by Shannon Pifer, Director of Children’s Ministries
One of my kids made my day yesterday, and he had no idea!
Over dinner last night, my son casually asked if I needed help at the church this week getting ready for Whatever You Do Camp. I told him that I most probably did since there is a ton to do! He responded with an enthusiastic, teenager-ly “Sweeeeeettttt.”
Then came the part that made my day. I asked why he was so excited about helping me with camp prep, to which he replied, “Hanging out at the church is awesome!”
Day made! My child loves “hanging out” at the church.
Now, I fully realize that his excitement over helping me sharpen pencils and lay down floor mats might have more to do with the fact that I have a drawer full of candy and proximity to Maple Street Biscuit Company than it does with his love for the church! But maybe not…
One of our main goals in Four Oaks Kids is to instill a love of Jesus and His church in our kids from the youngest of ages. We do that in lots of ways...Our classrooms are clean, comfortable and inviting so children will enjoy being in them. Our teachers faithfully teach the Word in ways our kids can understand. Our volunteers are joyful and enthusiastic, making our kids feel welcomed and loved. We pray over our kids and with our kids. We teach them to worship with each other and serve one another. The list goes on and on, but one thing I’ll add to that list is that we have fun!
Not to be confused with entertainment, we have active, purposeful fun in Four Oaks Kids, which we feel is an important part of our ministry. Having fun means acting out Bible stories and playing Bible review games and using silly object lessons. It means earning candy for memorizing scripture and selling lemonade for missions. Having fun means our volunteers play Legos and baby dolls with our kids for a portion of our class time, building relationships with those children who will then believe Biblical truths taught by leaders they trust.
This summer, having fun means transforming our youth room into the Ancient worlds of Greece and Rome for our elementary school children. We’re studying the Book of Acts, following along with our Gospel Project curriculum and learning all about the early church and the amazing works of God through people like Peter and Paul. We’ll be singing fun new songs, earning “Caesar’s Coins” for memorizing verses, playing games, and just having fun together while we learn from God’s word.
Our “Whatever You Do Camp” starts Monday, and it’s going to be lots of fun as well! We have 95 campers coming for the week to participate in one of our camp tracks, which include Ukulele, Lego Robotics, Art, Drama, Sports, and Outdoor Adventure. Our theme comes from Colossians 3:17, and we’ll be having lots of fun while we explore what it looks like to do all of these things “in the name of the Lord.”
While having fun is not our primary goal, it is a part of our ministry to children because children learn by having fun. It engages their minds and their hearts, which is exactly what we want to happen as we teach them the Word of God and disciple them in the Christian faith. We want all of our Four Oaks Kids to think “hanging out at church is awesome” and having fun with them here is a way for them to experience the great joy of being a part of the body of Christ.
Pray with us that all of our Four Oaks Kids will grow in their love of Jesus and His Church this summer!