Reflect Connecting Children to God
Victoria Beech offers three ways to help children communicate with God.
Bible Treasure Hunt
Aim: to have fun exploring a Bible story
Over the summer children and families will have more flexible time which you could use to do a treasure hunt-style Bible exploration. Produce a treasure hunt by choosing four to eight locations, depending on the age of your group and the time you have available. For each location write the next part of the text of a Bible story and a clue, or simple directions on how to get to the next location. Make sure your story text and clues are age appropriate. To make it more fun, use an unfamiliar Bible story such as Nehemiah or Hezekiah. For children aged 7 and up, you could also have a letter to collect at each location – at the end they will need to use the letters to spell out a key word.
Notes for adaption
For younger children: Use simple clues such as ‘under the big tree’, ‘at the top of the stairs’, ‘beside the door’ and use age-appropriate Bible text such as The Big Bible Storybook. If possible, also include a picture that represents each part of the story.
For families: One family member can set up the clues, and then everyone else takes it in turns to find the next clue. Or ask two families to join together and find the clues as a group.
Aim: to pray for people doing new things
September is often a time for new beginnings; children enter new classes and start in new schools. Encourage everyone to think of someone in your church who is beginning on something new and make a card to remind them that they don’t need to be worried because God is with them wherever they go (Joshua 1:9).
Notes for adaption
For families: Think about friends or people in your extended family and make them a card. You could all add a message and pray for them together.
For an all-age service: Encourage people starting something new to raise their hands and those around them to turn around to them and pray for them. Provide pens and paper, and ask someone near them to write down prayers and encouraging Bible verses on a card for them to keep.
For younger children: Encourage them to think of something new they will be doing and tell everyone. (e.g. entering a new class at school.) Everyone in the group can make a card for the person on their left.
Aim: to reflect on God’s transforming power
Collect lots of conkers, still in their spiky shells. Break half the shells open at the last minute to keep the conkers smooth and shiny. Invite everyone to carefully pick one shell up and hold it while thinking of something ‘spiky’ – or that they are unhappy about – that they would like God to sort out. This could be anything, for example, an issue of unforgiveness, sickness or a difficult situation among friends. Ask the children to pray aloud or silently, a prayer inviting God to change that situation.
Read the following verse from Ecclesiastes 3:11: ‘He has made everything beautiful in its time.’
Pass around the freshly shelled conkers and encourage everyone to reflect on how something so lovely and smooth comes out of such a spikey shell. Invite people to imagine the good outcome of God at work in the situation they prayed about.
Give out bags so that everyone can take their conker home. Encourage them to pray the same prayer each time they see their conker. Follow this up with conversations with the children about the situations they prayed about, finding out if anyone has experienced an answer to their prayer.