COVID-19 related church cancellations are rolling in fast. It’s time for ministry leaders to step forward and find non-traditional paths of ministry that do not include in-person meetings. This page is a resources for anyone leading children’s or youth ministry when their church services are cancelled due to the spreading Coronavirus disease. Please share this page and leave your comments as we’re constantly updating it with more ideas to help your ministry.
This is tragic and unprecedented. But it’s also a massive chance for the church to leap into the information age.
Wise church leaders will see this as an opportunity to pioneer new and effective technology based discipleship. This can be a wonderful opportunity for families and kids to take ownership of their own discipleship process. Many of the ideas below will be fun memories for kids too!
29 Ways to do ministry online (and at a distance) even when church is cancelled?
I’ve broken ideas into categories based on who is providing the direction, there is obviously overlap and ways to combine them to form a complete strategy.
Family Led Ideas (where parent initiate & led discipleship)
This group of ideas are all about parent’s initiating and leading spiritual activities for their kids at home. Many of these are super-obvious. The role of the church leader here is to remind parents about this opportunity. I’d encourage church leaders to email, text, and Facebook families with this list.
1. Read the Bible together as a family. Kids get a turn to read aloud too!
2. Use the Parent Cue app or their conversation guides about times of crisis.
3. Parents can lead a family devotion time. Some printable devotion examples from our website.
4. Have a worship dance party. Put on praise music or use kids worship songs on YouTube.
5. Parents can lead a Bible craft with their kids. Lots of craft ideas on our website.
6. Plan a Christian family movie time (marathon style)
I love the the BIBLE series. It’s on Amazon Prime, just add popcorn! Watch a kids Christian program. Minno and Amplify media are some good options. You can find more options on YouTube too. Kids Club anywhere is an excellent free option.
7. Parents can lead a full “children’s church” service.
Do a game, sing worship songs, learn a Bible story, and then have some fun activities.
8. Let kids plan & lead a “kids church service” for their parents in the audience role.
This reversal flip will be an awesome memory. I like the discussion guides and videos from Crossroads Kids Club (they are all free)
9. Learn a memory verse together.
10. Act out Bible story skits as a family.
11. Go for a prayer walk at home or in a local park or forest.
Have kids pray aloud giving God thanks while naming all the beautiful things they see.
See our list of online children’s church options and share it with families in your church.
Online Church Ideas (where leaders give direction through the internet)
Technology makes it possible for leaders to live stream. This basket of ideas is all about connecting kids to their church through the internet. Don’t miss the advice from Crossroads for church leaders during the pandemic.
12. Participate in the adult service live stream of your church as a family.
13. Find an online kids church service. See our list of online children’s church services.
14. Sunday School teachers can connect with their kids via Facetime or host class via Zoom or Uber video conferencing.
15. Kidmin leaders can live stream directly to families on Facebook and other platforms.
If you typically hold a large group time, pre-record video or live stream your worship time with songs and Bible story. Encourage families to watch and worship together. Most parents don’t ever get to see their kids in kids worship time so this would be a neat opportunity to give them a “front row seat” to an aspect of what their kids do every Sunday morning.~ Nicole Tallent-Smith, Preschool Large Group Worship Coordinator at Carmel Baptist Church in Matthew NC
Yep have fun with a FB live and do your lesson. Have fun with object lessons or do a in character. We need to help kids not let fear control their hearts.~ Tom Bump, The Kids Ministry Collective
Encourage families to memorize these Bible verses about COVID19
Children’s Ministry Homework (where kidmin leaders ask kids to complete tasks)
Asking parents to report back is a powerful encouragement. This is more of an education based approach, but it could be an effective way to add structure to efforts families might already be planning. Most of these would assume families have a printer at home, but the church could easily mail out kids care packs that included any the following.
16. Provide a coloring page for the children and ask parents to post the photos to the church Facebook or Instagram.
Our website has hundreds of free Bible coloring pages you can download in PDF and share.
17. Email parents a copy of the week’s kids worship bulletins, then have parents email them back.
You could also challenge kids to bring the completed papers back for a prize when services resume.
18. Same idea as above but use printable Bible worksheets.
19. Challenge older kids to have self directed devotion times.
You can print any of our kids devotional guides to get started.
20. Challenge kids to complete a Bible reading chart. This could have prizes or points as well.
21. Encourage kids to keep a prayer journal.
This is a powerful habit and they could report on their progress back to the SS teachers or kidmin leaders.
22. Assign a Bible story video and ask parents to message back a few simple response questions once complete.
23. Scripture memory challenge.
Provide a list of verses for the kids to learn at home, then have them recite for the congregation when services resume.
24. Coordinate “group text” where kids message can video one another (through parents phones in a group text). Use some simple questions to make it fun too.
The leader should start the group and say hi. Let’s stay connected to our church friends this week with these icebreaker questions. Invite your child to record an audio or video reply answering 1) What did you eat for breakfast today? 2) What is your favorite thing about missing school? 3) How can your church friends pray for you today?
Mission / Service Projects (where kids participate in the work of Jesus)
Learning is more than Bible knowledge. Following Jesus is more than Bible facts. Here are some ideas for helping children participate in the work of Jesus.
25 .Challenge kids to do some Spring cleaning at home.
This is a way to honor your parents and share in Jesus’ work of making things new. Get kids into the cleaning action too!
26. Plant a garden with the goal of sharing the harvest with neighbors.
This is a great way to connect with your neighbors too. Add a note Hebrews 13:16 Do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
27. Invite children to write an encouragement letters
28. Encourage kids to video call their grandparents or elderly friends from church.
29. Plan for the children to lead their own prayer ministry.
Parents or church leaders could post to Facebook for request. Then allow the children to pray over those needs each Sunday.
Online Children’s Ministry Ideas due to Coronavirus Related Church Closure
Frequently Asked Questions about online ministry:
- How can live stream my children’s ministry?
- Can I do Sunday School online?
- Where can I find family devotions?
- What are some good kids worship songs?
- How can I do ministry when my church is closed?