A few weeks ago, we hosted a Backyard Bible Club at our house. About 35 kids, mostly from our neighborhood, came to our house from 9:30-11:30 each morning for three days. Kaye recruited friends, neighborhood moms, and teenagers to help. It was great. Our kids loved it. The neighborhood kids loved it. And it was a fun opportunity to serve our neighborhood. The experience reminded us of a few things we have learned in ministry:
1) The gospel is counterintuitive.
Kaye led the Bible story each day. She asked the older kids, “Can you get to heaven by being a good person?” The vast majority said, “Yes.” Yes seems like it would be the right answer. After all, these kids have already learned they must earn things. They must earn their good grades, earn their rewards for good behavior, and earn their trophies and ribbons. The good news of Jesus, that His grace is unearned and absolutely free, is counterintuitive to much of what we see in this world. Because the gospel is so counterintuitive, we must constantly remind people of it.
2) Teenagers are altruistic.
The Backyard Bible Club would not have been as fun if it were not for the teenagers in our neighborhood who jumped in and made it awesome for the kids. Student ministries in local churches must provide opportunities for students to serve. For many students, community will be developed through serving.
3) People respond to personal invitations.
Kaye invited moms and their kids to come, and they did. People respond to personal invitations. Research and personal experience continually show us that people in our cities and neighborhoods will respond if they are invited.
4) Kids love music.
The producers of Frozen, of course, know this. Because kids love music, Frozen can be released as a movie and then come out months later with a sing-a-long version. Music teaches. Music is powerful. And kids love it. Kaye received multiple messages from mothers showing their kids singing the songs they learned at Backyard Bible Club. A kids ministry without music is a kids ministry that is operating without a major teaching tool.
Because music is such a great ministry tool for kids, I am excited about the new kids large group worship resource called “Worship for Life.” For more information, click here.