Warm weather makes me want to run outdoors and play, even though I am slightly older than the average kid. If you and I feel that way after a long, cold winter, imagine how the kids feel! Did you know, the great outdoors is the perfect location for reaching kids for Jesus?
Kids love to play, no matter where they live, making backyard evangelism the perfect tool for a children’s ministry that has a heart to grow. In years past, I restricted my backyard evangelism to Sidewalk Sunday Schools, but in recent years, I have adapted my favorite kids programs with some good results. Perhaps some of these exciting evangelism ideas could help you reach the harvest right in your own backyard.
Bible barbecues: Nothing draws a crowd like smelling hot dogs on the grill. I usually spend the morning walking through my neighborhood, inviting my un-churched neighbors to the barbecue, and then I head home to get everything together. Some of the families in my children’s church like hosting these events too. At the barbecue, we roast hotdogs, say a prayer over our food and I play Christian music in the background. I arrange a few games but I do spend my time getting to know the neighbors. I look for opportunities to talk about God, but I do not force anyone. The key is to build relationships.
Summer plays: The kids in my children’s church are such hams! Together we have created plays like, “Jenny Gets a New Friend.” In this play, one lonely girl who can’t find a friend, finally gets one — Jesus! If your group isn’t into writing plays, choose a Bile story like David and Goliath. Instead of five smooth stones, David could use marshmallows. I’m sure some parent would be willing to be Goliath! Hang a few sheets on the clothesline and you have an instant playhouse. I love summer plays! Puppet plays are fun too and making a cardboard puppet stand is easy.
Backyard photo clubs: As an avid gardener, I live for growing flowers, fruits and vegetables. That makes my backyard a haven for all kinds of living things. In the spring and summer, I hold backyard photo clubs. Kids gather with me to pray, then we search for some of God’s smallest creatures, like bugs and squirrels. We take their pictures and I get to spend time with kids. Since many of my kids have cell phones, almost everyone has a camera. He or she can take home cool pictures that will remind them of this special day.
Sprinkler palooza: Nothing says summer fun like running through a sprinkler. Find a fun sprinkler and hook up a hose. Invite kids over for a sprinkler palooza. Play Christian music, share a Bible story during a snack time.
Learn more about Mimi by visiting her website at Encouragement for Christians.