Yesterday evening, I had the privilege of helping our Wednesday evening “Kid’s Time” volunteers try something new this summer, backyard bible clubs in our community.
For the last few years, we have put on a VBS for our own kids and to try and reach out into the community. Each year, the VBS leadership team outdid themselves in decorations, games, snacks, and bible stories for our own Journey children, it was always fantastic, but we weren’t able to attract children from the community around us.
This year, some of our children’s leaders had an idea to take a scaled down VBS experience into our community where kids already played…and I was simultaneously excited and a little skeptical, but we went for it.
Now, I know we have great kids at Journey, I get to interact with them all the time, but I don’t often have the opportunity to watch their leaders in action.
My job was pretty much to help where I was needed (but for the most part just stay out of the way). As we drove into the community park, there were a number of families already playing and many of the kids were quite a bit younger than our “target” age.
As we set up, there were definitely a few looks from parents wondering what we were going to do, but as popsicles were passed out, several children eagerly joined in with some of our own kids from Journey.
Deidra and Marie took the lead to introduce themselves to parents and pass out some flyers we had prepared, invited them to participate, and answered any questions they may have. It was a joy to watch them interact as if they had been doing this their entire lives. Parents opened up, kids started to join us, and we had a blast!
Wes, Heath and I corralled the older ones in a pretty pathetic game of volleyball, but we all had fun and the tire swing was the must sought after equipment in the playground.
Because some of the kids were younger, Deidra was able to adapt the Bible story for them as well and parent’s sat and listened.
Then we played…and we played…and we played. We brought kids to to the verge of losing their snacks on the tire swing, and chased others around the playground.
It was a fun night.
I wanted to tell you this for a few reasons:
1. You have great kids, really. They are not only a lot of fun, but they all welcomed the other kids and the older kids were a great help with the younger ones.
2. We have some fantastic children’s volunteers. They love Jesus, love our kids, and love our community…and they are good at what they do.
3. If you have a 1st – 5th grader, we want you to join us! We will be doing this every Wednesday in June and July (except July 5th). For now we are meeting at the Kids Corner Playground in Red Bank on Dayton Blvd. near Morrison Springs Road. We may stay there all summer, or we may move around. I’ll keep you posted.
4. Several volunteers will be helping throughout the summer, but you are invited to help, too! Talk to Deidra or Marie and they will get you set up!
Overall, it wasn’t a groundbreaking night. It wasn’t all that innovative and we didn’t see dozens of children give a profession of faith…but honestly, this wasn’t our goal. We had a chance to reach out to our community, love on their kids, have some fun, and share Jesus with them. Our hope is to see them again next time and get to know them a little more.
Let me just say that we are blessed as a church and the Summer Kids Club is a GO!