interactive lesson (based on DiscipleTown) we were off to a great kick off!
This is me, Ranger Karl, talking to Reggie, who is afraid of butterflies and concerned that the kids learn Butterfly Attack Safety Proceedures… and be Butterfly Aware. (The kids were cracking up!) I’ll post the script below.
Complete with a lesson from God’s Word. After our 30 minutes large group teaching the kids head off to small group with their Trail Guides who take them through a Trail Map of learning activities, bible dash sword drill, and discussion questions.
One other fun factor – there is so much to explain, I may need to do a podcast on this – but we set up fun games for the kids to play as they arrived, but they were shut down 5 minutes before service as an incentive for kids to arrive early. We start right on time – and while many say this doesn’t work in kids ministry, my experience is it doesnt’ work when there is no reason to be on time. Create the reason, and kids will be there!
The feedback has been overwhelming from all areas of the church – staff, parents, volunteers, and even people I don’t know who tell me they heard about it or overheard something… excitement is in the air!
I’ll share more as we move forward on what we are doing and the strategies or philosophy behind what we are doing – but for now, just wanted to share an amazing first Sunday of The Outpost.
If you would be interested in me posting my lesson powerpoints, lesson outlines, scripts, etc. let me know. I’m thinking I just might post them each week on Kidology.org for members.
For now, here are the files from this kick off week – in case they might give you some inspiration or ideas for your ministry:
- Service Plan (Includes Reggie and Ranger Granger Scripts)
- Trail Guides Map (Small Group Guide)
- PowerPoint of my lesson (Why God is Worthy of Worship)
- PowerPoint of Name That Price Game
- This is all based on DiscipleTown: How to Worship