Children think differently than adults and traditional church isn’t always effective at helping them understand and communicate with God.
Creating a kid’s church isn’t easy, especially with so many age groups. The idea is to appeal to their interests and take church to them.
While it isn’t child’s play, it might feel like it to the kids and that is what’s most important – engaging kids so they feel comfortable and confident in their relationship with God.
Encourage Their Questions
Kids are naturally inquisitive. Telling them to simply believe isn’t enough. This is why Sunday school is often a favorite of children and adults alike. It’s a time to learn and interact versus just listening to a sermon.
However, it’s important to make classes feel more like an interactive group than a standard classroom. After all, kids are already in school five days a week, so they may balk at having to sit through yet another class on the weekend.
By creating an interactive forum, you’re able to teach kids about God and faith, while using their questions to better cater the class to the way they think.
Start On Their Level
Hand a small child the Bible and they’ll be instantly overwhelmed. For kids who are just now reading simple chapter books, the Bible is intimidating and even adults struggle with the phrasing. Provide children’s versions of the Bible. For instance, have some that are mainly pictures for the smallest children, more in-depth versions for middle school aged children and then teen versions for teens. Each type of Bible focuses on helping that specific age better connect with God.
Give Kids Their Own Groups
Small kids are often placed in daycare or children’s areas in church. But, they should have the same chance to explore their faith as your adult members. From the time they’re old enough to walk, talk and comprehend basic spiritual lessons, they’re ready for age-appropriate ministry groups. For instance, you wouldn’t want to put a 4-year old in with 10-year olds.
Even if you don’t have enough children to divide them out into multiple groups, at least create two youth groups – one for pre-teen and teens and one for younger children. Kids feel more comfortable interacting and asking questions with kids their own age.
For instance, as this one mother explains, her son felt too old for one group, but not cool enough for the older group. This left him not wanting to even go to church.
Make Church Fun
Who says church has to make people fall asleep? People always laugh about it, but why not make services more engaging? For instance, if you have a church app, create fun quizzes for children and their parents to take together during your sermon. Kids might be rewarded with a special treat for right answers. This encourages them to pay attention, which piques their interest about God.
Of course, Sunday school and ministry groups should include fun activities that help kids explore their faith without boring them. This encourages children to pay more attention and ask questions.
Another idea is to add fun games or projects to your church’s website. Children are tech savvy today. Giving them a way to interact with church outside of regular services keeps their mind on God. The more they think about God, the more they’ll build a relationship with Him.
Give Them Freedom
Church leaders, members and parents may want to ensure a child instantly believes exactly like they do. While the intentions are good, it puts too much pressure on the kid. Church is about guiding people, not forcing them to believe. A child is only going to communicate with God if they feel comfortable doing so. Guide them, answer their questions and give them the freedom to make their own choices and decisions.
At first, a child may not love going to church or being involved in activities. Instead of forcing the issue, consider a compromise. Let them go every other Sunday or let them attend Sunday school, but let them opt out of the sermon. The most important thing is to be patient and let kids explore their faith at their own pace. They’ll get there, but to feel confident in their faith, it takes time to learn and understand.
Is your church’s website ready to engage kids? Let the experts at ReachRight Studios help create the perfect site for all ages.