This Sunday was the 1st Sunday of the month, and in our kids’ ministry this week is a little different from the rest of the month. Our church does communion on the 1st Sunday, and we like to have families participate in that experience together. So all of the kids (kindergarten and up) stay upstairs through worship and communion with their parents before coming downstairs to kids’ church. Our middle school service that usually meets on Sundays even takes a break on this week, so that families can be together.
Once the kids come downstairs, we have about 45 minutes, compared to our usual 1 hour and 15 minutes, so we switch up our downstairs experience. We do a short lesson and game or activity, usually unrelated to our curriculum, then at the end of the service we have our “Pier Dollar Store.” Every week when they come, kids get the chance to earn “Pier Dollars” by bringing their Bible, knowing the memory verse, bringing a friend, and participating in class. Then, once a month, we have a store where they can spend their “dollars.” It’s a lot of fun and really encourages the kids to be actively involved in class!
This week, we decided to talk about David and Goliath, and how through God we can do anything (no matter what our age)! Chris summarized the story while he had two helpers “act” it out. “Goliath” got to stand on a chair and hold a “spear” and a sword, while “David” got to throw a “rock” and kill him. The kids had fun with it. 🙂
Then we took them outside to an area we had roped off and played a version of Sharks and Minnows that we called “Goliath is Hungry.” The kids all lined up on one end of the field as the Israelites. Chris stood in the middle as a giant. When he said, “Goliath is hungry!” all the kids ran from one end to the other, trying not to get tagged by Chris. When you got tagged, you became a Philistine and had to go in the middle and help tag. The game continued until all the kids had been tagged. It was a beautiful day so it was great to be able to get outside and enjoy it!
This past Sunday, while I was discussing the book of Job with our Hightide students, the K-3rd graders were doing a follow-up lesson to Easter. They talked about the reason Jesus appeared to so many people after his resurrection instead of returning directly to heaven. The more people that saw Jesus, the more people would believe that he was truly alive. But now, we can’t see Jesus, because he is in heaven. We have to believe on faith.
Chris came up with a great object lesson to talk about how you can believe something exists even if you don’t see it. He had one of the boys build a tower of plastic cups on a table. Then he asked the kids who thought they could knock it over. Of course, all of them raised their hand, so he chose a young girl to come up on stage. He had her stand about a foot away from the tower, and told her to try to knock it down–but she wasn’t allowed to touch it. She looked at Chris confusedly until finally trying to blow it down. When that didn’t work, Chris handed her an Airzooka (if you don’t know what that is, click here). When you pull back, it releases a huge puff of air, which knocked down the tower. So Chris asked the kids what knocked it down, and when they all answered “AIR,” he said, “How do you know? Did you see the air?” He led their discussion to the eventual point that, even though we can’t see air, we can see its effects. In the same way, we can’t see Jesus, but we can see His effect on our lives and the lives of others.
This past Sunday, we talked about the book of Job in our Hightide class. I found this great script online that presented the story in a brief, yet somewhat modern way, and the kids definitely had fun with it. It might just be the group of kids we have at our church, but they love acting out these skits. They are always clamoring to be the main character, we even have one kid who likes to play the bad guy.
Following the skit, we talked about why bad things happen in the world. Satan caused Job’s suffering (because God allowed him to), so does that mean Satan causes all suffering? One kid answered me with exactly where I was going with it–no, because sometimes we do something or make a choice that causes bad things to happen. But God always works everything out for good, and allows us to learn and grow in our faith in these experiences.
For the ending, I created a “code” for our memory verse for the week. They love the codes where each letter is substituted with a number, and you have to figure out what it says. We talked through Job chapters 37-41, and I had the kids find lines that stood out to them about how great and powerful God is:
Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Job 38:4
Who shut up the sea behind doors? 38:8
Have you entered the storehouses of snow? 38:22
Does the rain have a father? 38:28
Do you send the lightning bolts on their way? 38:35