When I first began in Kids Ministry, I wanted it to be the funnest hour of kids weeks. I was all about the fun and games for Kids Church.
I wanted Kids to love coming to Kids Church more than going to Chuck E. Cheese, or laser tag, or a sleepover, or Disney (I know, I had totally realistic expectations).
For most Kids Leaders, the idea of fun and games being wrong is simply ridiculous.
But I’ve come to believe it’s not so simple.
At the beginning of this year, God challenged me with this question: “Would the kids and volunteers in the ministry you oversee say they experience God in a powerful, life-changing way on a consistent basis in your services?”
My answer to that question: No…but they have fun.
So we made some major changes (you can read about one of the biggest changes in this post: How to Minister to Your Leaders Just as Much as Your Kids in Your Services).
And we ended up on the opposite side of the spectrum.
We Cut Too Many Fun and Games
We became so laser-focused on creating an environment for kids and leaders to have experiences with God, hear the Holy Spirit and discover their spiritual gifts (all good things) that we squeezed out intentional times of fun or laughter (as it turns out, not so good).
At this point, you might be confused because I talked about fun being wrong, but then I just said squeezing it out was wrong.
And my reply would be that fun is wrong UNLESS you put parameters and intentional thought around it.
We have too short an amount of time with kids to simply have fun for fun’s sake when they come to church, on the other hand, God created fun and laughter and wired those things to be extremely engaging to all humans.
Here’s what we did: We brought fun and games back but first put 2 parameters around it.
First, fun must always be secondary to creating an environment for a powerful experience with God (fun is important, but not most important).
Second, the fun must support an environment conducive to a powerful experience with God (fun is not just fun for fun’s sake).
So I believe that, Yes, fun and games is wrong…if fun and games is the end goal (This doesn’t have to be your conclusion; my goal for this post is to simply help you think more intentionally on the subject of fun and games).
We have one or two hours a week with our kids in what may be the only environment intentionally created for them to experience God.
So we’ve made the choice that everything needs to be geared toward that experience, including the fun we have together.
This means that fun and games are actually indispensable…when used to engage kids and draw them more deeply into an experience with God.
At the end of the day, this is what I know: God can do more in the life of a person in 2 seconds than I could ever do on my own with 200 hours of fun and games.
Application: Does the fun in your church support a God-experience? If not, consider re-tooling it. Are you not sure if fun and games should play any role? Try a couple of experiments to introduce fun and see if it helps the kids experience God better.
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This article originally appeared here.