Dan and I were invited to attend Katie’s class at church at the beginning of February. We have been in her classroom before, but it was for a weekend called Salvation Weekend, when the kids have one-on-one conversations about Jesus’ personal sacrifice for them. This time, Parents Weekend was just a chance to sit in on a normal weekend and watch what the kids learn and how the teachers do it.
First, the kids started with something called Hang Time. They hang out together and do things like crafts (mostly the girls do this), play air hockey or foosball, or play a board game or a video game. When hang time finishes (after about 10 minutes), the kids go into a room together and have large group worship time. A worship leader sings songs while a team of kids (called Live Out Loud kids) act as her backup singers. When worship finished, the large group leader welcomed the parents and then invited us to play Human Whack-a-Mole. Oh, boy!
First, the kids got under a board with holes in it. The parents were given inflatable hammers, and got to whack the kids as they popped their heads through the holes. And THEN the fun started: the parents got under the board and the kids got to whack them! It was really fun and funny.
After the game, we had a large group lesson. The weekend lesson was about friendships, and the leader talked about how surrounding ourselves with good friends can change our lives. The kids broke into groups of three and played a game where one person was blindfolded and the other two were supposed to navigate her through an obstacle course. One kid gave bad directions, and the other gave good directions. When the game was over, we talked about how quickly the blindfolded kid could tell what was good advice and what was bad advice, then about how we trust friends in our lives.
The kids got in their regular small groups (the same ones they meet with each week), and talked to their small group leaders about the lesson, what the Bible tells us about friendships, and ideas for how the kids can find trustworthy, Godly friends.
With the last 10 minutes of class, the kids were able to visit stations set up around the room. There was a journaling station, where kids could write about problems going on in their lives. There was a singing station, where the worship leader discussed the day’s worship song lyrics with the kids and then sang them again. There was an art station, where kids could use paint to express their feelings about God. There was also a prayer wall, where kids wrote their prayer requests on notecards and posted them on a wall. At the end of class, the classroom prayer team (which is a group of kids too!) takes the anonymous notecards home and prays over them throughout the week.
It was really interesting to be a part of Katie’s class and to see how our church breaks down some pretty big theological concepts for the kids to understand – and they laugh their heads off and have a blast at the same time.