[SUMMER 2020] Family discipleship inspired by bingo

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – “Many times we spent time talking about what we can’t do, but then we started talking about what we can do,” Lindsay Venters, Director of Children’s Ministry at Immanuel Baptist Church, shared.

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Like many churches, their children’s ministry looked different this summer because of COVID-19. They began with videos for kids, but they could tell that families wanted – and needed – more than just videos. Instead of focusing on what they weren’t able to do because of COVID-19, they started brainstorming on what they can do.

For the month of July, they planned multiple ways for families to be purposeful with each other. “Families want to do intentional things, but providing a little bit of guidance helps them with knowing how to be intentional this summer,” Venters said.

Recently, they created a bingo card for their family summer challenge. The bingo card was designed for families with preschoolers and children. On the bingo card, they had multiple challenges that corresponded with their church mission to be for the Gospel, for the city and for the world. Examples of bingo squares are: “learn a new hymn as a family,” and they provided previously used copies of Baptist hymnals for families who were interested in having a copy. Other bingo squares had ideas such as, “volunteer as a family through the City Center” and “find a neighbor and learn their story.”

These bingo cards were provided to the families of children at IBC Little Rock. Families were encouraged to complete all 20 challenges and to even share them on their social media, challenging other friends to participate.

“We tried to provide ways for the families to serve. If they came to the City Center to help with the food pantry, we did a lot of social-distancing with that. Each family had their own room while sorting, and we disinfected after they left. We tried to create safe but meaningful ways for them to serve as a family,” Venters shared.

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2 Chronicles 20:12 has been an anthem of hope for Venters. The end of the verse says, “… we do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

Our eyes are on you. Venters shared three simple ways for families to keep their eyes on Christ during this time that can feel so daunting.

Read, sing and pray.

Venters also shared, “Family discipleship really is simple. It’s better to do something small on a regular basis rather than one big thing every now and then. Read, sing and pray – the other things can be added into that later. When you keep it simple, it helps you to feel like it’s really doable.”

COVID-19 has presented challenges, and church ministries have certainly looked different during this time. However, this time has opened the eyes of many to seeing a need for family discipleship. We all need to be discipled; children need discipleship from their parents. It can initially seem overwhelming for parents to take on the role of primary disciplers for their children, but it is their biblical responsibility. Start small and remain consistent. During this time of change, may parents be encouraged to keep their eyes on the Lord and actively teach their children to do the same.

To view IBC Little Rock’s bingo card from their children’s ministry, click here.

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