As I mentioned in my post Tuesday. Friendships are very important to kids. Because friends can wield the power influence for both good and evil, rx it’s important to help children develop the right kind of friendships. If you missed yesterday’s post you can read it here.
Talk Time. Give them opportunity to talk to each other at the beginning of the service or interact with each other at some level. Think strategically. Can you have an ice breaker game. If you fill every minute with a video or activity they will not talk to each other.
Games. Especially games that they can play together. It doesn’t have to be elaborate games either. My friends, treatment Pat & Joy Hemler allow children to play with the stacking cups at the end of the service if there is time. The kids have turned it into a competition of who can make the tallest tower with the cups. Ice breaker games that help them get acquainted with each other or require them to remember things about each other work well also. As you plan the games, ask think relational. How can you adapt this game to help them know each other better?
Use the Internet. Can you create a safe place on your website for children to connect with each other? Be sure it’s safe, but use technology to build relationships. Share soccer or baseball scores or recital news or special events that your children are involved in. Make your website a place where you can brag on their accomplishments and post announcements. Be sure that you protect this area of the website with sign-in and password security.
Kid Friendly Newsletter. Know what the children are involved in and share their successes in a newsletter whether it is an email or snail mail variety. Often one of your computer savvy students can help you with this role. Just be sure that they don’t send out emails without your approval. Kids have email address, phones with texting capabilities use them all to connect and connect them with godly friends. Always get the parent’s consent before blasting them with texts.
Similar Interest. Connect children with similar interests. Help children that play soccer or baseball find each other by introducing them. Do you have children that love a particular computer game?
Children Spotlight When you use children to take up the offering, sing a solo or any role in ministry, take a minute to tell something interesting about them. Make this moment fun without embarrassing them.
These last three venues don’t need special comments. I only want to encourage you to think relational as you plan them. Who can you introduce to whom? Who can you connect with a new kid or loner? What kids can you put together on the same team that might have something in common? How can you strengthen existing relationships? Provide activities that offer opportunities to forge relationships within these events.
If you are too busy to handle all this get someone that thinks relationally to take care of it for you.
Parties and Field Trips
What you do or have done to create community in your class. Please share it with us.
Think Missional! Pass this on to someone you think may enjoy it or need it.
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