It's wonderful when kids look forward with excitement to your Sunday morning kidmin program. After all, real learning and growing occurs when kids are motivated and involved. But, it's easy to keep all the excitement within your children's ministry.
Why not extend your focus and provide some excitement for the whole church family? It's easier than you think.
Is your church planning a special service to start the new year, introducing a new sermon series or commencing a new program? Why not suggest a simple party to highlight this special event following the service?
Isn't that a lot of extra work? Will the adults enjoy it? How many extra volunteers will we need?
All good questions... but let me briefly outline the Ice-cream Soda Party (in Australia, we also call them 'Spiders') that we held last Sunday and you can see for yourself. And.. I'm sure you'll think of even more ideas that will create real interest and build community within your own church family.
Step 1: Get your ideas together and run it past your pastor or church leadership team. Present your ideas with enthusiasm and generate some excitement amongst this group. We included the women's ministry team and they suggested their ministry also provide a gourmet sandwich lunch- great!
Step 3: Gather your resources. This type of party doesn't really require too much and all of the decorations were assembled around a couple of tables. We used pastel coloured tablecloths, tall plastic cups, pastel-coloured straws, serviettes and balloons. Don't forget some long-handled plastic spoons.
We downloaded the soda labels, popped them on small bottles of soft-drink and used these as the main table decoration. You can find the label printableshere.
And we made some hats for those who were making the ice-cream sodas. Actually, I had thought it would be easy to find and purchase these, but no. So I used the instructions found at Creative Momma, here, to make the hats. ( They were very popular. Our teenagers wanted to wear them and help out- great!) Provide some big tubs of ice to keep the drinks cool until you need them.
And, of course, you'll need ice-cream, scoops, soft-drink and toppings. .We used 100s&1000s, choc drops, sprinkles, frozen berries, mini-marshmallows for toppings but you could use whatever takes your fancy. Stay away from crushed nuts to avoid any allergic reactions. Set them out in small dishes for anyone to add to their ice-cream sodas.
And the reaction? I lost count of the number of older folk who came up and told us ..'Great idea! I haven't had one of these for 20 years!' Quite a few came up and encouraged us in the work that we're doing with the kids and families and I had a couple of people who handed over some money to help towards the costs of this and other similar events. (Unexpected, but very welcome!)
The best part for me was seeing so many happy groups of mixed ages sitting around and enjoying each other's company. (We even had the excitement of a real spider, a huge huntsman, that ran in among the groups of people with the ensuing screams and excitement before it was removed. Hopefully, you won't include that drama!)