What Goes Into a Weekend Kids’ Service? - Part 2
In my last post (which you should read if you haven't yet), I drew back the curtain to show you all of the weeks of creativity and hard work that lead up to a weekend of creative programming in Children’s Ministry. We talked about the initial brainstorming session, curriculum evaluation, rewrites and pulling all of the stuff together to produce an incredible service for children.
Today I want to show you what our weekend team does with all that reworked curriculum, tech content, props and costumes and how they use it to help kids know Jesus.
Here’s the rundown for a typical Saturday in all three Children’s Ministry environments, preschool, Grades K-2nd and 3rd-5th:
3:15pm — Children’s Ministry staff arrive in the rooms, turn on all of the sound, lights and computer equipment, check mics, and props and prepare for weekend rehearsal.
3:30pm — Teaching and drama volunteers arrive with scripts memorized and ready to begin weekend rehearsal. We have lots of stops and starts trying to figure out blocking, how to handle props and navigate the stage.
4:30pm — Worship and tech volunteers arrive, run a full rehearsal of the entire large group program, back up a few times to work out the kinks.
5:15pm — Kids arrive. Programming team clears the large group room, takes a deep breath and gets ready to go live for the first time with kids. Everyone is pumped.
5:40pm — Tech turns on walk-in music. Life Group leaders bring kids into the big room. It’s go time. Back stage our volunteers are wired.
5:45pm — The countdown begins. Worship and dance motion leaders take the stage. The roller coaster is moving! No turning back now.
Throughout the next thirty minutes kids experience high energy worship, creative storytelling, drama, video and plenty of surprises all focused on communicating one key Bible truth for the weekend. After the large group program, kids break up in their Life Groups to unpack what they learned, and the programming team begins to evaluate and troubleshoot the Saturday night service. What worked? What went wrong? Where did we engage the kids? Where did we lose them? What can we fix before tomorrow?
After evaluation, our programming volunteers head home and get rested up because they have to be back the next morning at 7:45 to do another rehearsal (yes, we are brutal) before going live three more times with the kids. Keep in mind, this happens in three different rooms at the same time across the church. That adds up to twelve separate blocks of programming through the course of weekend.
I got to sit in on all three productions last week and walked away feeling like I’d been to a Broadway kids’ show in every room. Yet, as fun as each program was, it was also packed full of life-changing truth.
Honestly, I was overwhelmed with gratitude that my kids will grow up in this place where God’s word comes to life every weekend thanks to the dedication of a ton of talented volunteers and staff. I’m proud to be a smart part of this team.
Well, now you know all the ins and out of how we create amazing stage experiences for kids. I’ll wrap up next week with one final post about the other side of Children’s Ministry, Life Groups and the nuts and bolts Operations Team who pull the details together.
Jason Byerly, Children's Pastor