Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Worship Response Stations: Wall of Belief

We used our new "Wall of Belief" for the first time on Sunday.

This Worship Response Station is simply a half-wall that surrounds our sound booth, covered with Chalkboard paint.  But you could use any chalkboard to do this, or paint chalkboard paint on any semi-smooth surface.  It took three coats to get it ready.  We stuck black Command Hooks onto each side of the wall to hold two tin pails of white chalk.  The words "I Believe..." are stenciled at the top.  

After Worship, we played one more song, and the kids spent a few minutes worshipping quietly, thinking about what they believe about God.  Then, they each took a turn to write what they believe on the wall.

Our Lesson Title on Sunday was "God Saves" so there were a lot of kids who wrote some version of that.  We will erase it every few weeks and let the kids fill it up again!

Declaring what you believe has the power to deepen and solidify your faith.  
Don't you think?

And here's a quick sneak peak at one of the Worship Stations we are working on today:

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Hard At Work...

We have been hard at work over the last 2 weeks,
getting everything ready for the new Worship Response Stations.
Here's a little sneak peak of what we've been working on...

New speakers, sound board and projector went in this week.  Yay!

Our new Worship Response Tables arrived in boxes and some lovely volunteers put them together.  Here is a sample of a couple of the tables and lamps. Both the tables and lamps came from Target (on clearance!!) for 50-70% off!  Maybe that goes to show that with God's timing, even the little details can fall into place better than expected.  

On the right of the above picture you can see the Sound Booth which we have made-over into the first of our new Worship Response Stations.  

Here is what it looked like before:

We painted it with chalkboard paint (3 coats), stenciled the words 
"I Believe" with white paint and painted the trim red. 

 Tonight I bought black command hooks to hang white tin pails filled with white chalk on the wall.  The kids will then get to graffiti on the wall the things that they believe.  Statements of Faith.  Declarations.  

On Sunday the kids will begin filling it up.  

And there are many more little projects in the works.  
We are getting everything ready so that when the paint is on the walls, 
our new stations will be ready too.  Stay tuned! 

Thanks for taking a little sneak peak!  More to come in just a few days.  (I can't wait!)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Kids Church Makeover

Our Kid's Church room is beautiful.  Truly amazing.  
About 15 years ago a team of talented artists got together and created this:

And this:

And have you seen the rest of the room?

We have loved this room and its beautifully cheerful design.

And yet here we are, wiping the slate clean...

Making room.  Creating space.

It feels CRAZY to me, to be whitewashing the beauty that was created here.

And yet I am convinced of what we are doing.  

The conviction comes from a vision for Kids Church to be more experiential.

Starting fresh for us began when we discovered Worship Response Stations.

About two years ago we began carving out space and time for the kids
to personally respond to God after each lesson.
And what we found is that kids truly want to know God's Spirit
for themselves and it is natural for them to learn to hear His voice.
...And so here we are, literally rearranging everything for more of that to happen.

Because at the end of the day, our number 1 goal isn't that our kids would just
know ABOUT God, but that they would KNOW Him for themselves.

Each Sunday we spend time responding to God about the message we've just heard.
You can learn more about this Large Group Response time here and here.  

Then we pray a prayer of blessing over them and invite them to
continue their worship by independently visiting a Worship Response Station
of their choice.  The lights are low, worshipful music is playing.
And they come up with notes to God like this:

So these beautiful walls are becoming blank slates to post permanent,
artistic and meaningful Worship Stations.

The new decor will be functional, filled with alters of remembrance
of what God is doing in our kids.  

So I guess you could say we are putting our "money" where our mouth is to do what it takes to make room for the Holy Spirit to interact with our kids that they can experience God for themselves.  Regularly.  Repeatedly.

Today we wrote scriptures over all the newly-primed walls.

To declare who God is in our lives.

...To proclaim what we believe...

...and to claim His promises over this new season.

And so it has begun!  Our Kids Church Makeover.

Check back often for updates over the next 30 days to watch the progress.
We will be posting about each of the new Worship Response Stations as we create them.

Update: To see how the Makeover turned out, go here.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

September: The Environment of Serving

We love our Home Group!  There is something about hanging with the same people over time, carrying each other's burdens, praying, listening, laughing and chasing your kids together that makes you feel a little bit like family.

Twice a month we get together with our small group.  (officially called CARE Groups at our church.)  Our group of 6 young families gathers around a potluck dinner for conversation, worship, a reading from the Word, and often a craft or activity.  Each month there is a different principle, or "environment" that we are trying to foster in the lives of our busy families. 
We use the HomeFront Magazine as our curriculum.  Have you ever checked it out? 
 It's free and full of ideas on how to create positive and life-giving environments 
in your home through quality family time.

This month we are focusing on the Environment of Serving.  
Serving asks the question, "What needs to be done?"  
Isn't that a great atmosphere to create in your family's life?

Here are some of the girls in our CARE Group thinking up "Acts of Service" to write on fall leaves...

And of course one of my boys had to include something about poop 
( least it was about picking up the DOG's poop).

We got to create a fall decoration that had meaning.  
Each leaf had one Act of Service written on it.
How many Acts of Service could we do this month?

And, later at home, we hung our "fall service garland" in the dining room.

And the conversation about why we serve somehow seemed to bring up that Jesus came to serve, not to be served, and HE was the Son of God! 
 So actually asking the question, "What needs to be done?" 
puts us in excellent company.