With ample digital tools readily available for use in your church setting, why not embrace them, and boost the potential of your ministry!
While we still believe that in-person ministry is the most effective for forming everlasting bonds, both between kids and God, and the wider community, those who can’t be there shouldn’t miss out. Taking your children’s ministry online to the virtual sphere can benefit everyone, making Bible study more accessible. Read on to learn how to take your worship online.
Have Everything in One Place
Disorganization in the online sphere is one of the major things that causes parents to switch off and give up on engaging their children. One easy way to remedy this is to have every single resource in one central hub. Whether it’s worksheets and activities, or hymns and Scripture, having separate tabs in one online "home" for your church will make things a lot easier.
Different members of your church will likely go to different sites to search for the resources, but rather than making your own life difficult by uploading the data to every single page, why not include a clear and simple link to the hub page? Displaying this clearly on all of your social media channels will remove any confusion about where to find the virtual ministry.
Ensure that families are equipped with the tools to let their children participate in the online ministry, as they will be crucial in setting up everything and providing them with these resources. Send out an email clearly stating the schedule, the resources, and the method of video that you will be using, to make sure no parents are kept in the dark.
Why not boost parent involvement even more, with the Think Orange ministry app? Sending parents daily testimonials, stories, and more, this app reminds parents to engage in consistent conversation about faith with their children, which could help to make up for the time that they have missed in the Sunday school classroom. Parents' involvement in their child’s journey of faith is paramount to how strong a bond they will ultimately have with God.
Choose Your Mode of Delivery
Including a video element will get the kids at your church much more excited to participate. Only providing physical resources and worksheets could leave them feeling disconnected, and unsure what the point is. So, we would recommend a lively and engaging video to accompany your children’s ministry curriculum. Whether pre-recorded or through a video chat, the decision is up to you, but each has its pros and cons.
While a video chat means heightened participation, as the kids can have their say too, it does come with technical problems like buffering videos and bad connections. There are several alternatives for you to consider, but they can feel somewhat detached, and remove the opportunity for kids to see their friends through the screen. While we would favor the excitement of a video chat, you should choose what’s best for your church and your kids’ ministry curriculum.
Choose Your Curriculum
You may already have a solid ministry curriculum that’s easy to transfer online. Or, the curriculum that was constructed for in-person teaching could fall short when translated into a virtual, or digital, experience—in which case you need to consider a different option. Luckily, there are countless children’s ministry ideas available online, including set curricula, and free Sunday school curriculum resources too. Many providers have shifted to a dual method with their curriculum, offering different options for in-person and virtual ministry.
For example, Think Orange offers an incredible at-home package that has been specifically designed for those who can’t make it into their church as usual. With parent guides, child devotional cards, and plans for virtual small groups included, making the switch online will be straightforward and smooth. It even includes a free church presentation software, Playlister, which will make broadcasting videos and media to kids’ home TVs a breeze.
Moving entirely online can be difficult for everyone, kids included, as they lose the stimulation that they usually get from the environment. For this reason, keeping a hold of their concentration will likely be more difficult than ever, making versatile and varied activities crucial in helping them to keep focus. Keep the video chat section small, but have other activities for them to complete independently. For example, they can build a craft and then show it off on the video chat, or learn how to make something on the video chat then reproduce it with their parents.
Why not include dances, songs, and more of the things that bring us joy in your online ministry? Countless children’s ministry ideas can be found online, and they frequently include songs, dances, games, and more—so check it out! While playing games can be difficult across a camera, we need to do everything in our power to keep kids interested in the new ministry setup. Providing resources for the parents to use with their kids at different points in the day can make for easy worship, as kids will have more flexibility with their day.