I want to give you a rundown of our Easter 2013 services at GO Kids River Valley Church. If you follow my blog, you have seen the re-brand that we launched this Easter weekend. This has been in the works for some months. We also launched our new album for kids, We’ve Come Alive. (Get it on… iTunes , Google Play, Amazon)
I don’t really want to go much more into the re-brand or CD at this time. I want to focus more on how we crafted our elementary services. First off, our family pastor, Justyn Smith, told me he wanted our Easter service to be about “an adventure”. Our theme or story for our re-brand is aviation with a hint of futuristic thrown in.
My initial thought was to go with a flight themed sermon entitled “Rerouted”. My thinking was to carry that out with the big idea being “Jesus re-routed my destination on the cross”. I worked on that, did some sketches of what that might look like, researched scripture to make it up and more. After three weeks I liked it but I didn’t fall totally in love with it. I went back to the drawing board.
It was a good idea, but it wasn’t a God idea.
I started to mind map out the word “adventure”. One of the thoughts I got was “choose your own”. An idea popped into my head: a choose your own adventure service. I remembered loving to read “choose your own adventure” books as a boy. I ran it by some of our directors. Most liked it, some loved it, some were indifferent. I knew however that this was the God idea I was looking for.
We had to figure out how we would tie this to the message of the cross? Then it hit me, Jesus chose to die for us because we have made wrong choices. God chose us even when we didn’t choose Him. We would allow the kids to make choices and talk about how God gave us freewill to choose but that our choices have consequences.
We started putting together ideas. What this would look like? We drew up an idea for voting paddles. (see picture below) Kids would get to vote on the elements of the service. They could choose when we did worship, which set of songs we’d sing, which video we would watch, etc. The paddles were two sided with a different colored logo on each side.
The kids got 6 different choices throughout the service. They absolutely loved having the power to choose. This made everything tie into our bottom line “Jesus chose us, now choose Him”. It wasn’t just a choice they were making, it changed the service, most of our 18 services were slightly different because of that. The kids were also engaging in learning without even knowing it.
This was a simple but very effective method of getting our point across. Our response at the altar was amazing with 167 kids responded across all campuses. Our feedback from parents and small group leaders was overwhelmingly positive. Some of our leaders suggested we do it more often. I will probably shelve it and save the idea for a series on choices.
We did a science demonstration (elephant toothpaste) as the object lesson towards the end that tied it all together and the kids even got to choose the color of food color we used.
Here’s the choices they had in order:
- Songs and Story
- Song Set Choice
- Unchosen from first choice and Commercial (they choose this a lot more than I thought)
- GO Group and Video
- Video choice between story and documentary
- Color of food coloring choice
Any questions about the service?