How we got here…
With the UK lockdown, Churches in the UK were forced to shut their doors. Although meetings continued online, many churches have struggled to cater for their younger children. As the lockdown has lifted and congregations have started meeting together again in a restricted way, there are still a lot of limitations with regards to children and families and how they participate in church services.
Our 4 year old does not like online stuff – he doesn’t engage with video calls or watching a pre-recorded session. So we’ve tried to create something offline that will feed him spiritually – ‘Kingdom Explorers’. We want to extend this to any family with young children who finds themselves in the same sort of position (it’s pitched from ages 2 to 10 years old).
The idea behind all of this is to create little opportunities throughout the week to think about what life as Jesus-followers looks like as a family. The activities included are based around some of the key things that we understand to be central to the Christian faith; prayer, worship, reading and learning from the Bible, experiencing God, sharing our faith and meeting with other Christians.
None of the activities in Kingdom Explorers are compulsory and none of it will be too prescriptive. Every family is different – we just want to create some tools that can be used and adapted for your particular circumstances.
The hope is that this isn’t going to require a lot of extra thought or preparation time for the grown-ups, but creates a little bit of stimulus to help explore what it means for each of us, as individuals and as families, to be followers of Jesus.
How it works…
Kingdom Explorers is a three-week cycle of material that can be as long or as short as you want it to be. It incorporates whole family activities like challenges, reading the Bible, making, drawing, creating, doing, sharing, praying, worshipping and fellowshipping in simple but regular ways. Every 3 weeks, there’ll be the chance to meet up with other families to do a big group activity.
Kingdom Explorers might look like the following…
Monday: Receive an envelope through the post that contains a challenge, like playing spot the difference between two pictures or some sort of simple task to complete over the coming week. There’s also a clue included, which will be needed later in the week.
Thursday: Receive a second envelope that contains an activity, like painting a picture, taking a photo of something or answering some simple questions.
You also receive the second part of the clue, which points you to a Bible verse.
Sunday: Spend a little bit of time together as a family to worship God and do a creative prayer activity. Suggestions are provided either in the envelopes or on this web site.
Tuesday: Receive an envelope through the post that contains a Bible story to read together as a family. There’s also a challenge, for example, think of something that your family would like prayer for. Make a short video that explains what you would like prayer for and send it to another family in the big group.
Friday: Receive another envelope with an activity and another Bible verse clue.
Sunday: All of the families meet as a ‘big group’ together for 60 to 90 minutes in a public space to play a game (big team challenge) and work out a memory Bible verse or passage.
Week off to reset (no envelopes this week). Worship and pray together as a family on Sunday if you’d like. Or go for a walk, enjoy God’s creation, watch a film that you all love, see family, spend time together.