I believe NOTHING should ever be JUST FOR FUN at church.
Notice what I didn't say. I didn't say "kids should never have fun at church."
I believe church should be a fun, exciting experience for kids. I believe we should create irresistible environments that are so much fun, that kids wake their parents up on Sunday morning, excited about going to church.
What I did say is nothing should ever be just for fun at church. In other words, every single bit of "fun" we offer at church should have a purpose.
You see, we only have a small window of time to teach, encourage and invest in kids while they are at church. With attendance patterns declining and shorter services, every single minute we have with kids at church must matter.
Every single minute we plan for kids at church should have an underlying purpose.
Yes, we should have lots of fun games for kids at church. But every game should have a purpose. The purpose might be setting up discussion questions about the teaching point. The purpose might be to help kids apply the lesson. The purpose might be to review the lesson.
Yes, we should have lots of fun crafts for kids at church. But again, every craft should have a purpose. The purpose might be to give parents a discussion starter about the lesson for home. The purpose might be to set up the key point of the lesson. The purpose might be to help kids memorize a Bible verse.
Yes, we should have fun activities for kids while they are waiting for the class to start. But every activity should have a purpose. The purpose might be to make new kids feel welcomed and comfortable. The purpose might be help small group leaders deepen their relational connections with kids.
The bottom line is this - fun should not be the end result of what we do at church. The end result should be to point kids to Jesus and help them learn more about God's Word.
Fun is simply a tool we use to accomplish this.
Make sure there is a purpose for your play.
Make sure there is a focus for your fun.
Make sure there is a scope and sequence behind your silliness.
Stand by the exit door of your ministry this weekend and listen as parents are leaving with their children. The majority of the time, you will hear two questions.
Question #1 - Did you have fun today?
Question #2 - What did you learn about?
If you are being effective, you will hear kids give a clear answer to BOTH of those questions.
Hearing a "yes" to "Did you have fun today?" is a must if you want to see kids engaged at church. But if kids can't answer question 2, then the "yes" to question 1 is shallow and won't be life-changing.
Every single hour...every single minute...every single second you have with kids at church should be planned and focused. Nothing...nothing...nothing should ever be "just for fun" at church.
I want to encourage you to look at your curriculum. Make sure every part of your lesson has a clear purpose.
If you're looking for curriculum that is laser focused and uses fun to teach kids to love Jesus and follow Him, check out these series. There is a year's worth of curriculum that gives kids a solid faith foundation.