Here are ideas from three church plants in the Netherlands:
Middelpunt church planting team use GAME NIGHTS – where teenage kids from the neighbourhood bring their own gear (like TV-sets and game boxes) to a rented community centre and have the time of their life, gaming all night. Middelpunt also have a GIRLS CLUB for young girls who come together like a small group. They share an ‘ice breaker’, watch part of a Bible or other DVD and talk about it. They then pray conversationally and do crafts or learn how to use make up the right way. Kids and families from both groups also participate in camping weekends and attend WORSHIP NIGHTS – a community worship time every two months.
Almaarmere church plant conducts Binnenstebuiten – blocks of five Saturday morning programs (11.00-12.30) with an overall theme. All in the church plant are involved – and up to 40 kids from the neighbourhood join the planters’ 13 kids during those weeks. (After each block of 5 weeks the planters take a break for 3 weeks to prepare for the next series. It works well and helps save the small planting team from burnout.) The church plant uses the local community school for their activities – and a typical morning follows this plan:
11.00-11.20 Play Time takes place in a central school room where kids choose a game, puzzle or handicraft and adult leaders join in and talk with them.
11.20-11.35 Small Groups: The kids join small groups (a little according to age) and they discuss “How was your week?” and are introduced to the Bible story theme for the day – often in the form of a gimmick.
11.35-12.00 Song time & Story: All the kids and adults meet in a playroom and join in a “roaring song time” and the Bible Story – told with drama, plays, puppets, movies and visual presentations.
12.00-12.30 Small Groups: The kids then go back into small groups and the story is told again using crafts or games.
On the last Saturday of each block of five weeks all parents are invited – sometimes at 11.00 am and sometimes later in the program. The parents are actively involved in the program at that time.
The E Kompas team conducted a WEEK ON SEXUALITY for community kids. The kids were placed in two age groups – with all sharing together on the first and last evenings of the week. On the other evenings themes were addressed in ways relevant to their ages. On the last evening a dinner was prepared and served to the young people by the adults.