[Summer 2020] A special way to spread birthday cheer during COVID-19

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BENTON, Ark. – Communities across the country have been finding unique ways to celebrate those special occasions while still maintaining their distance. Car parades, cars line up and move along the street in front of a house have been the most common of practices for many different occasions.

The Summit Church Saline County in Benton wanted to do something tangible and personal. Birthday car parades were considered, but due to the size of the children’s ministry, they knew it would be hard to include everyone. The staff decided to create personalized video birthday messages for each child.

“I don’t really know what prompted the video,” Jonathan Bailey, Kid’s and Local Engage Pastor at The Summit Church said. “We were just trying to figure out unique ways to connect with kids and families that were a little more unique…We wanted them to know we were still here.”

To create the video Bailey would record a greeting, insert a clip of minions singing happy birthday, and have the child’s small group leader also record a short greeting. The videos were then sent via text message on the child’s birthday.

“We’ve had parents say the kids have watched them over and over again,” Bailey said. “In itself, it’s a small thing. A lot of small things put together can create a big thing. Add that on top of notes, calls, texts, and resources we’re trying to send out. It’s that act of doing something, even if it’s not the best thing, or a big thing, it’s the act of doing something that shows we’re trying to encourage them and that we care about them.”

Bailey said they aren’t sure if they’ll continue this birthday video project after they begin meeting again, but they do plan to go through the fall for now.

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