This article was written by Emily Smith who serves as the Children’s Specialist on the Evangelism + Church Health Team at the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.
Summer is finally here and with the end of school comes endless hours of free time for kids. As families are looking for opportunities to pass the elongated days of summer break, churches have an opportunity to make a lasting impact in their kids ministry. The past few summers may have been a little unprecedented. Despite these unique challenges, churches have discovered new opportunities for reaching kids and families in their communities.
To reengage with families during the pandemic, one children’s minister described it as “going old-school” by doing porch visits, mailing handwritten notes, and following up with phone calls to families. Showing families that you care and love them is the key. Several kids ministries have demonstrated this by creating yard signs or traveling gnomes placed on lawns stating, “We love our (insert church name) kids.”
Other churches have incorporated fun-focused ideas to regain excitement in their kids ministries. Some of the ideas have ranged from “Nerf & Nacho” or “Pajamas & Pancakes” nights to a “Wet-N-Wild” day focused on the armor of God demonstrated with water balloons and rain gear. The opportunities are endless when it comes to creating excitement in your kids ministry. Have a “Terrific Tuesday” or “Wacky Wednesday” during the summer to entice kids to want to learn more about God’s Word.
Summer is also a great time to reconnect with families with at-home challenges. One children’s minister created “Travel-To-Go” Kits for families traveling on vacation which included scavenger hunt lists, curriculum activity pages, road trip activities, craft kit or games to coincide with a Bible lesson. The idea was to keep families connected even during their summer travels. Other ideas have ranged from summer devotional bucket lists, summer reading programs (like the adopt a Bible buddy reading challenge) to prayer challenges.
Churches have also used summer as a time to be on mission in their communities through Vacation Bible School, summer camps, day camps, sports camps and mission ventures. There are multiple opportunities to encourage families and kids to participate in local mission endeavors—whether this is through having a neighbor day, serving at a local food bank, love our school or park day, community prayer scavenger hunt, back to school bash for school supplies, or ministering to first responders in your community.
The key strategy in making an impact this summer, in your kids ministry, is to be intentional—don’t let the elongated days of summer pass by without impacting the life of a child with the Gospel. For more creative ideas for kids ministry, contact our kids ministry team at absc.org/kidmin.