Category Archives: ministry

Backyard Bible Club- How To Part 3 (13)

Today is the final installment in this little “how to” series about backyard Bible clubs.

Once you have your dates set and an idea of what you are going to teach, you can start spreading the word. We live less than a mile from the local elementary school. So, we took a couple of afternoons in the weeks leading up to the Backyard Bible club to hand out fliers to the kids and meet some of the parents. The fliers were very simple with the basic information and my contact info. We also were very purposeful to hang out at the park and go for walks in the evenings. We met kids in the neighborhood and invited them to come. We made sure that our immediate neighbors knew about the club. We put up signs in the neighborhood the weekend before it began. We recruited our neighbors to tell their friends and gave them fliers to hand out as well. We walked door to door and invited children.

In the mornings, during the club, we had a friend that would walk over to the house with her girls and try to round up kids as she came.

I really think that your strategies in inviting kids have to be very neighborhood specific. In the suburbs (like where we currently live), it is crucial that you build relationships with your neighbors throughout the year. The kids that we had come to our most recent club were kids who were familiar with us and their parents knew that we could be trusted. In years past, we went to Haiti in the summer and did VBS in the local villages. Kids would flock to the VBS just to be part of something different. Their parents were glad to let them come. We’ve done VBS/ Backyard Bible clubs in neighborhoods with a lot of “latch key” kids who are used to making their own decisions about where they want to spend their time. Once the word was out that games and snacks were part of the package, the kids would come.

So… know your neighborhood. Know your audience. One thing I have learned in the last couple of years is to just go for it. If you feel the call of the Lord to engage in such a ministry, don’t hesitate… just go for it. Even if you only have your kids and a couple of others… go for it. One week of your life and time could impact a child’s heart for eternity. And what a great opportunity for your children to see you engage in reaching the lost with the Gospel of Jesus. What a great opportunity for them to be involved as well.

Leave a comment

Filed under backyard Bible club, Bible, ministry

Backyard Bible Club- How To Part 2 (12)

Today, I would like to share some more specific ideas for planning your daily lessons should you choose to do a backyard Bible club.
First, as mentioned yesterday, you need to come up with a theme or basic curriculum. Think of this as a Vacation Bible School in your backyard. You can utilize your church’s childrens’ ministry, the internet, your own personal experience when coming up with your lesson plans.

I think that whatever you choose to do, you need to include the story of creation, the story of the fall, the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, and how all of it applies to us today. As I mentioned yesterday, I think that we can no longer assume that kids have a basic foundation of the Bible or that they have even been to church. I think that to explain the Gospel, we need to start at the beginning, Creation. If we tell kids, or anyone for that matter, that they need Jesus… we need to explain why.

If you need help coming up with lesson ideas, try these sites that I found…
Armor of God

VBS Themes

Creative Bible Study

Once you have your lessons/ theme in place, you can start developing crafts (if you want that to be part of your backyard Bible club), games and songs. I would recommend having some kind of opening game or song to draw the kids in.

If you don’t know how many kids you will be having, you might not want to buy a lot of craft stuff up front. I usually do something like a creation collage on the first day. I give the kids paper, crayons, glue, scissors,  and old magazines. I tell them to color or cut out pictures of things that God has created. We review the story of creation as the kids are doing the craft. After the first day, you can stock up on whatever materials you might need. Stickers, crayons, paper and glue are handy to have for various crafts.
Also… salvation bracelets (or wordless bracelets) are a great craft for the end of the week. The children make bracelets with certain colored beads. Each bead represents a part of the Gospel story. The kids can take this with them as a reminder of what they’ve learned.
Yellow= Heaven
Black = Sin
Red = Blood of Christ
White = Being washed clean by the Blood of Christ
Green= Growing in Christ
Blue= the Holy Spirit

Thanks for checking in today. Tomorrow will be the last part of this “how to” series. I’ll share tips for getting the word out and a few other logistical things.

I hope this is helpful!

