Group Publishing has something new for families. Their Fun-for-the-Whole-Family Hour is exactly that -- an hourlong event for families to interact, share, discover, laugh, and explore together. This particular theme includes clips from the upcoming Narnia film “Voyage of the Dawn Treader”.
Not just cost effective at $19.99, it is extremely efficient, with just the essentials necessary to host a quality event. Group makes it very simple for leaders. I was able to read through and understand everything in a matter of minutes. It seemed like such an easy event, that I decided to “test” it to see just how easy it could be to host. I did this with virtually no preparation on my part to prove how easy you could still do this event before the movie opens.
Group Makes Planning This Event Easy
I selected a date and was able to quickly copy a bulletin insert from the data CD, adding our church’s information. I blew up the insert on the church copier and made a “poster” to plaster all over the church and community. I was not able to copy a sign up sheet for attendees, and had to make my own, but that only took an additional 15 minutes. There is a form for recruiting volunteers. For each 50 attendees I would recommend 1 -2 volunteers.
I purchased the family expedition packets at amazon.com for $4.79 and received a free one for every three packs I purchased. They really are essential to the program as the majority of the family time uses the materials. It is certainly a good value. The cool water reveal map intrigues even the toughest of 5th grade boys and the backside has additional activities for families to do at home. The CD uses songs from past Group VBS curriculums. The kids really enjoyed singing some of their old favorites again, but I would have liked something from the movie as well.
I made arrangements for a “few good men” from our men’s group to come in early in the week and set up the set. We rebuilt our Group VBS “High Seas” set in 30 minutes! I loved being able to reuse the VBS set from this year’s High Seas Expedition — I would suggest to Group to put a really obvious note in their VBS curriculum for leaders to save the set if they do this again.
I ran copies of the drama script for 2 of my middle schoolers and distributed it to them. I used volunteers from the audience to hold up the “curtain”. It was a simple script with no lines to memorize. There are a few props that can be gathered from home. I was concerned that the “gimmick” in the skit would detract from the message, but Group again, hits the target and the message comes through crystal clear.
The Narnia clips were true teasers and the kids can’t wait to see more of what happens to Edmund, Lucy, and Eustace. We served popcorn, having asked the local movie theater to donate the cardboard kid packs that hold popcorn, a small packet of m&ms and a soda. It took about 15 minutes to pop corn and assemble the kid packs for 50 people. This was a easy clean up snack.
I was able to gather the other in minutes. I led the event, using the leader’s script which was well written; interchanging between songs, family discussion, and movie clips. I intentionally did not read the script prior to the event to see if it could be done cold. I wouldn’t recommend this approach, but it was so well written, it sounded well rehearsed.
After the event, it took our volunteers 20 minutes to strike the set, and clean the worship center.
I hope this stands as a testimony to how quickly and easily a quality event can be achieved and encourages leaders to give this a go before the movie hits theaters on December 15. I did this with virtually no preparation on my part to prove how easy you could still do this event before the movie opens. As the event is easy-to-plan, it could also be adapted for Sunday School, midweek, for individual families to do at home, or even for life groups to do. This is a great opportunity for outreach to the community, and a great way to engage families and spark faith discussions. Our kids are all fired up about the movie and are trying to plan a church field trip!
Group has once again earned my trust, knowing I can count on them to deliver a clear, concise, and easy to host event that has a life impacting message. I hope Group continues to offer these easy to do, fun-for-the-whole family hour events.
Here is a promo-video about this product. You can learn more or purchase this material on Group’s website.