At church, nothing should ever be just for fun. Notice I didn’t say, “Kids should never have fun at church.” Church and Sunday school should be fun, exciting experiences for kids. We should create such fun, irresistible environments that children wake up their parents on Sundays, excited about going to church.
But nothing should ever be just for fun at church. In other words, every single bit of “fun” we offer children and families should have a purpose.
Why Just for Fun Just Won’t Cut It
Kidmin leaders and teachers have only a small window of time to teach, encourage, and invest in kids at church. With declining attendance rates and shorter services, every single minute we have with kids must matter.
Yes, we should have lots of fun games for kids at church. But every game needs a purpose. The purpose might be setting up discussion questions about the teaching point. The purpose might be helping kids apply the lesson. Or the purpose might be reviewing the lesson.
Yes, we should have lots of fun crafts for kids at church. But again, every craft needs a purpose. The purpose might be giving parents a discussion starter about the lesson for home. It might be setting up the lesson’s key point. Or the purpose might be helping kids memorize a Bible verse.
Yes, we should have fun activities for kids while they wait for class to start. But every activity needs a purpose. The purpose might be making new kids feel welcome and comfortable. It might be helping small-group leaders deepen their relational connections with kids.
The KidMin Bottom Line
Just for fun shouldn’t be the end result of what we do at church. The end result of children’s ministry should be to point kids to Jesus and help them learn more about God’s Word.
Fun is simply a tool we use to accomplish this. So make sure play always has a purpose. Make sure fun always has a focus. And make sure a scope and sequence exists behind your silliness.
Stand by the exit door of your ministry this weekend. Then listen as parents leave with their children. The majority of the time, you’ll hear two questions.
1. Did you have fun today?
2. What did you learn?
If you’re being effective, you’ll hear kids give a clear answer to both questions. Hearing a “yes” to “Did you have fun today?” is a must if you want to see kids engaged at church. But if kids can’t answer question #2, then the “yes” to question #1 is shallow and won’t be life-changing.
Every single hour…every single minute…every single second you have with kids at church should be planned and focused. Nothing should ever be “just for fun” at church. So take a close look at your curriculum. Make sure every part of your lesson has a clear purpose.
If you’re looking for curriculum that’s laser-focused and uses fun to teach kids to love Jesus and follow Him, check out this series. A year’s worth of curriculum gives children a solid faith foundation.
This article about just for fun originally appeared here.