Leave a comment

Filed under backyard Bible club, Bible, ministry

Backyard Bible Club- How To Part 1 (11)

A few weeks ago, we hosted a backyard Bible club at our home. We invited children from the neighborhood to come to our backyard to play games, have snacks and learn about Jesus. I worked at a church just after college and later attended it with our family. This church encouraged families to take the message of Jesus out to our neighborhoods. They helped with curriculum, materials and man power. It was a great ministry opportunity. We have since moved from the church, but have continued this type of ministry in our current neighborhood.

Step One: Planning
1. Plan your curriculum. I think that we can no longer assume that people in America have a foundation of Biblical knowledge. If you intend to share the Bible and the story of Jesus, it would be wise to start at the beginning… Genesis. Give the kids a general idea of who God is and who we are to God… his most precious creation. Let them know that we have a problem called sin that separates us from God…but that God wants us with him so he sent Jesus to die on the cross in our place.
We have done several different themes in the past… one was focusing on the names of God… another, the one we did this year, was using the Four Spiritual Laws. Whatever you decide to teach, plan your lessons to be child friendly, energetic and interactive.

In this most recent backyard Bible club that we did, the kids had to do a hunt each morning to find the “curiosity container”… a box which contained the Spiritual Law for the day as well as some other visual aids for the talk. We are blessed to have a full Bible in felt set (Betty Lukens) to use for visual aids… but you can use other things as well.

2. Plan your schedule: Decide how many days you want your club to last (usually 3- 5 is a good amount). What time of day and how long do you want it to last (we did ours’ in the morning from 10 -12). Determine what activities you will do, about how long each will last and what order you want to do them in. Here’s an example from our most recent club:
10:00- 10:15- Greeting… kids played out front with Bubbles and sidewalk chalk while we waited for everyone to arrive
10:15- 10:30- Curiosity Container and Music
10:30- 11:00- Bible Story and Bible Verse Memorization
11:00- 11:15- Snack
11:15- 11:30- Crafts
11:30- 11:45- Games
11:45- 12:00- Closing and Review

3. Start calling, emailing and asking friends from the neighborhood or your church if they would be willing to come alongside you and help you with this ministry. Start developing a list of needs for the week (snacks, chairs, tables, sidewalk chalk, etc) and asking friends who might be able to donate or loan these items for the week. 

 4. Pray! Do prayer walks around your neighborhood. Pray for the children and their parents that they would be open to coming and hearing about Jesus. Pray for health and safety for all involved. Pray for your logistics. Pray for your team of volunteers. Pray for the weather Pray, Pray, Pray!

Tomorrow I will write more about specific curriculum ideas, games and crafts. I might also share some of the mistakes I’ve made in the past that I do not recommend.  I hope this helps… I would encourage you to get out and get to know the families in your neighborhood. We don’t have to go to another country to be missionaries. It can start right here at home!

Leave a comment

Filed under backyard Bible club, Bible, ministry

Sixty Feet

I wanted to take a minute to let you know what some of my friends have been up to in the past few months. I cannot do the story of this ministry justice, but I will try to give you an overview and encourage you to visit their website and read their blog for yourself.
Last night, I was privileged to attend a viewing of the film that my friends at 60 Feet have put together after several trips to Uganda. There is a place in Uganda that is labeled a “rehabilitation center.” This place is basically where street kids are dumped to get them out of sight and out of mind. A dear lady was driving through the city when this sign caught her eye. She drove down a long dirt road and was met by horrific conditions that no person should be subjected to. Children were chained to the walls and windows, severely malnourished, severely neglected. She was so moved by what she saw that she has committed to helping and serving these children in the name of Christ.
Some guys from Atlanta heard her story and started praying about how to help. They quickly realized that they would go to Uganda and see for themselves what they could do. The quickly realized that God was calling them to invest in these children and the work this dear lady was doing. Thus the ministry 60 Feet was born. Much has been done, but much still needs to be done. These children are helpless victims. They do not deserve to be in this place, chained to the walls, cold and afraid.
Please join me in praying for the work that God is doing through 60 Feet!

Leave a comment

Filed under ministry, missions, sixty feet