I can still picture my kids’ incredulous faces—eyes wide, staring with a goofy smile. Apparently, while we were enjoying Disney World, their teddy bears decided to watch some TV and wear their Mouse Ears back in the hotel room—with some help from the Disney staff, of course. There they sat with remote controls in their laps. I can still hear my kids’ delighted laughter. It was worth every penny!
And here’s the thing—that kind of magical surprise is completely within your reach. You don’t need lots of money to pull it off—just a little bit of imagination and the belief that it’s worth a little extra effort when you see their faces as they enter.
I’m thinking about this March and its wonderful theme, Rooted. I’m telling you, it could be straight out of a fairy tale! We’re trying to set the scene for heroes such as Daniel and his friends, known for their strong conviction and deep faith.
In our creative meetings, we spent several hours fleshing out the exact look of this theme. We didn’t want something like Conviction to feel too dark, so even though we pictured brown tangled roots as the foundational idea—we expanded it to include the solid tree trunk and the green branches symbolizing growth.
That’s when I thought of the moment when Lucy in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe first steps out of the wardrobe into the heavily treed forest of Narnia. What if that’s how your kids feel in March when they enter your ministry space? You could start now, sending out emails and texts, asking friends and family to keep their Christmas trees near the front of the closet or in the garage within easy reach.
Maybe this will be the year that you recruit new volunteers to create an “Experience Team.” You could forward on the ideas provided in Week 1 on page one of the Large Group curriculum every month and—set them loose.
What if this year, you had record attendance the first Sunday of every month, not just in predictable times like January or at Easter—because kids and their parents can’t wait to see what you’ve done with the space to make it fresh and new?
There’s another lesser known, but equally valuable reason to reinvent your area every couple weeks—did you know that behavior problems actually decrease when you capture their attention this way? You can put your effort in positive and proactive ways rather than having to respond negatively and reactively later.
So, start thinking about who you know that loves to decorate and likes to camp. Yes, we’re also setting up a tent in Large Group that month and using it every week to help tell the Bible story. What we do with it in Week 4 is well worth it! Just promise me this—take a picture of your space so we can see where your imagination takes you, AND take some close-ups of the kids as they enter so we can see the priceless impact.
Disney’s got nothing on you because it doesn’t have a relationship with these kids—you do! Time to make some magic!